Dragons, mules, and honeybees: Barriers, carriers, and unwitting enablers of climate change action

By Robert Gifford, July 1, 2013

Why aren’t more people engaged in actions that would help mitigate climate change? The psychological “dragons of inaction” that impede green behaviors fall into seven “genera,” each with multiple “species” of barriers to pro-environmental behavior. Collectively, they represent a formidable challenge to policy makers, not only because there are so many of these dragons, but also because policy makers will need to learn much more about which dragons impede which sorts of people in order to target policies cost-effectively. Some people, dubbed “mules,” carry heavy loads of responsibility as they take major steps to mitigate climate change. Others are “honeybees” who help the environment, but without intending to do so. Too few people fall into either of these categories to make a real difference for the climate, the author writes, but he identifies five behavioral-science strategies that might help overcome the psychological barriers to climate action.

RELATED:
RELATED: California’s inmate firefighters turn pro?

As the coronavirus crisis shows, we need science now more than ever.

The Bulletin elevates expert voices above the noise. But as an independent, nonprofit media organization, our operations depend on the support of readers like you. Help us continue to deliver quality journalism that holds leaders accountable. Your support of our work at any level is important. In return, we promise our coverage will be understandable, influential, vigilant, solution-oriented, and fair-minded. Together we can make a difference.

Share: 

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE

RELATED POSTS

Receive Email
Updates