Counting on …day 1.087

31st March 2023

“Normalising activism, or even conversations about climate change, is something Salamon* sees as a key psychological challenge. “It’s important to understand the forces of normalcy and social conformity. There’s a social psychology experiment where a room is filling with smoke. If all the other people in the room are just sitting there as if nothing was happening, the study subject will also not act. But if one person raises the alarm, it totally changes the dynamic. Yale calls it the ‘Spiral of Silence’ – people don’t talk about climate because other people don’t talk about it. The good news is that we can flip this, and normalise being alarmed about the climate emergency.” 

“What we’re talking about is getting the public to realise that we are not safe, our families are not safe, everything we love is not safe. The emergency is so advanced that we don’t have time for gradualist approaches. While small changes are better than nothing, I would rather see activists waking up the public and calling for solutions that could actually work””

  • Margaret Klein Salamon is a climate psychologist based in New York.

Author: Judith Russenberger

Environmentalist and theologian, with husband and three grown up children plus one cat, living in London SW14. I enjoy running and drinking coffee - ideally with a friend or a book.

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