Unfortunately, disbelief about climate change and other environmental issues still exists. Those who do not accept that these problems exist tend to be hobbled by five dragons:
- Mistrust: Some people distrust government officials or scientists, from whom much climate change information originates. This distrust leads to inaction.
- Perceived program inadequacy: Even if individuals do trust authorities, they may not trust the programs that policymakers have proposed or implemented. Because most such programs are voluntary, some people blame the program’s shortcomings, rather than their own non-compliance, for their unwillingness to take part.
- Denial: Although this is becoming less common, the outright denial of climate and environmental problems can still be found. Deniers seem to be over-represented in the comments sections of the media.
- Reactance: Some people not only distrust authorities, but actively take steps to engage in even more actions that harm the environment.
- Contrarian personality: Some people have a generalized tendency to disbelieve conventional wisdom. Such a person might believe that the moon landings were faked, that there was a US government conspiracy to topple the 911 towers…and that climate change is another hoax.