Why you don’t give a f#*k about climate change (but these 6 GIFs can fix that)

Martha Rosler, The Gray Drape (2008), photomontage, from the series House Beautiful: Bringing the War Home, New Series (2004, 2008)


What is wrong with the climate ‘story’ then? A narrative is what sells a message, experts say. If we accept the climate crisis as real, serious and imminent, there should be some sense of emergency in our actions. But because there is no urgency from governments and media, the cycle of inaction continues for another precious year. And while the right things continue to be said at annual climate conferences, nothing is actually done.


It appears humans aren’t in the business of climate speed. It has been at least 60 years now¹¹ since the man-made impacts of the environmental crisis were taken as incontrovertible. Six decades since we knew we had to stop burning fossil fuels or risk creating an atmosphere no human has ever survived before us. And now here we are, breathing that unprecedented air. The last time there was as much CO2 as there is now, not only did humans not exist, but sea levels were 100 feet higher.¹²


System change doesn’t have to mean anarchy. Tweaks here and there, big ones sometimes, will make a difference. But the fact remains, on a planet of finite resources acting as though we can take whatever we want from the Earth without eventually feeling it ourselves, is a classic capitalist error.


Nationalist, divisive, fascist, whatever you want to call it, this media narrative satisfies an apparent need we once reserved for nature: belonging. We are descending into vicious tribalism to feel part of something, at a time when we desperately need to be uniting for survival — a much bigger something.


Below are six of what we believe are the biggest barriers to human action — but this list of categories is not in any way exhaustive, so please tell us what’s missing. And of course they’re in classic GIF form. Because don’t forget, we’re playing the billionaire baddies at their own game. Basic click-bait.


Below is a bit more information on each of the six gnarly barriers to match the six decades of violent inaction, during which nobody has cared enough about climate change to stop it happening.


So that’s the tip of the deep, systemic iceberg challenge humans face, in creating mass empathy for each other, for nature, and for action. Fun, right? And what makes it worse is that these psychological and therefore societal barriers may not even be possible to overcome. But they’re the start of a story that we must put every possible effort into writing together, or there will be nobody left to give a f*ck about anything. How’s that for a happy ending?!



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Clare Saxon Ghauri

Clare Saxon Ghauri


aka Cle. Tweeting about climate action (for other people) since 2008. Ex The Climate Group, Greenhouse PR, Climate Week NYC. Digging the r/evolution.