Climate change and the tyranny of psychological distance

Posted 15 September 2020

With last summer’s bushfires largely out of the headlines, has the psychological distance people might feel towards climate change increased?

UNSW Sydney’s Professor Ben Newell has been researching climate change psychology for a decade and his work focuses on how to tackle the preconceived notions people have which cloud their decision-making in the face of an uncertain future.

Prof. Newell said the past summer’s fire season was “extremely bad” but he wondered what would happen to people’s attitudes towards climate change if the bushfires were less severe this summer.