Previous research has shown that humans have a finite capacity for attention to risk, inherently programmed to prioritize one threat at a time.
On Sept. 23, 2019, then-16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg stood before a sea of news cameras at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York City and told world leaders: “People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing…How dare you continue to look away.”
Within days, web searches for ‘climate change’ soared to levels not seen in years, and environmentalists cheered a new surge of activism. Fast forward to summer 2020: With a global pandemic monopolizing news coverage, searches around environmental issues have plummeted to new lows, according to Google analytics data.
This trend could mean serious trouble for the planet, suggests a new CU Boulder study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.
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