Taking responsibility for future generations promotes personal action on climate change

Climate change is already here, but we know that its worst impacts are waiting in the wings for future generations. Unless we step up to the challenge, as individuals and as a species. Stylianos Syropoulos and Ezra Markowitz discuss how emphasising personal and collective responsibility towards future generations can not only promote climate change concern, but also potentially increase support for the hard work ahead.

As we progress through the 21st century, the true contours and effects of climate change are coming into sharper focus. Seemingly on a daily basis we are bearing witness to one climate-related disaster after another, compounding human suffering and misery now and for years to come.

But we know, too, that what we have witnessed thus far is only a prelude to what lies ahead in the face of continued inaction and foot-dragging. More frequent and more damaging impacts are highly likely in the decades to come. To put it a different way, future generations desperately need us to do something now in order to give them a chance when it’s their turn.

Luckily, there is something we can do now. In fact, there are many different things that we—people alive today—can do to avoid or at least deflect the worst impacts of climate change on future generations. And not only can we do something: we have a responsibility to do so, to take concrete steps to ensure that this bleak future is prevented. The question is, how do we encourage people to take this responsibility seriously, or to even recognise it in the first place?

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Πηγή: blogs.lse.ac.uk

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