There are just too much conflicting reports in the media. Americans are bombarded with so many different messages that they don’t know what’s true and what’s not. What’s important aren’t always reported. What’s not so important are reported 24/7 up to minute. It is sad that news about a celebrity couple divorcing gets more coverage than environmental issues that are important and current and impactful to all our lives.
I think that people are apt to believing the first thing they hear without ever questioning the source of the information. The first time someone mentions something about climate change (or any issue for that matter) they will instantly cling to that opinion or oppose it depending on previous views. Society understands all situations as black and white and rarely sees the grey area in between. This makes it very difficult for people to see outside their perspective and try to understand the other side’s argument. This is human nature, and psychology has a term for it—cognitive dissonance. This means that a person will not be comfortable holding beliefs that conflict with what they already believe. Therefore, most people will not be willing to change their mind on a subject and can be easily misinformed or misled by any biased opinion. I think the most important thing a person should learn to do is think for themselves and to have an open mind that is willing to see beyond your own perspective.
Americans are misinformed about climate change, as well as international affairs, not to mention our own countries policies and practices, because there is so much money in the American political system. Lobbying is an industry that involves millions of dollars and distorts democracy and the democratic system. Special interests, whether you agree with them or not, make our laws. For example, the Royal Society found that ExxonMobil has given $2.9 million dollars to American groups purposefully to distort and misinform the American population about climate change.
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