The Psychology of Short-term Thinking

This 30-minute documentary features a number of psychologists talking about how our minds work against taking the long-term future into account.  I came across it on 19 August 2014, ‘Earth Overshoot Day’, declared by the Global Footprint Network that has concluded that we are now using at least 1.5 times more resources than the earth can provide to sustain its human population in the long term. Applying our Spaceship Earth metaphor, it is as though we are consuming in excess the things that support our well-being for immediate gratification despite knowing that, before too long, these essential life support systems (food, energy, climate, etc.) will no longer be available.  Crazy astronauts?  But the psychological underpinnings of this apparently irrational behaviour are clearly exposed in the documentary. It offers good support for Documents in the Relating to Self Section.

Al Gore’s new upbeat book on climate change

Author(s): Al Gore
Media Type: News / Op – Eds
Year of Publication: 2014
Publisher: Rolling Stone
Date of Publication: June 18, 2014
Categories: , ,

Al Gore describes the shift toward a low-carbon future that is currently taking place, and how we can work to accelerate it:

“Is there enough time? Yes. Damage has been done, and the period of consequences will continue for some time to come, but there is still time to avoid the catastrophes that most threaten our future. Each of the trends described  – in technology, business, economics and politics – represents a break from the past. Taken together, they add up to genuine and realistic hope that we are finally putting ourselves on a path to solve the climate crisis.”