Arguments can be made on both sides that the human brain isn’t designed particularly well to live in either the moment, or assess what will be happening in the future. Most of us would agree that if, for example, you trip running up a flight of stairs, your brain gives you a friendly reminder to slow down the next time you encounter the same scenario. The brain has been evolving for millions of years, and during that time the psychology of risk and assessing potential dangers has been evolving along with it. However, evolution is a very, very slow process.
Here’s the problem researchers think we’re facing now: the human brain, while it can comprehend that events like climate change are dangerous, still hasn’t evolved enough to be able to formulate viable options to avoid the problem. If fire and brimstone began raining down on cities tomorrow, different story. Our brains would be reacting to an immediate crisis, even though we’ve been watching and commenting on the slow-motion train wreck fuelled by pollution and environmental destruction approach us for decades.
Story by Jay Moon