Can Empathy Help Stop Climate Change?

What would make you more likely to reduce your carbon footprint: Knowing that climate change is a threat to people—or to birds? New research has some surprising implications.

a recent study published in The Journal of Environmental Education finds that’s not true.

In fact, the study suggests that people appear more willing to take action if the perceived threat involves some kind of beloved creature other than them. And the reason is that, at least when it comes to climate change,


people seem more motivated by empathy
for non-human others than their
own self-interest.