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Giving Compass' Take:
• In this story from Pacific Standard, author Tom Jacobs discusses a recent study which concludes based on Twitter data that people are already getting accustomed to the effects of climate change.
• How does human adaptability present challenges for climate and environmental advocates? How do we keep people interested in pursuing climate change solutions when they are so good at adapting to the changes?
• To learn about all the ways that our unsustainable food system is damaging the planet, click here.
Climate change is significantly increasing the chances of more unsettling weather in the years to come, including longer and more severe heat waves. But if you're hoping the strange conditions will inspire people to realize that something profoundly dangerous is occurring—and will prod politicians into acting—new research suggests you're likely to be disappointed.
An analysis of more than two million Twitter posts finds that people do indeed take note of abnormal temperatures. But it also reports that our definition of "normal" is based on recent history—roughly, the past two to eight years.
These findings suggest that, in less than a decade, climate change-induced conditions cease to seem all that unusual. That lack of historical perspective may make it hard to grasp the enormity of the changes that are already underway, and which promise to accelerate.
"This data provides empirical evidence of the 'boiling frog' effect with respect to the human experience of climate change," writes a research team led by Fran Moore of the University of California–Davis. As with the imaginary amphibian who fails to jump out of a pot of water as the temperature slowly rises, "the negative effects of a gradually changing environment become normalized, so that corrective measures are never adopted."
Read the full article about climate change by Tom Jacobs at Pacific Standard