A broader mind: concern with other humans, equality, and animals

Elsevier, Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 42, December 2021
Van Lange P.A.

How can we as individuals or groups mitigate climate change? One key issue is whether motives other than the pursuit of material self-interest can be used fruitfully to reduce climate change. In this article I describe recent research that supports three deeply rooted concerns: (a) concern with other humans (prosociality), (b) concern with equality (egalitarianism), and (c) concern with animals (as part of adherence to biospheric values). Because one of the chief issues regarding climate change is its abstractness, it is important in public education to highlight the concreteness of climate change's harm done (a) to other people, such as (grand)children, (b) to people suffering the most (and having contributed the least to climate change), and (c) to key aspects of nature, including not only ‘adorable animals’ (such as pandas or koalas), but even the suffering and threat of extinction of butterflies and other insects.