Climate change is a global problem that is caused by humans and must be solved by humans, and while differences exist, many theories and research on prejudice and discrimination have direct connections to the psychological processes involved in climate change. Climate change is not only a geophysical issue, but an intergroup issue with justice implications. It impacts people who are most vulnerable to environmental degradation as well as social injustices. Arguably it not only violates human rights but also the rights of animals and nature. Thus, the study of group processes and intergroup relations is critical to understanding the myriad of barriers to addressing this large-scale problem. We explore influences on cognitive steps in perceiving climate change as a justice issue, using social psychology to understand minimization of harms and responsibilities for addressing climate change, and draw from the prejudice and discrimination literature to find ways of moving forward.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Cultural Studies
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Sociology and Political Science