気候変動に対する人間の倫理判断システムについての研究[Markowitz and Shariff, 2012]は、気候変動対策に取り組まない(あるいは否定論を信じる)理由として、次の6つを挙げている。
  1. Abstractness and cognitive complexity (抽象性と認識的複雑さ)
  2. The blamelessness of unintentional action (意図なき行動の罪なきこと)
  3. Guilty bias (罪の意識のバイアス)
  4. Uncertainty breeds wishful thinking (不確かさによる希望的思考)
  5. Moral tribalism (倫理の党派性)
  6. Long time horizons and faraway places (遠い将来・遠い場所)
The blamelessness of unintentional action.

Further inhibiting moral intuitions, climate change lacks the features of an intentional moral transgression[20]: no one wants climate change to occur or is purposefully trying to make it happen. Although climate change is the direct result of intentional, goal-directed behaviour (for example, the use of energy to provide all the trappings of modern life), it is probably perceived by many individuals as an unintentional, if unfortunate, side effect of such actions (although further research exploring the beliefs of individuals about climate change and intentionality is needed to confirm whether this is the case). Studies suggest that unintentionally caused harms are judged less harshly than equally severe but intentionally caused ones[21]. Recognizing a harmful event as the product of an intentional agent, on the other hand, is a highly motivating cue for corrective action[22]. Indeed, children as young as three behave differently in response to otherwise identical intentional and non-intentional harmful acts[23]. Moreover, neuroscientific evidence suggests that the human moral judgement system is particularly sensitive to information about the intentions of others to cause harm[24]. In sum, intentional acts provoke powerful emotional responses. Thus, understanding climate change as an unintentional phenomenon with no single villain may decrease motivation to right past wrongs, and perceiving no human role in the phenomenon at all, as many US citizens do[3], is likely to depress moral judgements even further.



3. Leiserowitz, A., Maibach, E., Roser-Renouf, C. & Smith, N. Climate Change in the American Mind: Americans’ Global Warming Beliefs and Attitudes in May 2011 (Yale Univ./George Mason Univ., 2011).
20. Jamieson, D. Climate change, responsibility, and justice. Sci. Eng. Ethics 16, 431-445 (2010).
21. Guglielmo, S., Monroe, A. E. & Malle, B. F. At the heart of morality lies folk psychology. Inquiry 52, 449-466 (2009).
22. Cushman, F. Crime and punishment: Distinguishing the roles of causal and intentional analyses in moral judgment. Cognition 108, 353-380 (2008).
23. Vaish, A., Carpenter, M. & Tomasello, M. Young children selectively avoid helping people with harmful intentions. Child Dev. 81, 1661-1669 (2010).

[Erza M. Markowitz and Azim F. Shariff: "Climate change and moral judgement", (2012)]

Guilty bias.

Though few people are blamed for intending to cause climate change, many are exposed to messages that hold them accountable for causing environmental damage as an unintended side effect of their behaviour and lifestyle. Such messages probably provoke feelings of guilt (and other negative emotions such as fear)[9]. To allay negative recriminations, individuals often engage in biased cognitive processes to minimize perceptions of their own complicity. These biases are even more likely when individuals and communities feel incapable of meaningfully responding behaviourally. Such motivated moral reasoning[25] occurs through a variety of processes, including derogating evidence of one’s role in causing the problem and challenging the significance of the issue. For example, research with Swiss participants shows that individuals actively work to avoid feelings of responsibility in part by blaming inaction on others and increasing focus on the costs of mitigation[26]. The ultimate consequence of these reactions to perceived blame is that those responsible for the greatest share of harmful effects, whose behavioural changes would be most beneficial, are the people most motivated to deny their complicity and resist change.



9. Doherty, T. J. & Clayton, S. The psychological impacts of global climate change.
Am. Psychol. 66, 265-276 (2011).
24. Young, L., Cushman, F., Hauser, M. & Saxe, R. The neural basis of the interaction between theory of mind and moral judgment. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA104, 8235-8240 (2007).
25. Ditto, P. H., Pizarro, D. A. & Tannenbaum, D. Motivated moral reasoning. Psychol. Learn. Motiv. 50, 307-338 (2009).
26. Stoll-Kleemann, S., O’Riodan, T. & Jaeger, C. C. The psychology of denial concerning climate mitigation measures: Evidence from Swiss focus groups. Glob. Environ. Change 11, 107-117 (2001).

[Erza M. Markowitz and Azim F. Shariff: "Climate change and moral judgement", (2012)]


Moral tribalism.

Much of the heterogeneity in attitudes on climate change falls along political lines: conservatives show less belief in and concern over climate change than do liberals[31]. Part of this difference may be explained by the different moral priorities that liberals and conservatives endorse; liberals tend to base their moral priorities on two foundations of individual welfare -- harm and fairness -- whereas conservatives supplement these with three additional foundations focused on protecting the in-group -- in-group loyalty, authority respect and purity/sanctity[32]. The moral framing of climate change has typically focused on only the first two values: harm to present and future generations and the unfairness of the distribution of burdens caused by climate change. As a result, the justification for action on climate change holds less moral priority for conservatives than liberals. Moreover, once attitudes acquire a political valence, they are likely to polarize, for at least two reasons. First, people’s own group identification exerts a remarkably strong influence on where they stand on political issues[33] and, once they have established a position, they are likely to interpret conflicting evidence with scepticism, while accepting consistent evidence uncritically[34]. Second, individuals derive self-esteem and a sense of belongingness from exhibiting the values of their in-group, providing acute motivation to toe the party line[35]. As a result, by climate change messages remaining focused on the moral priorities of liberals at the expense of those resonant to conservatives, many in the latter group have been left not just uninvolved in action on climate change, but morally hostile to it.



31. McCright, A. M. & Dunlap, R. E. The politicization of climate change and polarization in the American public’s views of global warming, 2001-2010. Sociol. Quart. 52, 155-194 (2011).
32. Haidt, J. & Graham, J. When morality opposes justice: Conservatives have moral intuitions that Liberals may not recognize. Soc. Justice Res. 20, 98-116 (2007).
33. Cohen, G. L. Party over policy: The dominating impact of group influence on political beliefs. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 85, 808-822 (2003).
34. Lord, C. G., Ross, L. & Lepper, M. R. Biased assimilation and attitude polarization: The effects of prior theories on subsequently considered evidence. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 37, 2098-2109 (1979).

[Erza M. Markowitz and Azim F. Shariff: "Climate change and moral judgement", (2012)]


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