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Climate Change Inaction and Post-Reality

Philip J. Wilson

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Blame for climate change inaction is rarely directed at a fundamental cause, the excessive complexity of society. It has given rise to post-truth, which has been largely reduced to unflattering stereotypes of the public, and post-trust, by which the public see their national institutions as increasingly distant and ineffectual. The two comprise post-reality, by which confidence in the truth is weakened by distance from its source, a pervasive remoteness leads to a lack of accountability and indifference, and much scholarship and institutional practice is similarly prejudiced. A gross lack of proportion goes unnoticed in discourse that is innumerate, the more readily accepted by those (including many of those in public life) with a higher education that closes the mind to technical matters and thus to the seriousness of climate change. Regarding climate change inaction as an applied problem suggests a renewed emphasis on authentic public education and on activism outside the traditional ambit of scholarship.

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