People are surprisingly resilient, adaptable creatures. And this is what can destroy us, climatologists believe. Despite the obvious and large-scale changes taking place with the Earth's climate, most people are not horrified, but begin to accustom themselves to the idea that this is now the new "norm". "This is the real frog effect in boiling water, " says climate expert Francis S. Moore of the University of California, Davis.
If a frog is thrown into boiling water, from fear and pain it can make an unprecedented jump and escape. But if you put a frog in cold water and slowly heat it up, the amphibian will be boiled alive without even realizing what is happening. Between March 2014 and November 2016, Moore's team collected over two billion geotagged tweets about the weather and people's reactions to it. And compared it with the data for the period 1980-2000.
It turned out that people almost always reacted to the "wrong weather", such as frost in the summer or abnormally warm winter. But they are constantly confused in assessing how much colder or warmer it has become than before, and do not have clear guidelines on what to count as heat or frost, when there is simply a lot of precipitation or a catastrophe has already begun. And they almost never use such information when planning their life activities.
This property of behaving like a "frog in boiling water" is inherent not only to individuals, but also to organizations, groups of specialists, and governments. Humanity reacts with all its strength and capabilities only to extreme events, and prefers to close its eyes to small but permanent and irreversible deterioration of climatic conditions. But the level of danger is already so high that soon "normal" weather will simply not be there, we will have to constantly live under stress. Maybe then an epiphany will come?