Our Polluted Heart: How Our Inner Darkness Hinders Climate Action


The climate crisis is perhaps the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced. The fate of our planet is sliding out of our hands, and yet we seem unable to rise to the occasion and take the necessary steps to address this crisis. Why is this? One reason may be the evil that resides within us.


What Do We Mean by “Evil”?

When we talk about evil, we are not necessarily referring to the traditional religious concept of a demonic force or being. Rather, we are talking about the negative aspects of human nature that can lead us to harm others or ourselves or to act in ways that are destructive or self-destructive. These negative traits can include greed, selfishness, hatred, and a lack of empathy or concern for others.

These traits are not only in relationship to other people, they are also towards ourselves. We are primarily linear thinkers. When we evaluate a decision we normally rely on our in-the-moment actions & consequences to make our decision. Rather than thinking of the long-term consequences of making “one too many” short-term decisions.

– An “innocent” lie turns into a habit of lying & ultimately you start lying to yourself.

– Spoiling yourself with a snack when you “feel like it” turns into a ‘snack time’ routine & ultimately costs you your health.

– Looking at your phone while driving. No issue right, you got this? Until you kill someone or yourself.

– Taking the easy option leads to avoiding the struggle of doing something difficult & which leads to an unfulfilling life because “A life worth living comes from doing something worthy” but nothing worthwhile comes from staying in your comfort zone.

You get the point, right?

The underlying issue here is short-term thinking and feeling entitled, which are aspects of an unhealthy ego. The evil with us is literally what sabotages us from being the best version of ourselves. Which we all want to be right? The best version we can be for ourselves & those we love.


How The Evil  Within Us Affects Climate Action

One of the main reasons we have been unable to address the climate crisis effectively is that many of the actions we need to take involve sacrificing short-term benefits for the long-term good. For example, transitioning away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy sources may be more expensive in the short term, but it is necessary for the long-term health of our planet. However, our tendency towards greed and self-interest can make it difficult for us to make these sacrifices. We may be more inclined to prioritize our own financial gain over the well-being of future generations and the planet as a whole.

Our lack of empathy and concern for others can also hinder climate action. Many of the people who are most affected by the consequences of climate change – such as those living in low-lying areas that are at risk of flooding, or those in developing countries that are more vulnerable to the impacts of extreme weather events – are not the ones who are primarily responsible for causing the problem. This can make it easier for those of us who are less directly affected to turn a blind eye to the suffering of others and the severity of the crisis.


The Role of Power and Privilege

Power and privilege can also play a role in our inability to address the climate crisis. Those who hold positions of power – whether that be political, economic, or social power – may be more resistant to change because they have more to lose. They may be more inclined to protect their own interests and maintain the status quo, even if it means ignoring the needs and well-being of others.

Furthermore, those who hold privilege – whether that be due to their race, gender, class, or other factors – may be less likely to see the urgency of the climate crisis because they are less likely to be directly affected by its consequences. This privilege can also make it easier for them to ignore the voices and perspectives of those who are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.


Overcoming Evil

So, how can we overcome the evil within us and take the necessary steps to address the climate crisis? One way is through education and awareness-raising. By understanding the root causes of our negative traits and how they can harm others, we can begin to shift our behaviors and attitudes.

We can also work to create systems and structures that encourage and reward positive behavior and discourage negative behavior. This can include policies and regulations that incentivize sustainable practices, as well as social and cultural norms that value compassion and concern for others.

Finally, we can strive to cultivate empathy and compassion within ourselves and our communities. This can involve practices such as mindfulness, meditation, and volunteering or engage with others in meaningful ways. By building connections with others and understanding their experiences and perspectives, we can become more compassionate and empathetic individuals, and this can in turn help us to make better decisions that consider the well-being of others and the planet as a whole.



The evil within us – our negative traits and tendencies – can be a major barrier to addressing the climate crisis. By recognizing and working to overcome these tendencies, and by creating systems and structures that encourage positive behavior, we can begin to move forward and take the necessary steps to protect our planet and ensure a better future for all. It will not be easy, but it is a challenge that we must take on if we hope to leave a habitable planet for future generations.



The line separating good and evil crosses down every human heart.



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1. “The Psychology of Climate Change Communication: A Guide for Scientists, Journalists, Educators, Political Aides, and the Interested Public” by John T. Cacioppo, Stephen R. Schneider, and Dorceta E. Taylor: This book discusses the psychological barriers to climate change communication and action, including the role of values, beliefs, and emotions in shaping attitudes and behaviors related to climate change.

2. “Why We’re Stuck on Climate Change” by Per Espen Stoknes: This article discusses the psychological and cultural barriers that have contributed to our inability to effectively address the climate crisis, including the role of denial, limited thinking, and short-termism.

3. “The Empathy Deficit and the Climate Crisis” by Kristin Shrader-Frechette: This article discusses the importance of empathy in addressing the climate crisis and argues that a lack of empathy is one of the main barriers to effective action on climate change. The author suggests that cultivating empathy and compassion can help us to make better decisions that consider the well-being of others and the planet.