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The long-term negative outcome (dramatic changes in the climate) is far away in the future. The individual benefits are occurring right now (such as driving to work alone in one’s own car). Thus making it difficult to see how many costs there really are.

Similarly, short-term costs of a behaviour lead individuals to avoid performing it, and this may prevent the long term benefits that would have occurred if the behaviours had been performed. For instance, cooking at home has short-term time and energy costs, but at least you avoid the long-term monetary and health costs associated with eating outside.

It is easy to assume that you won’t live long enough to witness the end of the world.

It is easy to assume that you live only once, making it acceptable to go all out while you still can.

But is it right to assume and do whatever you want in your time and leave nothing for the future?