Here is an attempt in the Financial Times to answer this question. I accept all the possible reasons given, but for me they do not go deep enough.
(In passing, this article was published in 2017, but the gist is almost identical to the up to date FT article for which I was searching.) The main reason for the failure to recognize the seriousness of climate change (IMO) is the Tragedy of the Commons. Specifically, it only works if everybody, world-wide acts in unison. Any who do are at a disadvantage as compared with those who continue business as usual.
This plays out in all sorts of ways. If Australia stopped exporting coal, that would not save the Ecosphere (the World), it would simply cause the collapse of the Australian economy.
At the other extreme, so-called primitive tribes are simply continuing to do what their ancestors have done for millennia. It has always worked, so why stop now? The answer here is another aspect of the general ‘Tragedy’ – the exponential principle. For almost 200,000 years human populations have been expanding. There used to be plenty of room, but suddenly the World (The Ecosphere) has too many people, at least with the demand on resources by some of them.
These are only the most glaring of the (ignored) causes of the danger of climate breakdown.
The only answer I can envisage is governments world-wide setting the necessary infrastructure – simple enough, but apparently impossible in practice. I fear that there will be violence, but whether a sustainable Ecosphere emerges is by no means certain.
Oddly enough, democracy appear to be a problem. Electorates show no inclination whatsoever to elect governments which might co-operate to reverse, or even stop CO2 increase because no one votes for policies which offer less than we are used to.
Dictatorship might answer this problem, but again it would have to be universal. My weblog suggestion is a universal basic income, to allow whole populations to face some difficult choices without fear. This would require a philosophical shift away from economic growth as the norm.
Comments I receive tell me that my weblog is ‘not secure’ I need help with understanding what this means, and what I can do about it.