Frog in a pot...
There's the old parable of the frog who let's him or herself get boiled to death as long as it happens incrementally, sort of like global warming.
The California Academy of Sciences blog highlights an NPR story that indicates that fewer and fewer Americans believe that climate change is occurring and that humans are causing the effect. The NPR story goes into the cognitive reasons why people don't believe. Which basically boils down to people believe what they want to believe. No surprise if you've worked in a corporate context.
I've written before that when engaging in debate, one has to ask the opposing side under what conditions would you change your mind, and if they are not able to offer any such conditions you are just wasting your time. Their minds have been made.
But assuming that most people are reasonable, one of the difficulties with climate change is that the change is so imperceptible to the human mind and the human lifetime. People can understand accidents and cataclysms, but slow transformation is hard to comprehend. Even slow personal change.
People don't become overweight instantly, it happens a few ounces at a time. But over the long haul one suddenly becomes "fat" but the individual meals and snacks (our human actions) don't seem to matter at the time of consumption. The diligence to stay thin, is lost over a long period of time and that's why it's so easy to become fat.
Our climate issue is very similar to our obesity issue, there is not one action that causes it, but unlike climate change it's visible so we can make some changes.