One important form of motivated reasoning in this context is confirmation bias, which is a well-established psychological pattern in which we evaluate new experiences and claims through our existing assumptions, preferences and convictions. We all tend to give greater weight to experiences and evidence that confirms what we already believe, rather than those things that disconfirm it, hence we all have a bias towards confirmation.
Particularly for those of us who are rich and comfortable (by global standards) or who hold a belief that we ought to be and/or can soon be, then we have a preference for things to stay as they are (more or less), or at least not to change too quickly. We don't want scientific results that imply doom and gloom to be true, particularly if they also imply our responsible for such outcomes and/or the possibility of mitigating the threat through modifying our habits and assumptions. We are likely to latch onto experiences and claims that help to confirm that preference and to pay less attention to experiences and claims that challenge it.
This is a moral temptation involving our perception of the world. If it is the case that gross injustices exist all around us, and that climate and ecological crises are very likely to contribute to exacerbating them in various ways, then we can be tempted to downplay the moral importance of this information. This might be by denying the science, by saying that we can't do anything about it, by saying that we should focus on a more narrowly defined set of moral concerns (e.g. purely national interest, or perhaps what is directly relevant for me and my family), by claiming that technology will rescue us from any bad consequences and so on. I would argue that part of Christian discipleship is learning to resist such temptations in order to keep having the horizon of our moral vision, to keep discovering that we are neighbours even to those who might not initially appear to be one of "us". The three groups I mentioned - the global poor, future generations and other species - each challenge us to expand the margins of our moral community, to discover neighbours we didn't realise we had. By focussing on what climate change and ecological degradation means and will mean for these groups, whose moral position is most devastatingly unfair, we can seek to foster a deeper and broader empathy and so nurture a richer moral imagination, capable of seeing more clearly the world through the eyes of others.
Asking "what's in it for me?" or "how am I threatened by climate change?" may, depending on one's ability and willingness to look carefully at the implications of the science, produce apathy, or fear and anxiety, or greed, opportunism and tokenism. But asking, "what are the implications for my neighbour, particularly those most vulnerable?" will lead in a very different direction, to a deep concern for others whose present and future flourishing is deeply dependent upon the choices we make yet whose ability to benefit us (at least in ways that generally enter into calculative reason of cost-benefit analyses) is severely limited.
Of course, it is possible that it is not as bad as all that, that the risk is less imminent than the science suggests, there we truly are impotent in the face of calamity, that a silver bullet (or silver buckshot) wonder technology (or suite of technologies and economic policies) will mean we can keep on going more or less as we are without challenging consumerism. But because we really *want* these things to be true, we ought to be especially suspicious of claims and experiences that encourage us to hold them, constantly testing whether we might be engaged in wishful thinking, motivated reasoning, confirmation bias. Instead, as Christians shaped by the knowledge that faithfulness means constant repentance (our daily bread is confession and reception of forgiveness as much as any wheat-based product), we ought to hold an epistemology that expects true knowledge of the world will frequently reveal us to be in the wrong and in need of repentance and forgiveness.
Of course, this is not an exhaustive account, and it is important to acknowledge that prior to fallenness comes divine blessing on human participation in naming and understanding a good world. I offer no council of epistemological despair or unending scepticism. The suspicion of which I speak serves a positive purpose in service of neighbour and represents a modulation of God's "yes" to the created order, not a displacement of it by a mistrustful "no".
Nonetheless, we walk in the path of one who warned that following him would mean denial of self and carrying a cross. Anything that suggests the path of faithfulness requires the defence of my material prosperity, ease and luxury needs to be double and triple checked. There is no route to resurrection that does not involve mortification.
I am therefore suspicious of pieces of "good news" that purport to minimise our responsibility or the gravity of our situation. Sometimes, they may well be true, but the good news is that following a crucified and risen Lord means being able to look at my and our failings honestly, confident in the knowledge that they are already forgiven, that I am already being empowered to walk a new path, one that is honest and life-giving.