Psychology of Change - video talk by Sophy Banks from the Transtion Network
In 2006 Sophy co-founded the “Heart and Soul” group of Transition Town Totnes, addressing the psychological and spiritual dimensions of Transition. Here she talks about the stages of coming to terms with climate change.
The Debunking Handbook
by John Cook and Stephan Lewandowsky
Debunking myths is problematic. Unless great care is taken, any effort to debunk misinformation can inadvertently reinforce the very myths one seeks to correct. To avoid these “backfire effects”, an effective debunking requires three major elements. First, the refutation must focus on core facts rather than the myth to avoid the misinformation becoming more familiar. Second, any mention of a myth should be preceded by explicit warnings to notify the reader that the upcoming information is false. Finally, the refutation should include an alternative explanation that accounts for important qualities in the original misinformation.
How does a national climate change campaign reach beyond the concerned minority to a broader, more diverse sector of the British public?
A New Agenda on Climate Change:
Facing Up to Stealth Denial and Winding Down on Fossil Fuels
This report makes a case for how Britain can take a leading role in addressing the global climate problem, based on a new agenda that faces up to pervasive ‘stealth denial’ and the need to focus on keeping fossil fuels in the ground.
The report argues that we should focus less on those who question the scientific consensus as if they were the principal barrier to meaningful action. Those who deny the reality of anthropogenic climate change are not at all helpful, but at least they are consistent. One corollary of facing up to stealth denial is that we should turn more of our attention instead to mobilising those who, like the author of this report, fully accept the moral imperative to act, but continue to live as though it were not there.
The psychological and emotional impacts of climate change have not been widely understood or discussed outside academic circles, but that’s beginning to change. The American Psychological Association and ecoAmerica have reviewed the literature on the psychological aspects of climate change impacts, releasing their findings in a publicly available report addressing mental, physical and community well-being. Among other things, it finds climate change impacts on communities could lead to a break down in social fabric, especially for communities burdened with the legacy of racism and poverty. But at the same time, “focusing on community-level capacities may also be the most efficient and effective way to build the resilience necessary for individuals and communities to successfully prepare for and cope with the potential psychological impacts of climate change.”
Common Cause: The case for working with our cultural values (2010)
by Tom Compton, Change Strategist at WWF-UK
Simplified, the work presented here on values points to a distinction between two broad classes of value: intrinsic or self-transcendent values, and extrinsic or self enhancing values.
Intrinsic values include the value placed on a sense of community, affiliation to friends and family, and self-development. Extrinsic values, on the other hand, are values that are contingent upon the perceptions of others – they relate to envy of ‘higher’ social strata, admiration of material wealth, or power.
Why do members of the public disagree—sharply and persistently—about facts on which expert scientists largely agree? We designed a study to test a distinctive explanation: the cultural cognition of scientific consensus. The “cultural cognition of risk” refers to the tendency of individuals to form risk perceptions that are congenial to their values.
Cool dudes: The denial of climate change among conservative white males in the United States.
Aaron M. McCright & Riley E. Dunlap
A Report of the American Psychological Association Task Force on the Interface Between Psychology & Global Climate Change
Psychology and Global ClimateChange: Addressing a Multi-faceted Phenomenon and Set of Challenges
ClimateDenial.org - George Marshall's blog explores the topic of the psychology of climate change denial - with observations and anecdotes about our weird and disturbed response to the problem.
COIN is a ‘think and do’ tank focused on connecting people to climate change and climate change to people.
Communicates, connect and catalyse action on climate change through three major areas of work.
Yale Project on Climate Change Communication: Bridging Science and Society.
- Conducts research on public climate knowledge, risk perceptions, decision-making and behavior;
- Designs and tests new strategies to engage the public in climate science and solutions;
- Empowers educators and communicators with the knowledge and tools to more effectively engage their audiences.
George Monbiot's blog on climate change
Glenn Albrecht is professor of sustainability at Murdoch University in Perth, Western Australia.
Climate Outreach and Information Network - COIN - a ‘think and do’ tank focused on connecting people to climate change and climate change to people
Marshall Ganz Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard University. Online courses - Leadership, Organizing and Action: Leading Change
Public Conversation Project: prevents and transforms conflicts driven by deep differences in identity, beliefs, or values.