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Psychology and Climate Change: Collective Solutions to a Global Problem

Uzzell, David (2010) Psychology and Climate Change: Collective Solutions to a Global Problem In: Joint British Academy/British Psychological Society Annual Lecture 2010, 2010-09-23 - 2010-09-23, Royal Society, London.

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A year ago, it was possible to claim that climate change is no longer a contested issue: what is contested is what we can do about it. The limited success of COP15 (Copenhagen marketed itself as ‘Hopenhagen’) and the rise in public scepticism about both the evidence in support of climate change and the role of humans in causing it has the potential to undo all the advances made over the last decade to raise the public’s level of concern so that they engage in more sustainable lifestyles. While technological fixes and financial instruments have an important part to play, their effectiveness is usually mediated by the way the public understands, interprets, engages with or responds to such actions. Moreover, these strategies alone will not suffice: changing the public’s social, economic and environmental behaviours and everyday practices is also essential. Already psychology is making a significant contribution to this work – whether it is devising mitigation and adaptation strategies and interventions, gathering of evidence about the potential and actual effectiveness of policies and practical actions, or challenging common or taken for granted ways of thinking about these issues. This Joint British Academy/British Psychological Society Annual Lecture will examine some of the exciting and influential work being undertaken by psychologists. While encouraging individuals to change their attitudes and behaviours is clearly important, we know that climate change is a collective problem requiring collective solutions. Considerable emphasis will be placed in this lecture on the role and importance of social context, collective action and community cooperation. How have people come to lead unsustainable lifestyles through developments of changes in the wider society? How can community initiatives be made more effective? What can we learn from the international trade union movement which is working across the North-South divide to link environmental measures with social justice?

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Conference Paper)
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
Date : 23 September 2010
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 28 Jul 2017 16:29
Last Modified : 06 Jul 2019 05:12

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