Climate Psychology investigates the psycho-social phenomenon which is society's failure to respond to climate change. It analyses the non-rational dimensions of our collective paralysis in the face of worsening climate change and environmental destruction, exploring the emotional, ethical, social, organizational and cultural dynamics to blame for this global lack of action.
Climate Psychology features eleven research projects from four different countries and is divided in two parts, the first highlighting novel methodologies, the second presenting new findings. Contributors to the first part show how a 'deep listening' approach to research can reveal the anxieties, tensions, contradictions, frames and narratives that contribute to people's experiences, and the many ways climate change and other environmental risks are imagined through metaphor, imagery and dreams.
Using detailed interview extracts drawn from politicians, scientists and activists as well as ordinary people, the second part of Climate Psychology examines the many different ways in which we both avoid and square up to this gathering disaster, and the many faces of alarm, outrage, denial and indifference this involves.
Chapter 1: Introduction; Paul Hoggett
Part I: Mostly Methods
Chapter 2: New Methods for Investigating New Dangers; Renee Lertzman
Chapter 3: Children & Climate Change: Exploring Children's Feelings about Climate Change using Free Association Narrative Interview Methodology; Caroline Hickman
Chapter 4: An Integrative Methodology for Investigating Lived Experience and the Psychosocial Factors Influencing Environmental Cognition and Behaviour; Nadine Andrews
Chapter 5: Emotional Work as a Necessity: A Psychosocial Analysis of Low-Carbon Energy Collaboration Stories; Rosie Robison
Chapter 6: Climate Change, Social Dreaming and Art: Thinking the Unthinkable; Julian Manley & Wendy Hollway
Chapter 7: Researching Climate Engagement: Collaborative Conversations and Consciousness Change; Sally Gillespie
Part II: Mostly Findings
Chapter 8: Emotions, Reflexivity and the Long Haul: What we do About how we Feel About Climate Change; Jo Hamilton
Chapter 9: Leading with Nature in Mind; Rembrandt Zegers
Chapter 10: Attitudes to Climate Change in some English Local Authorities: Varying Sense of Agency in Denial and Hope; Gill Westcott
Chapter 11:We Have to Talk About....Climate Change; Robert Tollemache
Chapter 12: Engaging with Climate Change: Comparing the Cultures of Science and Activism; Ro Randall & Paul Hoggett
Chapter 13: Conclusion; Paul Hoggett
Paul Hoggett is Emeritus Professor of Social Policy at the University of West England, UK. Paul is the co-founder of the Climate Psychology Alliance, is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist and has worked as a group relations consultant over many years.
"The psychology of climate change is a long-neglected, yet vital, subject of study. This book brings together the most important thinkers and reports some of their most fascinating and, let's be honest, frightening conclusions. Sure to have a major impact, it goes a long way towards answering the most important question of our age: What explains our collective paralysis in the face of such an enormous threat to our future?"
– Clive Hamilton, Professor of Public Ethics at Charles Sturt University in Canberra and author of Requiem for a Species: Why We Resist the Truth About Climate Change
"A valuable and timely addition to climate psychology, a newly emerging field whose subject is how people are relating to climate change. The authors use qualitative research methods to explore people's conscious – and not so conscious – feelings about climate change, with groups studied fascinatingly including climate scientists, activists and also children. I believe reading these papers helps us understand some of our own mixed and varied feelings about climate change. Paul Hoggett, in his introduction, usefully summarises the psycho-social approach taken by the authors and he clarifies differences in the qualitative research models they have developed and applied. The authors share in common a deep interest in peoples' subjective experience and a deep sympathy for the difficulty in facing climate change. A thoroughly good read, accessible and highly recommended."
– Sally Weintrobe, psychoanalyst, climate psychologist and editor of Engaging with Climate Change (2013)