What We Think About When We Try Not to Think About Global Warming

Thursday, May 7, 2015 - 11:00am - 12:15pm

Please join us for a TeleSeminar with psychologist and economist Per Espen Stoknes, author of this new book, What We Think About When We Try Not to Think About Global Warming.

There are five main psychological barriers to climate action —the five D’s Per Espen Stoknes calls them—that keep us from acknowledging the need for change: We distance ourselves from the climate issue; we avoid doom and sacrifice messengers; we experience cognitive dissonance; we get rid of fear and guilt through denial mechanisms; and, automatically resist criticisms of identity, job, and lifestyle. We need to retell the story of climate change and, at the same time, create positive, meaningful actions that can be supported even by deniers.

This event will be rich in story and examples, as Stoknes reviews recent psychological research and explores emerging strategies for how to overcome this ‘psychological climate change paradox’. A more compassionate climate communication can now rely on approaches that employ the power of social networks, reframing, nudging, storytelling and better climate response indicators. Also, the acknowledgement of grief, helplessness and despair, as well as reconnecting with an intimate and personal experience, can be a deep source of motivation for a grounded hope. Stoknes seeks to answer the fundamental questions: Is humanity up to the task?

His book, by the same title: What We Think About When We Try Not to Think About Global Warming, will be of interest to people working on the front lines of the climate issue, people trying to make policy or educate the public, or just an average person trying to make sense of the cognitive dissonance or grapple with frustration over this looming issue. 


Speaker Bio: 

Per Espen Stoknes is a psychologist and an economist. An entrepreneur, he has cofounded clean-energy companies, and he spearheads the BI Norwegian Business School’s executive program on green growth. He has previously worked both as a clinical and organizational psychologist and as an advisor in scenario planning to a wide range of major national and international businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit institutions. His research interests include climate and environmental strategies, economic psychology, and energy systems. Teaching areas include green growth, foresight and corporate strategy, behavioral economics and expressive arts. He has written three books, including Money and Soul. He lives in Oslo, Norway.


This TeleSeminar is in partnership with our friends at Chelsea Green Publishing

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