What We Think About When We Try Not to Think About Global Warming: Toward a New Psychology of Climate Action

Per Espen Stoknes. Chelsea Green, $24.95 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-60358-583-5
Stoknes (Money and Soul), a Norwegian psychologist and economist, addresses the polarized American debate over anthropogenic climate change, observing how it has devolved into “a deteriorating and desperate spiral.” In this earnest and well-organized volume, he introduces a new aspect to the discussion, focusing not on the phenomenon’s causes or consequences, but people’s responses to it, including how they think, what they do, and how they live in the world. Stoknes puts a cognitive-psychological spin on the matter at hand and differentiates among climate “skeptics,” “contrarians,” and “deniers,” distinguishing active and passive forms of denial. He also looks at evolutionary self-interest and the ways in which people can use social networks to further their goals. People like to believe their actions matter, he notes, and a solution is more likely to be implemented “when people want it, like it, love it,” not when they are guilted or shamed into it. The more people “see happy others conserve energy... the more they are inclined to support ambitious climate policies on local, state, and national levels.” Framing the argument in this manner, Stoknes effectively combines talk of social psychology with environmental activism. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/09/2015
Release date: 04/01/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-60358-584-2
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