The psychology of climate change

We must be careful to overdo the doom and gloom of climate change – as it tends to switch people off:

Eco-anxiety: between doom and denial

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A Radio 4 series has just finished today looking at the psychology of climate change:

 

1: We’re doomed!

Many feel that climate change will destroy the world’s economy, flood cities, cause mass migrations and even cause regional wars, but why is it so difficult for so many of us to engage with it?

In this three-part series Timothy Morton, dubbed ‘philosopher prophet of the Anthropocene’, rethinks our psychological relationship with the climate crisis, and our place in the biosphere.

Morton cuts an unusual figure, an English literature scholar teaching in a Texas university who spends almost as much time in art galleries and performances as he does writing. He draws on Heidegger and pet cats, William Blake and garden centres, psychoanalysis and collaborations with artists and musicians such as Olafur Eliasson and Bjørk…

The End of the World Has Already Happened – part one | bbc.co.uk

File:Hurricane Helene 18 sept 2006.jpg – Wikimedia Commons

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2: The Hurricane In Your Cereal Bowl

Writer and philosopher Timothy Morton continues to share his ideas about our psychological relationship with global warming. Why can it be so difficult for many of us to engage with it? How could we cope better with our feelings about what’s happening so we can get on with something better for our planet?

In this second episode, Morton introduces his concept of hyperobjects – entities like mass extinction, global warming and hurricanes which are ‘things’, but so massively distributed in time and space that it’s hard to point to them – they can feel like abstractions but are ferociously, catastrophically real.

Morton channels William Blake in a railway tunnel and visits a garden centre to begin to uncover our innate ‘X-Men superpowers’ that we might scale up to planet-level action…

The End of the World Has Already Happened – part two | bbc.co.uk

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3: Cue The Sinister Music

Writer and philosopher Timothy Morton continues to share his ideas about our psychological relationship with global warming. How could we cope better with our feelings about what’s happening, so we can get on with something better for our planet?

In this final episode, he finds sources of hope for the future.

There are no solutions to the climate crisis in this programme. But by opening up different ways of relating to other humans, and non-humans, might we then find it easier to act?

The End of the World Has Already Happened – part three | bbc.co.uk

   
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