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Introducing Climate Psychology: facing the climate crisis
Introducing Climate Psychology: facing the climate crisis

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Week 3: Engaging with the climate and ecological crisis: denialism and other challenges


This week will focus on the many manifestations of climate denial, individual and social, and the way these interact. Climate Psychology explains the splitting of thoughts and feelings in the way that climate disavowal can work. You will see how these are mirrored at the level of wider society. You will also look into social interactions, greenwashing and the role of technology in encouraging us to act as if nothing catastrophic will happen; that action is sufficient, that technology can solve everything. A central theme in the discussion is to question the way responsibility to change behaviour is put on individual consumers. The idea of climate change as a ‘hyperobject’ is introduced as an approach that does not draw on depth psychology to explain the difficulty of getting to grips with climate change.

This week you will:

  • understand why there has not been a concerted attempt to tackle greenhouse gas emissions
  • learn about the concept of unconscious defences such as denial and their use by fossil fuel interests
  • revisit the idea of individual responsibility
  • learn about the practice of greenwashing
  • find out how technological solutions play into our defences
  • learn about the idea of climate change as a hyperobject.