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Action on climate change

What can psychology do about climate change? Find out in these articles from our pages.

09 October 2019

A collection of our recent articles and discussion around the role of psychology and psychologists in tackling climate change.

'Almost every area of psychology has something to contribute to addressing climate change'
Professor Lorraine Whitmarsh on psychology's role in tackling climate change.

'Psychology can explain so much of what we can do on climate action'
We hear from Jan Maskell.

'The environmental crisis is also a crisis of hope'
Elin Kelsey introduces key arguments from her book 'Hope Matters: Why Changing the Way we Think is Critical to Solving the Environmental Crisis'.

Embracing climate related emotions
Jasmine Kieft on becoming emotionally resilient in a time of climate crisis.

The age of anxiety

Yawning at the apocalypse
Cameron Brick and Sander van der Linden.

Fiddling while Rome burns?
John Raven and Mallory Wober each respond, with further response from Brick and van der Linden.

The shift to sustainable diets
Richard Carmichael on how food policy can help us reach climate goals.

Climate change – is psychology up to the challenge?
Frederick Toates.

Taking action on climate change and environmental degradation
Maya Gimalova and Martin Milton.

From bemoaning our fate to positive action
Dr Michele Hipwell.

Opportunity and hope around meaningful change
Ella Rhodes reports.

The age of anxiety
Martin Milton reports.

'I took my turn on Friday to be arrested'
Dr Rosie Jones considers peaceful protests, the law and the Health and Care Professions Council: what are the lessons for psychologists? Questions from Roger Paxton, Chair of the British Psychological Society's Ethics Committee. See also 'Climate activism among members'.

The inextricable connection between the human and the non-human
Anthropocene Psychology by Matthew Adams, reviewed by Tony Wainwright.

The limits of our action
Rose Kent.

A blind spot for the climate crisis?
Matthew Adams.

Resilience through rebellion
Sabine Topf reviews This is not a drill: An Extinction Rebellion handbook. 

Fly or die in academia?
Conference report on academic flying.

What to read… if you care about climate change
Recommendations from Sally Weintrobe.

Investing ethically
Mark Burton, Carolyn Kagan, Francis Vergunst - long-term advocates of divestment in terms of the Society's investment policy - welcome BPS news. 

On the global stage
Jon Sutton reports from a BPS-organised symposium at the European Congress of Psychology in Moscow.

'Critical force for collective action'
In a feature from our Research Digest blog, Emma Young considers Greta Thunberg and activism. More from Emma on collective action here.

A focus on environmental change in student projects

Responding to the climate crisis - Samuel Finnerty and opportunities and challenges around activism, for ECRs and more

Why the climate crisis and ecological emergency concerns us, and what we can do - Charlotte Rae

Towards a 'liveable future' with psychology

'A psychologist can now serve the entire world'

No mental health without planetary health

Will we be bystanders? XR Psychologists write.


A few pieces from the Research Digest:

Climate change appeals may be more effective when they're pessimistic
Thinking about past generations could help
Young people report high levels of climate anxiety
Climate change sceptic films more influential than advocacy films
Dead plants encourage belief in global warming
Apocalyptic climate change warnings can be counter-productive
Finally, a clear guide to the most effective actions you can take to curb climate change
Despite anxiety about Covid-19, climate change remains a key concern in the UK


Has much really changed since our coverage a decade ago? 

Climate change – psychology's contribution
Alexa Spence, Nick Pidgeon and David Uzzell consider psychology's role in debating, combating and adapting to climate change. 

Collective solutions to a global problem
David Uzzell delivered the joint British Academy/British Psychological Society Annual Lecture, on psychology and climate change.

Climate change – warming to the task
Matthew C. Davis and Rose Challenger argue that it's time for psychology to lead the way in greening individuals' behaviours, especially in the workplace

Find more right across the BPS website.

Illustration: Tim Sanders