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Book Summary
Duncan Noble
July 2016
Book Summary
2
 The Climate Paradox: Knowing more; Doing less
 Thinking: The 5 Psychological Barriers to Climate
Action
...
The Climate Paradox
3 What We Think About When We Try Not
To Think About Global Warming
 We know that climate
science fac...
5 Psychological Barriers to Climate Action
4 What We Think About When We Try Not
To Think About Global Warming
Distance
What We Think About When We Try Not
To Think About Global Warming
5
 The climate issue remains remote for the ma...
What We Think About When We Try Not
To Think About Global Warming
6
Image: Wikimedia
What We Think About When We Try Not
To Think About Global Warming
7
 When climate change is framed as an
encroaching disa...
Dissonance
What We Think About When We Try Not
To Think About Global Warming
8
 If what we know (e.g., our fossil energy ...
Denial
What We Think About When We Try Not
To Think About Global Warming
9
 When we negate, ignore, or otherwise avoid
ac...
iDentity
What We Think About When We Try Not
To Think About Global Warming
10
 We filter news through our professional an...
Overcoming Barriers to Climate Action
11 What We Think About When We Try Not
To Think About Global Warming
Principles for New Climate Strategies
What We Think About When We Try Not
To Think About Global Warming
12
 Upending the ...
Crafting Climate Messages that Work
13
1. Harness The Power of Social Networks
2. Reframe Climate Messages
3. Make it Simp...
Use the Power of Social Networks
What We Think About When We Try Not
To Think About Global Warming
14
 Use social norms t...
15
What We Think About When We Try Not
To Think About Global Warming
16
Use Positive Climate Framing
What We Think About When We Try Not
To Think About Global Warming
17
 Insurance against risk...
What We Think About
When We Try Not To
18
Make the Low Carbon Choice Simple
What We Think About When We Try Not
To Think About Global Warming
19
 Use Green Nudges ...
The Most Famous Nudge?
What We Think About When We Try Not
To Think About Global Warming
20
Individual Actions and Systemic Change
What We Think About When We Try Not
To Think About Global Warming
21
 Like all sim...
Use the Power of Better Climate Stories
22
 Avoid apocalypse narratives, and instead tell stories
about:
 Green growth
...
Better Climate Stories
23
"We [should] tell new
stories of the dream,
not the nightmares.
We must describe
where we want t...
Better Climate Stories
What We Think About When We Try Not
To Think About Global Warming
24
New Signals/Indicators of Progress
What We Think About When We Try Not
To Think About Global Warming
25
To support new sto...
What We Think About When We Try Not
To Think About Global Warming
26
Towards a New Way of Being
What We Think About When We Try Not
To Think About Global Warming
27
Embracing Your Depression
What We Think About When We Try Not
To Think About Global Warming
28
It is the destruction of th...
Climate Disruption as Symptom: What Is It
Trying to Tell Us?
What We Think About When We Try Not
To Think About Global War...
Re-Imagining Climate as the Living Air
What We Think About When We Try Not
To Think About Global Warming
30
 The Air’s Po...
Rewilding of Ecosystems and Humans
What We Think About When We Try Not
To Think About Global Warming
31
Towards a New Way of Being
What We Think About When We Try Not
To Think About Global Warming
32
 There are too many good ...
It’s Hopeless and I’ll Give It My All
What We Think About When We Try Not
To Think About Global Warming
33
 Varieties of ...
Chris Hedges on Revolution
What We Think About When We Try Not
To Think About Global Warming
34
I do not know if we can bu...
Summing Up
35
 Grounded in the way that people actually think and
behave
 Makes a lot of sense
 Final section on “Being...
Contact Information
What We Think About When We Try Not
To Think About Global Warming
36
 Duncan Noble
 d.noble@outlook....
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What we think about when we try not to think about global warming

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Book Summary of "What we think about when we try not to think about global warming" by Per Espen Stocknes

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What we think about when we try not to think about global warming

  1. 1. Book Summary Duncan Noble July 2016
  2. 2. Book Summary 2  The Climate Paradox: Knowing more; Doing less  Thinking: The 5 Psychological Barriers to Climate Action  Doing: If it Doesn’t Work, Do Something Else  Being: Towards a New Way of Being  Summing Up What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming
  3. 3. The Climate Paradox 3 What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming  We know that climate science facts are getting more solidly documented and disturbing year by year  We also know that most people either don’t believe in or do not act upon those facts  The greatest science communication failure in history: The more facts, the less concern
  4. 4. 5 Psychological Barriers to Climate Action 4 What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming
  5. 5. Distance What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming 5  The climate issue remains remote for the majority of us  We can’t see climate change  Melting glaciers are usually far away, as are the spots on earth now experiencing sea level rise, more severe floods, droughts, fires, and other climate disruptions  It may hit foreign others, not me or my kin  The heaviest impacts are far off in time – in the coming century or farther  Despite some people stating that global warming is here now, it still feels distant from everyday concerns.
  6. 6. What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming 6 Image: Wikimedia
  7. 7. What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming 7  When climate change is framed as an encroaching disaster that can only be addressed by loss, cost, and sacrifice, it creates a wish to avoid the topic  We’re predictably averse to losses  With a lack of practical solutions, helplessness grows and the fear message backfires  We’ve heard that “the end is nigh” so many Doom Image: Brownsburg Public Library
  8. 8. Dissonance What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming 8  If what we know (e.g., our fossil energy use contributes to global warming), conflicts with what we do (drive, fly, eat beef, or heat with fossil fuels), then dissonance sets in  The same happens if my attitudes conflict with those of people important to me  In both cases, the lack of convenient behaviors and social support weaken climate attitudes over time  But by doubting or downplaying what we know (the facts), we can feel better about how we live  Thus, actual behavior and social relations determine attitudes in the long run
  9. 9. Denial What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming 9  When we negate, ignore, or otherwise avoid acknowledging the unsettling facts about climate change, we find refuge from fear and guilt  By joining outspoken denialism and mockery, we can get back at those whom we feel criticize our lifestyles, think they know better, and try to tell us how to live  Denial is based in self-defence, not ignorance, intelligence, or lack of information  Example: Read the comments section of any article about climate change
  10. 10. iDentity What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming 10  We filter news through our professional and cultural identity  We look for information that confirms our existing values and notions, and filter away what challenges them  If people who hold conservative values, for instance, hear from a liberal that the climate is changing, they are less likely to believe the message  Cultural identity overrides the facts  If new information requires us to change our selves, then the information is likely to lose  We experience resistance to calls for change in self- identity
  11. 11. Overcoming Barriers to Climate Action 11 What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming
  12. 12. Principles for New Climate Strategies What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming 12  Upending the Barriers  Make the issue feel near, human, personal, and urgent  Use supportive framings that do not backfire by creating negative feelings  Reduce dissonance by providing opportunities for consistent and visible action.  Avoid triggering the emotional need for denial through fear, guilt, self-protection  Reduce cultural and political polarization on the issue  Sticking to Positive Strategies  Acting as Social Citizens
  13. 13. Crafting Climate Messages that Work 13 1. Harness The Power of Social Networks 2. Reframe Climate Messages 3. Make it Simple to Choose Right (Nudges) 4. Use the Power of Stories to Re-Story Climate 5. Create New Signals of Progress What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming
  14. 14. Use the Power of Social Networks What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming 14  Use social norms to motivate others  Reduce power and water consumption  Spread social norms through green products and services (rooftop solar, eco-apps)  Improve recycling efforts  Use groups and word of mouth from trusted peer messengers  Clarify the scientific consensus  Join Earth Hour and similar initiatives  Set up home parties; solar panel buying clubs; local-patriotism climate conversations  Introduce the topic of climate in existing networks (churches, clubs, sports, and the like)  Join Carbon Conversations and Transition Town efforts  Set up funding for social network climate initiatives.
  15. 15. 15
  16. 16. What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming 16
  17. 17. Use Positive Climate Framing What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming 17  Insurance against risk  Health and well-being  Preparedness and resilience  Values and a common cause  Opportunities for innovation and job growth
  18. 18. What We Think About When We Try Not To 18
  19. 19. Make the Low Carbon Choice Simple What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming 19  Use Green Nudges to Make It Simpler to Act  Make life-cycle costs salient on all appliance price tags  Make smaller plates in restaurant buffets the default  Make non-meat special dishes a restaurant’s default  Make double-sided printing the default  Include voluntary CO2 price fees in plane tickets as the default  Increase the frequency and speed of buses and biking while reducing car parking and access to city centers  Bundle home re-insulation with attic cleaning and renovation  Make recycling fun with painted green steps, big-belly bins, and the like  Host local free pizza parties as a reward for community energy conservation
  20. 20. The Most Famous Nudge? What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming 20
  21. 21. Individual Actions and Systemic Change What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming 21  Like all simple and painless behavioral changes, the value of simple behavior changes like reusing shopping bags hangs on whether they can act as a catalyst for other, more impactful activities – such as truly green purchases and more vocal support for greener policies.  Individual solutions are insufficient or even counterproductive unless they contribute to structural changes, too.
  22. 22. Use the Power of Better Climate Stories 22  Avoid apocalypse narratives, and instead tell stories about:  Green growth  Happiness and the good life  Stewardship and ethics  Re-wilding and ecological restoration  When telling stories, make them:  Personal and concrete  Vivid and extraordinary  Visual: “Show, don’t Tell”  Humorous and witty, with strong plot and drama What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming
  23. 23. Better Climate Stories 23 "We [should] tell new stories of the dream, not the nightmares. We must describe where we want to go, such as happier lives, and better cities.” What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming Image: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope
  24. 24. Better Climate Stories What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming 24
  25. 25. New Signals/Indicators of Progress What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming 25 To support new stories, we need new indicators to see and give feedback on progress:  Greenhouse emissions per value added (green growth story)  Happiness, well-being, and integrated wealth (vision story)  Kantian ethics planetary boundaries (ethical story)  Ecosystem health and nature index (re-wilding story)
  26. 26. What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming 26
  27. 27. Towards a New Way of Being What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming 27
  28. 28. Embracing Your Depression What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming 28 It is the destruction of the world in our own lives that drives us half insane, and more than half. To destroy that which we were given in trust: how will we bear it? . . . To have lost, wantonly, the ancient forests, the vast grasslands is our madness, the presence in our very bodies of our grief. Wendell Berry, A Timbered Choir
  29. 29. Climate Disruption as Symptom: What Is It Trying to Tell Us? What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming 29  A Symptom Is Not Just a Problem to Be Fixed  It can also have a deeper symbolic meaning  What Climate Symptoms Say About Our Worldview  Humans vs. Nature/Environment  Humans fully Immersed in Nature  What Climate Symptoms Say About Our Values  Values explain What we care about and Why  We all have Egoistic, Altruistic and Biospheric Values in difference mixes  Understanding the Limitations of Science and Psychology  Moving from the mirror to the window
  30. 30. Re-Imagining Climate as the Living Air What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming 30  The Air’s Poiesis: It Is Actively Bringing-into- Being  Poiesis: Knowing by Creating  Air and Psyche: We’re Inside Air’s Awareness  Historic Roots to a Sense of the Living Air  Indigenous Traditions and the Holy Wind  Reframing air as something enchanted, beautiful, and sacred
  31. 31. Rewilding of Ecosystems and Humans What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming 31
  32. 32. Towards a New Way of Being What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming 32  There are too many good reasons why we humans resist the many sad facts of climate disruption, the "global weirding." It finally boils down to the question Why bother? That one question reveals a simple fact: The most fundamental obstacles to averting dangerous climate disruption are not mainly physical or technological or even institutional – they have to do with how we align our thinking and doing with our being. This missing alignment shows clearly in the current lack of courage, determination, and imagination to carry through the necessary actions to combat climate disruption. But these human capacities are, luckily, as renewable as the wind and the sunshine. Humans will act for the long-term when conducive conditions are in place.  Therefore, all climate communicators need to assist building the necessary social norms, supportive frames, simple actions, new stories, and better signals.
  33. 33. It’s Hopeless and I’ll Give It My All What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming 33  Varieties of Hope  Passive Optimism: things will turn out well  Active Optimism: Heroic – Yes we can! Just do it!  Beyond Optimism and Pessimism  The Revitalization of Citizen Community  Expanding Our Sense of Self and the Reversal of Agency  Flowing with the Winds of Change
  34. 34. Chris Hedges on Revolution What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming 34 I do not know if we can build a better society. I do not even know if we will survive as a species. But I do know that these corporate forces have us by the throat. And they have my children by the throat. I do not fight fascists because I will win. I fight fascists because they are fascists. And this is a fight that in the face of the overwhelming forces against us requires that we follow those possessed by sublime madness, that we become stone catchers and find in acts of rebellion the sparks of life, an intrinsic meaning that lies outside the possibility of success. We must grasp the harshness of reality at the same time as we refuse to allow this reality to paralyze us. People of all creeds and people of no creeds must make an absurd leap of faith to believe, despite all the empirical evidence around us, that the good draws to it the good. The fight for life goes somewhere — the Buddhists call it karma — and in these acts we make possible a better world, even if we cannot see one emerging around us. Chris Hedges, Wages of Rebellion
  35. 35. Summing Up 35  Grounded in the way that people actually think and behave  Makes a lot of sense  Final section on “Being” is perhaps the most challenging, and the most important  Much talk about climate assumes myth of “information deficit”  Provides insights to allow you to be more empathetic towards climate science denial  Some good advice on crafting climate messages that might actually get through  Provides hope that we can design climate messages that make a difference What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming
  36. 36. Contact Information What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming 36  Duncan Noble  d.noble@outlook.com  about.me/canoedunk  www.duncannoble.com  Twitter: @carbonexplorer

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