This book radically reframes the approach for people to take to address global warming. To understand and make the most of this book, you have to suspend your historical assumptions and work with the material. The more the science and date that are presented to those who are not aligned with them, the more people go numb. Thinking is the frame of mind we use to address global warming and the facts we muster to demonstrate the case for taking action. Doing includes the actions we take. Being is about how we are each asked to be more emotionally present in the world. The first and second sections offer the usual remedies for responding to the Earth heating up. That said, what Stoknes presents in these two sections goes against climate change gospel. The third section on “being” makes this book come alive and breaks new ground. Stoknes challenges the historical approach of all the “rock stars” who are leading the way on climate change with rationality and piles of data.
This book is the most interesting book I have read all semester. I say that because I believe that the author didn’t just write a book for the sake of writing a book. The book is an accumulation of pleasantly surprising and genuine thoughts of Per Espen Stoknes. I think dividing the book into three parts gave it a certain direction and it led to growing expectations that were definitely lived upon. The book highlights such a critical and significant analysis of human brains and how humans have always reacted to change in times of “stability”.
I couldn’t agree more that we humans are so caught up in what is happening in the present, more often than not, we are just too scared to think or accept about the possibilities of future. The examples the author uses such as the introduction of railway systems for the first time and how that change caused so much initial rowdiness and how all of that disappeared into nothing. Same applies to climate change and how in the moment it seems unachievable but maybe fifty years from now on, it might not be that difficult to achieve. I liked how he talks about the inspirational virtues that have been lacking when it comes to climate change and how most of us already look at it like a lost cause when there is absolutely everything on the line to fight for. To conclude, I loved this book and would probably not change anything about it.
Although the book cover says “a new psychology of climate action” I was surprised at how in-depth the author delved into the origins and impacts of a variety of individuals thoughts on climate change and climate action instead of politics and problems and solutions. The second chapter disclosed the five typical tactics of denialism: (1) identification of conspiracies, (2) use of fake experts, (3) selectivity, (4) creation of impossible expectations, and (5) the use of false analogies and logical fallacies. In addition, a list of the basic characteristics of our biopsychology was stated: (1) self-interest, (2) status, (3) imitation, (4) short-term favored over long-term thinking, and (5) immediate valued over long-term risk. Opening with these ideas gave me a reference frame for later concepts, which I greatly appreciated. The breakdown of the book into 3 parts worked very well in my opinion, with previous sections informing the next. My favorite section was definitely “Being” (i.e. looking at relationship with earth and air). It was sometimes difficult to hear how reflective the climate’s state is of the way we treat ourselves, others, and how we live our lives. But the author did not leave me feeling shamed or hopeless unlike a lot of other writings that are in regard to the human-nature relationship. I want to spend more time with this book and give it the attention and consideration (i.e. critical thought) it deserves, as I believe a lot can be learned from the critical analysis of our psyche and its relationship to climate action and climate change provided by this author and some of the others mentioned within the text (like Mark Hoofnagle, Jorgen Randers, etc.).
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What We Think About When We Try Not to Think About Global Warming: Toward a New Psychology of Climate Action was overall really good. It is divided into 3 main sections: Thinking, Doing, Being. I especially enjoyed this book because it gave me an approach that I could use during conversations with my grandpa who simply denies “climate science facts”. Probably one of the most interesting figures he brings up is Figure 1.3, he talks about how when people around the world were asked to rank their concern about climate change, financial instability, and Islamic extremism. For US residents the concern about climate ranked the lowest, whereas in developing countries climate change ranked the highest in their concerns. This of course then would call for an adjustment in how to communicate climate change, because clearly the current methods for how to communicate the issue are not effective. The line “science itself is really systematized skepticism” made me laugh, because it is so very true. One of the many “rules” of scientific research is that your research must be peer reviewed and as well it is a well known fact that at any given moment another scientist could easily disprove a theory that one has worked on their whole life. Such is the life of a scientist. He then speaks on the idea that we need to change the psychological approach behind how are portraying climate change. Yet, as he speaks about later in the book, it is hard to make people be worried about something that they cannot see or feel. I personally think that this was the most important section of the book, because he speaks on what is most necessary to change in order for people to change their thoughts about climate change. We must learn to work together to communicate this issue, and explain to others the importance of climate change, even though it will be very complicated to explain how something should be feared when we cannot actually portray the threat. Overall this book was very interesting to read, and very helpful.
In environmental news:
In his work What we Think About when we try not to think about global warming Stoknes raises a question that has been on my mind since the beginning of this class: we clearly have knowledge of the issues of climate change—scientists and politicians have been speaking on them for years—and we clearly have the technology to slow it, so why don’t we? It is interesting for me to see the perspective of a psychologist and economist looking at these issues, as opposed to an environmentalist, as Stoknes understands the difficulties in changing the direction of entire societies with regard to climate change. He points out the willingness of people to talk about the issue, or at least acknowledge it, however when it comes to actually putting in effort to fix it, most westerners are notably silent.
This article covers the Atlantic ocean circulation system, and the fact that it is weaker today than it has been in the past 1,000 years. Due to ice sheets melting and cooling down water near the surface, the ocean’s system of circulating water is weakening, which could effect all sorts of climates across Europe, as well as coral populations and even fish populations.
As Julie Urbanik vividly illustrates, non-human animals are central to our daily human lives. We eat them, wear them, live with them, work with them, try to save them, spoil them, abuse them, fight them, hunt them, love them and hate them. Placing Animals brings together two worlds where the historical development of the field of animal geography with a comprehensive survey of how geographers study animals today. Urbanik provides the readers with a thorough understanding of the relationship between animal geography and the larger animal studies project, an appreciation of many geographies of human-animal interactions around the world, and insight into how animal geography is both challenging and contributing to the major field of human and nature-society geography. Through the theme of the role of place in shaping where and why human-animal interactions occur, the chapters in turn explore the history of animal geography and our distinctive relationships in the home on farms, context of labor, in wider culture, and in the wild.