The biggest obstacle to dealing with climate disruptions lies between your ears, says psychologist and economist Per Espen Stokes. He uses what he’s learned from his research to find a new way of talking about climate change.
Per Stoknes, a psychologist with a PhD in economics, a TED Global speaker, director of the Centre for Green Growth at the Norwegian Business School and a member of the Norwegian Parliament, graced us with his presence at at the Covenant for Mayors Investment Forum and gave an engaging and fascinating talk on ‘How to transform apocalypse fatigue into action against global warming’.
In his talk, he zeroes in on how the language used when discussing global warming can have an impact on how we react to climate change. When we constantly hear about disaster and doom or receive overly scientific reports that are difficult to understand, we can become fatigued by this constant negative news, leading to a drop in engagement on issues relating to climate change . Stoknes looks into the 5 defenses we use to avoid thinking about the state of our planet, including distancing ourselve from the debate and denial about the very science underpinning the process.
He then goes on to talk about how to ‘flip’ these defenses into success criteria and gives a hopeful view of the future, one that could be filled with social exchanges, supportive frames and simple actions, all centering on the climate. Considering the risks we face if we keep ignoring climate change, let’s hope we all start adopting Stoknes’ advice!
Watch the long version :
Watch the short version: