How do people cope when their work or campaigning brings them into daily contact with the disturbing reality of climate change? How do they manage emotionally?
Between 2013 and 2015 CPA members Paul Hoggett and Rosemary Randall conducted in-depth research interviews with a small sample of climate scientists and climate activists in an attempt to answer these questions.
The cultures of the two groups are very different. Scientists work in formal, hierarchical, quasi-public institutions. Activists operate through informal, consensual, network-based groups. We were interested in how these differences affected the way the two groups responded to the challenges they faced. What kinds of support did they find or create for themselves? What kinds of defences did they develop? How did their organisations respond to their emotional needs?
Written outputs from this research will be available shortly. In the meantime here is a powerpoint presentation given at the conference When the Heart Can’t Contain What the Mind Can See: Psycho-Social Research on Human Engagement with Climate Change at Birkbeck College, London University, 24th October 2015 which summarises Pauls and Rosemary's findings.