Psychology of climate change: denial and responsibility

Eighty per cent of people across the world are concerned about climate change, but most see it as 'someone else’s problem' and are reluctant to take practical action at a local level, according to an international environmental psychologist.

Professor David Uzzell from the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom will present the findings in his keynote address at the Australian Psychological Society's 43rd annual conference in Hobart this week.

"People consider environmental problems at the global level more serious
than at local levels, yet they feel powerless to influence or act on them,"
said Professor Uzzell.

For example, many people are concerned about climate change and want to reduce their carbon emissions. But how many would get rid of their car in the next two years? This is the problem," he said.

"Psychologists have an important role to play in undertaking research to help slow down global warming and assist individuals and communities adapt to a changing environment and climate.  It's not just about changing people's behaviour. We need to encourage public thinking to create a mobilising sense of urgency, not a paralysing one."

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To coordinate an interview with Professor David Uzzell, please contact Elaine Grant on 0412 683 068.