Details: Dr Kari Norgaard, Public Talk
Date: 6th October, 2014
Location: Neill/Hoey Lecture Theatre, The Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin
Further information about Living In Denial
On Monday, 6th October, the Trinity Long Room Hub at Trinity College Dublin will host a public talk examining Climate Apathy by Dr Kari Norgaard, a sociologist at University of Oregon, USA as part of a workshop on the theme of threats to public responses to climate change. As thousands of people across the globe marched in rally’s calling for action on climate change and as public awareness of global warming increases, Dr Norgaard’s talk entitled ‘Living in Denial: Climate Change, Emotions and Everyday Life’ asks a timely question, namely why, given our increasing knowledge about climate change, do so many of us fail to take action?
Norgaard’s controversial answer and the topic of her talk, is that our lack of response is due to an active process which she calls ‘socially organised denial’. Based on interviews compiled as part of primary research which examined how climate change knowledge is experienced in everyday lives, Norgaard’s talk dismisses conventional notions that the public lack necessary information or concern about climate change. Instead, Norgaard will describe her research which identified the disturbing emotions of guilt, helplessness and fear of the future that arose when people were confronted with the idea of climate change and led her to develop an alternate understanding of public responses to climate change.
Given the advances in our knowledge of climate change and the increasing agreement that it is one of the most significant environmental issues of our time, Dr Norgaard’s talk on the public paralysis in the face of climate science predictions and the ‘social organisation of denial’ addresses questions of fundamental importance for all those interested in moving the discussion from questions of whether climate change is happening to specific actions on how to tackle climate change.
The talk is the first in a series of workshops and three public talks run by the Andrew W. Mellon funded The European Observatory of the New Human Condition. Dr Norgaard’s talk, which is part of the Threat workshop will look at mega trends with regards to human awareness of global climate change, scale of challenges (Great Barrier Reef – Urbanization – Moral Change) Alarmism versus ignorance.
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