The Memory Network (2014) conducts a discussion where Greg Garrard talks about the difficulties of cultural and individual comprehension of climate change.
As a society, we are perplexed by the idea of climate change, and how to approach and find solutions to its many effects. As individuals, humans are puzzled by the temporality, significant scale, and contributions they can make to mitigate climate change. Identifying and understanding these blockages may help formulate meaningful solutions and sustainable practices that can be easily enacted by the public. Continue reading →
The Journal of Religious History (2013) reviewed a collection of several articles and volumes by Sigurd Bergmann and Dieter Gerten describing the importance of engagement with religion from the global climate change community. The authors state that these selected volumes provide valuable evidence that the climate change community should consider cultural and ethical values represented in local religions. These subjects are currently excluded from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and most other discussions on global climate change efforts. These volumes also offer significant insight into the relationship between religion and climate change by showing that communities who are immediately threatened by climate change are adapting their beliefs and actions. Continue reading →
Adam Corner, Ezra Markowitz, and Nick Pidgeon (2014) analyze various works of research from philosophical, psychological, and anthropological fields to determine that those with self-transcendent values are most likely to actively engage with climate change related issues. This collection of research provides vital information for promoting sustainable practices successfully in campaigns and political policies. The authors first establish the difference between human values and the economic principle of valuation. A preference that can be influenced by the market, such as an incentive or discount, is one that is short-lived and does not influence long-term sustainable practices. The authors then state that values are a significant indication of engagement as they represent a relatively stable aspect of individuals’ personalities, preferences and behavior. Values may change slightly over the course of a lifetime but are relatively engrained as opposed to the transparency of economic values. Shalom Schwartz’s well established psychological theory divides values into four clusters: openness to change, conservative view of respecting tradition, self-transcendence, and self-enhancement. Self-transcendence is defined as focusing ones attention on others and being above one’s own ego. This includes characteristics like altruism or charitable behavior, forgiveness and loyalty. Continue reading →
Robin Kundis Craig (2010) concludes that it is absurd to expect governments to put policies in place now that predict and manage the long-term effects of rising sea levels. Craig argues that governments can prevent the extent of damages caused by rising sea levels by implementing a policy focusing directly on public health. She notes that scientists are still unsure exactly how high the seas will rise. Their predictions, she states, are uncertain as they are based upon scientific assumptions and factors like the effect of current and future mitigation methods, (the methods combating greenhouse gas emission). Craig also states that it is unreasonable to define adaptive measures to govern climate change almost three centuries from now as new information will inevitably arise. One can reasonably assume however, that humans will still retain the same basic desires such as health and comfortable living conditions in the distant future. This assumption can be used to form a preventative policy that benefits society without the need to fully comprehend all the uncertainties of rising sea levels. A public health approach aimed at the needs and concerns of humans is an adaptable policy that can remain stable as the discoveries and effects of climate change arise. Continue reading →