Robert’s talk will be based on the qualitative research he conducted in the course of his PhD, which concerned the attitudes of twenty participants towards climate change and the environment. They were all people that responded to an invitation to talk about climate change. They were mostly aware of and concerned about climate change, and they each denied in their own interestingly different ways the need to mitigate climate change and environmental damage, and defended their non-environmental behaviour.
Their childhood relationships had shaped participants’ thoughts and feelings about climate change and the environment. Those committed to environmental concerns had often been close as a child to an environmentally committed parent, and felt attached to the countryside of their childhood. Those brought up in a city with close and supportive parents, often had no feeling for the natural environment. How far participants felt able to take action influenced their responses to climate change mitigation. A majority of participants expressed pessimism and varying degrees of disempowerment. Many participants disavowed environmental concerns and distanced themselves by disparaging or ridiculing environmental activists as extremist.
All participants had complex and contradictory thoughts and feelings about climate change. For many, climate change and environmental concerns were low on their order of priorities.
Jun 8, 2019
We Have to Talk About... Climate Change
Robert Tollemache completed his training as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist in 1986 and has worked in London mainly in private practice ever since. He is now nearing retirement. He has a background in social work. He has worked in a young peoples’ consultation centre, and in a GP practice, and has worked as a volunteer at Freedom from Torture (previously the Medical Foundation for Victims of Torture) for nearly 20 years.
He has had a lifelong interest in overseas development, which in the course of recent years led to his awareness of the catastrophic implications of carbon emissions continuing at their present levels across the globe but particularly for developing countries. He has been engaged in psycho-social research leading to a PhD thesis over the past eight years, as a project to act as a bridge to retirement. This combined a concern over continuing climate change with a psychological approach to the question of inaction over climate change.
email: info 'at' limbus 'dot' org 'dot' uk
For more informtion, contact: Farhad Dalal 0778 222 0385