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  Environment, psychology and health news
A monthly update of environment, psychology and health news

May 2015

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

More interesting news on the environment and psychology from a variety of sources.    


Susie Burke and Harriet Radermacher
Public Interest, Environment and Disaster Response

twitter:  @BurkePsy. 

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Mindful in May


Some great new resources

Talking Climate Change with conservatives: Election 2015


What if there were ways to talk about climate change with centre-right voters in ways that resonate with their values? George Marshall shows us how to do it in this short video here.

The accompanying guide to this video can be downloaded here.


How To Tell If The Article About Climate You Are Reading Is B.S., In Four Easy Steps

Climate progress

Joe Romm, April 17, Climate Progress

"In the interest of time, let’s cut directly to the second most important thing you’ll read on climate change this year, the time-saving secrets:

  • Skip climate articles by people who think the problem is hopeless or intractable — because it most certainly is not.
  • Skip articles written by George Will and his ilk.
  • Skip articles — especially longer climate essays — by authors who don’t explicitly tell you what temperature target or CO2 concentration target they embrace and how they’d go about attaining it.
  • Skip articles embracing Orwellian terms like “good Anthropocene.”

Read more here.

Week 1 of Denial101x: 14,000 students from 159 countries

Skeptical Science

John Cook, 4 May 2015

Last week, the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), Making Sense of Climate Science Denial was launched. Already, there's been a great deal of interest in the course. Currently, the MOOC has 14,000 enrolled students from 159 countries.

Read more about Week 1 here.

Or just go straight to enrol here.


Inoculating against science denial


John Cook, 27 April 2015

Exposing people to weak forms of anti-science arguments can help them respond when they are hit by the real thing.

We explain the psychological research into why and how people deny climate science.

Having laid the framework, we examine the fallacies behind the most common climate myths. Our goal is for students to learn how to identify the techniques used to distort climate science and feel confident responding to misinformation.

Read the article here.

Climate change and equity


The Gavin Mooney Memorial Essay Competition honours the work and memory of the late Professor Gavin Mooney, a health economist who was a tireless advocate for social justice in local, national and international arenas. This collection of shortlisted essays includes Sydney GP Dr Tim Senior’s prizewinning essay “Climate Change and Equity: Whose Language Is It Anyway?” and essays by Steve Campbell and Lucie Rychetnik, Oscar McLaren, Peter Boyer and Dora Marinova, and Fergus Green. Read the essays here.

Climate change challenges to health: risks and opportunities


Australian Academy of Science, 29 April 2015

This report summarises the discussions and recommendations of a group of early- and mid-career researchers from a broad range of relevant disciplines who came together in July 2014 to consider climate challenges in relation to health in Australia. Five main impacts were considered.

The first was extreme weather events. These include heatwaves, droughts, storms, cyclones and floods. These will have direct impacts on lives, homes and communities, and will also place stress on the mental wellbeing of members of the community during prolonged events such as intense heatwaves.

The remaining four impacts were disease, food and water, jobs and security. 

Read the report here.

Or read an article in the Guardian about the report.

How does change happen? How is power held? How do we shift it?


Tim Hollo (Green Music Australia), 28 April, 2015

If what we perceive to be necessary in our lives is culturally driven, then any solutions must also grapple with culture and seek to change it.

What I believe is beyond doubt is that, if we continue to attempt to solve the ecological, social and political crises we face from within the current socio-political culture, we are attempting to do the impossible.

It’s time we changed what is possible.

Read the article here.

"More Than Scientists" seeks to show human side of climate experts

daily climate

Marianne Lavelle, 16 March 2015

In a pivotal year for climate action, a new campaign seeks to head off efforts to caricature climate scientists by showing who they are and why they care about the planet's future.

Read the article here.

College students are making global warming a moral issue. Here's why that scares people


David Roberts, 29 April, 2015

The framing of climate action as a moral imperative is not entirely new, of course. It has always existed, somewhat uneasily, alongside the technocratic impulse. But with fossil-fuel divestment, activists have turbocharged it.

Read the article here.

You may have missed...

PSC Conference 2015 presentations


Psychology for a Safe Climate Conference, 21 March 2015

People very much liked Susan Murphy's presentation - for the depth, wisdom and reflectiveness if fostered, and judging by the number of her books sold, they wanted more. 

Find all the conference presentations here.

Is climate change making us sick?

Paul Barclay, 20 April 2015, ABC Radio National

If climate change is making the planet sick, then what does this mean for the human beings who inhabit it?

Have a listen to see what Dr Paul Willis (Director, RiAus), Dr Ingo Weber (practising anaesthetist, former chair SA Doctors for the Environment) and Emily Johnston (PhD student, University of SA, co-founder Adelaide's 'Science in the Pub') have to say.

Getting active

Aborginal Elders community petition opposing coal mine in Galilee Basin


Wangan and Jagalingou people, are the TRADITIONAL OWNERS of the land in Queensland’s Galilee Basin. 'If the Carmichael mine proceeds it will tear the heart out of our country. The scale of this mine means it would have devastating impacts on our native title, ancestral lands and waters, our totemic plants and animals, and our environmental and cultural heritage.'

Sign the petition is here

What does art have to do with climate change? Come and find out...


11 April – 17 May 2015 Melbourne

ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE 2015 is a festival of climate change related arts and ideas featuring curated exhibitions alongside a series of keynote lectures and public forums featuring local and international guests.

More info here:


Australian Psychological Society 50th Annual Conference


28 September - 2 October, Gold Coast

Registrations open mid April – see here for more details.

Human Health in the Face of Climate Change

14 -15 May 2015, Barcelona, Spain

This 2-day conference will highlight the latest research on climate change and its subsequent effects on human health. Organised by the New York Academy of Sciences, this conference will be held in CosmoCaixa Museum, Barcelona, Spain. Download the flyer. For more information and to register, click here.