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

November 2015

The People's Climate March 27-29 November

The People's Climate March

climate march

This weekend, people all over Australia will be gathering for the People's Climate March. At the same time, world leaders will unite in Paris for the UN climate summit.

This moment calls for people everywhere to stand together more than ever by showing what a peaceful and powerful determination to solve one of the world's greatest challenges looks like.

Health and Science people across Australia will all be encouraged to wear white to the marches. This will allow for a unified and powerful message to see people from these sectors marching across Australia.

If you are in Melbourne and wish to march Friday evening with Psychologists for a Safe Climate, they are meeting near the State Library on the corner of Little Lonsdale St and Swanston Sts, and south from there towards Lonsdale St.  Look for their banner TO CHANGE EVERYTHING WE NEED EVERYONE. March begins 5.30pm at State Library.

Check out these links to build your anticipation. 

Scroll down and RSVP to the march nearest you.

Some great resources

The Global Climate Change Music Project

In the Global Climate Change Music Project, Australian musician and composer Rob Slaney invited composers from all over the world to compose 4 bars of music to reflect their feelings about climate change.   This music has been incorporated into a vast, multilayered musical statement.


The whole musical collaboration:

‘Our melting, shifting, liquid world’: celebrities read poems on climate change

A curation of poems originally selected by Carol Ann Duffy, Britain's Poet Laureate, for Keep it in the Ground. They have been read by some of the world's best actors, in an exclusive audio interactive. You'll need headphones or to turn your speakers up - and you can also read the poems as you listen along.

Listen here


How should we feel about climate change?

Sarah Perkins, 23 September, 2015, Inside Story

Diary of a climate scientist - Where do emotions fit into the work of scientists who study climate?

This novel and successful project was the brainchild of Joe Duggan, a masters in science communication student. It featured an exhibition of letters from climate scientists describing how the implications of climate change make them feel.

Read the article.

We’re not as selfish as we think we are. Here’s the proof


George Monbiot, 14 October, The Guardian

This article looks at several other interesting and relevant studies, including a fascinating paper from the Journal ‘Infancy’ that shows that extrinsic rewards actually reduce the desire of children to help each other. Read more

Why a Climate Deal Is the Best Hope for Peace


Jason Box & Naomi Klein, The New Yorker, Nov 18, 2015

While many politicians pay lip service to the existential urgency of the climate crisis, as soon as another more immediate crisis rears its head—war, a market shock, an epidemic—climate reliably falls off the political map. We are finally starting to recognize that climate change leads to wars and economic ruin. It’s time to recognize that intelligent climate policy is fundamental to lasting peace and economic justice. Read more

What’s really at stake at the Paris climate conference now marches are banned


Naomi Klein, 21 November, The Guardian

By banning protest at COP21, Hollande is silencing those facing the worst impacts of climate change and its monstrous violence. Read more

Countries lack national health plans to protect citizens from climate change

Tree alerts

A close look at countries’ preparedness for the health impacts of climate change shows there’s plenty of room for improvement. A survey from the World Federation of Public Health Associations measuring the preparedness of 35 nations found that more than half of those countries had no national plan to adequately protect the health of their citizens from the many impacts of climate change. The United States, China, New Zealand, Russia, and, Australia were all part of that group. Those leading the way in preparedness are Lithuania, Cameroon, Taiwan and Spain, which all have comprehensive policies in place. Earlier this year, the Lancet Commission, one of the world’s foremost authorities on health, reported after analyzing the health impacts of climate change, that addressing the crisis is the “health opportunity of the 21st century.” This adds to the growing chorus of calls for climate action ahead of this year’s Paris climate meetings set to kick off later in the month. Read more

Religious leaders call for action on climate change

Buddhist collective

Following the Pope’s encyclical, and statements from Muslim leaders,  15 leaders representing over one billion Buddhists worldwide have released a statement to world leaders calling on them to take action to a rise in global temperatures of over 1.5°C.

Climate change boosted Australia's 2010 floods


Tim Radford, 21November, Climate News Network

For the first time, researchers have linked the catastrophic floods in Australia in the summer of 2010 with global warming. And they warn that the double hazard of long-term ocean warming and rising atmospheric temperatures makes the risk of extreme rainfall greater in years to come.

Read more

Book review: Climate Change, What Everyone Needs to Know

John Abraham, 17 November, The Guardian

A new book makes the case that those who understand the basics of climate change and clean energy will be the “smart money” in the coming years. Those who don’t, however, will make bad decisions for themselves and their family. They might, for instance, end up holding coastal property after prices have begun to crash due to due the growing twin threats of sea level rise and storm surge. Read more

Getting active

Our Climate Our Health Campaign

A global health campaign launched in October, Our Climate Our Health, insists health must be a priority issue in determining both the nature and scale of climate policies adopted by nations around the world, and reflected in the global climate agreements.

Help promote the Open Letter on Climate Change

open letter

Our Open Letter is going strong, but we still need your help!

Thanks to everyone for signing our Open Letter from Academics to World Leaders ahead of the Paris Climate Conference. Over 1800 academics from over 80 countries have signed the letter now. We will keep accepting signatories until the end of November so please continue to promote the letter via social media and any other relevant networks.

Global Climate Change Week is also using a  thunderclap (an automated tweet or facebook post) to promote our Open Letter. It will be released to the world the night before the Paris Climate Conference starts, and will share our Open Letter. Please sign up so that we can get our Open Letter trending on social media for Paris. 


Introductory and advanced community-based social marketing workshops

March and April 2016, Doug McKenzie-Mohr, Environmental Psychologist

These are the only trainings that Doug will be delivering in New Zealand/Australia in 2016.  These workshops will be of particular interest to agencies working to control invasive species, promote energy efficiency, waste reduction, conservation, water efficiency, sustainable food consumption, fire protection, modal transportation changes and other sustainable actions.  

Auckland Introductory & Advanced Workshops (March 29-April 1) - Register here.

Melbourne Masters Workshop (March 17-18) - Register here.

Doug is also available for a limited number of in-house workshops - find out more.