How (Not) to Build Support for Climate Policy





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Published on Nov 10, 2015

The USC Schwarzenegger Institute and the USC Environmental Student Assembly host author and organizational psychologist Per Espen Stoknes, PhD, who discusses his book: What We Think About When We Try Not to Think About Global Warming.

Per Espen Stoknes, international award winning author, economist and organizational physiologist, joins the USC Schwarzenegger Institute and USC Environmental Student Assembly to discuss his new book and to outline the five main psychological barriers to climate action. Additionally, Stoknes identifies five strategies for talking about global warming in a way that leads to action and solutions, not further inaction and despair.

Bonnie Reiss, Global Director of the USC Schwarzenegger Institute moderates the event with USC Environmental Student Assembly Executive Director Ahlia Bethea. Reiss and Bethea facilitate a wide-ranging conversation with the author with a specific focus on how Stoknes’ research can be of value to the upcoming COP 21 UN Climate Summit in Paris and California’s ongoing commitment to addressing climate change.

Ahlia Bethea
President, USC Environmental Student Assembly

The mission of the USC Schwarzenegger Institute is to put policy over politics and find and support solutions to challenges facing the state, the nation and the world. The Institute recognizes What We Think About When We Try Not to Think About Global Warming as an important book in furthering the debate on climate policy and is excited to bring Per Espen Stoknes to the University of Southern California to discuss his research on the subject.

“Continuing the bold environmental leadership of Governor Schwarzenegger during his two terms in office, climate change is a core mission of the Schwarzenegger Institute,” said USC Schwarzenegger Institute Global Director Bonnie Reiss. “We are excited to showcase the exciting work that Dr. Stoknes is doing to further our understanding of what impacts how humans think and behave and how the climate change message has been improperly communicated. Stoknes’ book gives us excellent guidance in how to communicate to the public about climate change in a way that can inspire us to action and is essential if states and nations are to be successful in reaching emission reduction targets.”

“Despite numerous warnings from the scientific community Americans are less worried about climate change now than they were in 1999,” added Ahlia Bethea, Executive Director of the USC Environmental Student Assembly. “This statistic is completely unacceptable and the USC Environmental Student Assembly is determined to reverse this trend. We are grateful for the work that Per Espen Stoknes is doing to address climate change and are excited to bring him to USC to share his research with us.”


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