Climate Crisis and Ecopsychology
Earth’s climate affects and is affected by human psychological climate; our psychological climate is affected by the planet’s climate.
Climate is Everything
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Earth’s climate behavior comprises relationships among the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and biogeochemical cycles intra-acting with the behavior and activities of all lifeforms, including humans.
As whale behavior affects climate patterns, so do human behavior and practices; what we do matters for the habitability and livability of life on Earth. Humans are a part of climate processes.
Given the nature of planetary crises, maybe this actually is an appropriate time to consider how different knowledge and methods informed by ecological psychology can inspire social change, and in particular our responses to climate change.
Climate in Crisis
The climate in crisis is not an existential threat – it is a real-time on the Earth rupture of daily lives and livelihood, loss of habitats and resources.
When human exceptionalism and extraction practices rupture carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, water, and sulfur cycles, we disrupt the atmospheric chemistry of greenhouse gases – the very processes that support a habitable climate and life on Earth – a climate in crisis results.
Destructive practices based on supremacy narratives drive behavior toward the planet. These narratives foster detached, indifferent, and uninformed views that perpetuate existential anxiety, fear, despair, helplessness in the face of ecological damage, and deep grief over planetary damage and loss of home and life.
This is the psychological crisis driving the climate crisis.
Climate Crisis and Ecopsychology: An Educative Approach
While it is essential and imperative that we reconfigure outmoded climate regulations and policies and transition to renewable energies – regulations and policies do not change behavior.
Reconfiguring narratives underpinning practices transforms behavior. Thus, one needs an education in ecological processes and behavior and how they affect psychological processes and behavior.
Climate Change Career Opportunities
The Doctor of Arts in Ecological Psychology and Environmental Humanities with a Specialization in Climate Response & Resilience is well suited for climate change jobs available in both the public and private sectors.
Local, state, and federal government agencies employ thousands of people in jobs related to climate change. Private companies are also increasingly interested in reducing the harmful effects of climate change. This means that jobs fighting climate change are available in many areas.
The world needs ecopsychologists working in multiple areas: corporate responsibility (sustainability), community climate educator, climate justice, environmental law (if you have a J.D.), sustainability/climate leadership in organizations, climate responsibility consulting, environmental educators at all levels, wildlife conservationists, ecologists, climate change analyst, environmental scientist, sustainability technicians, the fashion industry ( a major polluter trying to change practices).
Ecological psychology is the most powerful tool for changing human narratives and destructive climate practices.
Viridis Graduate Institute offers a rare, intimate, and transformational education. My years with Viridis have changed my perspective on life, and I am all the richer for it. The skill and presence of the faculty members are fantastic. The diversity of materials and methods (especially for online education) is excellent. I highly recommend Viridis to anyone who wants to get to the roots of the narratives we live by and understand the extraordinary possibilities in front of us.
I just finished an MA at Viridis, and my experience with instruction, philosophy, and training has been excellent. Highly recommended for professional or personal development.