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Environmental Values

Engaging with Climate Change: Comparing the Cultures of Science and Activism

Paul Hoggett, Rosemary Randall

Environmental Values 27 (2018): 223-243. doi: 10.3197/096327118X15217309300813

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Climate scientists and activists face the disturbing truths of climate change every day. How do they manage this psychologically? In-depth qualitative interviews with a small sample from these two groups suggest that scientists often take refuge in conventional understandings of scientific rationality in their attempts to defend themselves against anxieties generated by the politicisation of climate change. By contrast, activists seem more emotionally literate, building psychological support into their practice. We trace some of the dysfunctional effects of the social defences adopted by the scientific community, and demonstrate how a different approach has led to the development of what might be called 'sustainable activism'.


Climate science, activism, social defence, anxiety, emotional literacy

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

'It Helped Me Sort of Face the End of the World': The Role of Emotions for Third Sector Climate Change Engagement Initiatives. Milena Büchs, Emma Hinton and Graham Smith

Editorial: Denial and Despair? Claudia Carter

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Editorial: Facing the Truth or Living a Lie: Conformity, Radicalism and Activism. Clive L. Spash

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