Events > PSC Conference 2015 presentations

PSC Conference 2015 presentations

25 minute presentations


Don MacArthur: Communicating about climate change when “the facts are not enough” (Link to Don's website)

This presentation reviewed a range of approaches to climate communication given the challenges of addressing climate denial. It  focused particularly on the use of symbolic communication by the climate movement, exploring how imagery and metaphors are used to condense the meaning of climate change into a form that is intelligible and motivates people to act. Further,  the presentation discussed what we can learn from previous social movements where large-scale attitudinal and social changes have occurred.   

Don McArthur is a research student in Politics at Monash University. 



Sally Gillespie: Sun Ripening - What can happen when we engage with climate change?

Engaging with climate change concerns affects consciousness. An expansion of ecological awareness potentially triggers psychological and socio-political maturational processes which support a greater understanding of self, society and world. In order to discuss and analyse these developmental processes, and the way they can connect and strengthen each other, Sally compares Carl Jung’s psychological model of individuation with Paulo Freire’s socio-political model of conscientisation. 


Dr Sally Gillespie has recently completed her doctorate at the University of Western Sydney entitled “Climate Change and Psyche: Mapping Myths, Dreams and Conversations in the Era of Global Warming”. She is a founding member of the Climate Wellbeing Network in Sydney, a sister group to Psychology for a Safe Climate.


5 minute presentations 


Katerina Gaita: Climate for Change project

Climate for Change aims to create the social climate needed for effective action on climate change by bringing new audiences to the existing climate movement – people who are sympathetic to climate change, but not active. Its model for doing so is the Tupperware Party model. 


Katerina Gaita has been passionate about helping others understand climate change and what they can do about it since she was eleven years old. After starting out in law, this passion led her to a career in behaviour change, which has included working at Environment Victoria and running her own sustainability business.  She is co-founder and CEO of Climate for Change.


View Katerina's talk here


Darren Sharp: Livewell Yarra - using asset-based development to build capacity for community carbon reduction

Livewell Yarra is an action research project funded by the CRC for Low Carbon Living which aims to help participants to reduce carbon emissions and enhance their wellbeing. The project will use asset-based community development (ABCD) to mobilise the strengths of participants and participatory co-design to encourage the creation of local projects like a community garden, walking school bus or tool library. These group-based activities will attempt to ‘reframe’ participants as ‘active citizens’ capable of reducing their carbon footprints. 


Darren Sharp is a sharing economy strategist with a background in research, community engagement and consulting.  He is currently undertaking his PhD on Livewell Yarra through Curtin University of Technology.  


Jim Crosthwaite: Journeys for Climate Justice

Jim worked as an economist for many years. In 2008 he lectured on the economics of climate change.These lectures raised his concern about carbon offsetting. This directly led him and others to set up JCJ. Jim also teaches body awareness and stress relief to activists, based on Alexander Technique.




Beth Hill: Can people experience climate change?

What does a conversation about climate change sound like as people recover from climate correlated disaster? Exploring people’s experiences of bushfire and environmental change in the Lower Blue Mountains of NSW, Beth’s research is interrogating whether climate change can be experienced by urban people at a local level. Her current (mid-fieldwork) findings show the rich and varied relationships that people have with their environment and how these relationships in turn affect their experiences of climate change. 


Beth Hill is an author, activist and PhD candidate at Sydney University. Her research is focused on the emotional and cultural dimensions of climate change. 


Hans A Baer: Thoughts on George Marshall and Naomi Klein - a critical anthropological perspective

Hans compares the views on the sources of anthropogenic climate change of George Marshall, particularly as laid out in Don’t Even Think About It, and Naomi Klein as expressed in This Changes Everything. Whereas Marshall operates with a ‘multi-factorial’ causation model that asserts that climate change has a multiplicity of dispersed and diffuse sources, Klein maintains that capitalism constitutes the ‘elephant in the room’ which is driving climate change. 


Hans Baer is Associate Professor/Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne. Baer is presently conducting research on Australian coal and democratic eco-socialism as a real utopia.


Julie James: Escaping from an ideological prison by peeling back the layers of psychic wallpaper

Anthropogenic climate change is a result of the delusional belief that the planet exists to be exploited by humanity.  Accepting and acting on climate change involves escape from an ideological prison. There is a way out but we have metaphorically “papered over the cracks” with layers of “psychic wallpaper”.  We need to recognize these layers and learn how to remove them so that we can escape into an environmentally sustainable society based on sound scientific, economic and ethical principles.


Julie James is a retired Associate Professor (information Systems) whose 50 year profession career culminated in research and graduate teaching into modes of inquiry and their ideological basis. In her retirement she applies her research principles to contrasting anthropocentric and life-centred ideologies, and their implications for dealing with climate change.  


Jane Morton: Are we up against psychopaths?

The vast majority of the population want a safe climate future and support renewable energy, so why is our job so hard? Is it because we are up against a small number of extremely wealthy and powerful psychopaths?


Jane Morton is a clinical psychologist with over 30 years' experience, mainly in the public sector. In recent years she has moved into semi-retirement in order to spend more time on climate campaigning. She founded Vote Climate and initiated the formation of the Victorian Climate Action Network.