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VideoPerspective Shifts on Climate Change

Perspective Shifts on Climate Change

Social ecology expert Dr. Nicole Ardoin shares tips for adopting a mindset that inspires action, and helps us become more informed community members.

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(gentle music) Climate anxiety is very real, and people all over the world are feeling it. It's like this heavy umbrella over everything. Until you name it, you don't know how to take action on it. (bright music) Hi, I'm Dr. Nicole Ardoin. I'm the director of the social ecology lab at Stanford University, where we study people's relationships to the environment. (gentle music) The headlines of our current environmental crises might fill us with doom and gloom. Around the world, we're facing immense climate-related challenges including intensifying weather events, devastating wildfires, freshwater scarcity, and ecosystem degradation, just to name a few. We know from decades of psychology, that catastrophizing rarely leads to productive, action-oriented outcomes. And when we get caught up in the complexity of climate change, it can be super overwhelming. What my lab's been learning is that by shifting our perspective, even just a little bit, we can start to empower ourselves by feeling more capable and ready to take action. Thanks to what is known in psychology as the Fresh Start Effect, we can wake up every day with a renewed sense of purpose and passion for these issues. No matter the amount of progress you've made yesterday or even last year. The idea is that you can get started on your goals and commitments at any time. In regard to climate action, when we lean into this reset mindset, we can begin to appreciate the positive change that's already happening all around us. Thanks to the efforts, dedication, and perseverance of so many people over time. A 2021 report from the Pew Research Center suggests that as many as 80% of people are willing to make changes to how they live and work, to reduce the effects of global climate change. Looking forward, the next generation of youth is already actively engaged. So here's what we can do. We can focus on the building blocks that are available. Taking proactive steps in terms of policy, and social change, just to name a few ways. while it might seem like as individuals we don't have the tools to make a big impact, actually we do. The first thing you can do right now is to be informed community members. We can read about environmental issues on upcoming ballots and get out there to vote on them. Even talking with our family, friends, and neighbors about environmental issues that are important to us counts toward making a difference in the larger movement. When studying what motivates pro environmental behavior, we find that conversations between people are incredibly powerful. That interpersonal connection has a huge influence when it comes to everyday decisions. Many which can have a big impact. Everything from what we eat, to where we choose to live, to the kind of transportation we use, and even to the issues we want to learn more about. Social change happens because we change and in doing so, we change the minds of those around us. So just...


Duration3 min

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