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Why doesn’t everyone believe in climate change?

September 25, 2019

The scientific consensus on climate change is that it's happening, and we're a part of it. However, Wellington psychologist, Professor Marc Wilson, believes there’s a big gap between expert and lay beliefs about climate change and he suggests the issue is about ‘psychology’.

Prof Wilson, who is best known for his weekly psychology-themed column for the New Zealand Listener and TV programmes, will be the guest speaker at a free community seminar entitled “The Elusive Climate Consensus” on October 2 at the Hutton Theatre, Otago Museum, Dunedin. He will discuss research from New Zealand and elsewhere that illustrates the foundations of our attitudes towards climate change and climate science, as well as other scientific issues.

“Unfortunately, a lot of this work shows how people become entrenched in their opinions rather than change them, so I shall open up the floor to guests regarding the question “how can we make a difference?”

The event is part of a series of free public events available throughout the country (Auckland, Waikato, Dunedin) during The New Zealand Psychological Society (NZPsS) NZ Psychology Week (September 30 to October 6).

“The theme of the NZ Psychology Week is “living life well”. This initiative aims to increase public awareness of how psychology can help people, families/whānau and communities increase their psychological wellbeing. It also aims to raise awareness of the wide variety of roles that psychologists have in the health, Justice, Corrections, educational and other sectors,” explains (NZPsS) president, Dr John Fitzgerald.

The free public events available across the country during NZ Psychology Week cover a broad range of areas including; reacting to climate change, positive psychology and understanding suicide from a bicultural perspective.

A highlight of the week will also be the screening of Maui’s Hook, a new film by Māori psychologist and filmmaker Paora Joseph in Auckland at AUT, Auckland City campus on October 4.

The new film invites open discussion of suicide through the brave testimony of five grieving whānau. Joseph conducts and films wānanga with the families as they journey north to release and farewell their loved ones. Shown at the New Zealand International Film Festival 2018.

Full list of events and details here:


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