Eutierria: Becoming One With Nature

Are we one with nature? Have you ever had the experience of eutierria?

Fear, Division, Trump, and Collapse

Recent political developments—the rise of Trump and the Brexit—have many people flabbergasted. Do they mean something more fundamental for the sustainability of modern society?

Soliphilia and Other Ways of Loving a Planet

Love for nature and despair over its deterioration both get swept under the carpet of everyday experience. Naming them can bring them both to the surface and liberate us to act.

Eco-Indulgences for Eco-Sin?

Climate disruption has arrived and is worsening. Many solutions are possible. Are carbon offsets a viable one, or do they merely alleviate guilt and promote more carbon sin?

Fear, Loathing, and Denial at the End of the World

The antics of some presidential candidates—shouting, insults, sexism, and racism—are making many people cringe. We need adults in the room to deal with society’s major problems.

Dirty Little Secrets of Exxon

The fossil fuel industry has mimicked the cigarette industry in keeping the huge downside of their products from the public eye. Generations will live with these consequences.

Planet Earth Thanks You, 2015

This year, 2015, may be a banner year for the environment. Let’s celebrate the major good news for Earth.

The Quietly Burning Earth

Fires are raging out of control in Indonesia today, decimating vast areas of forests. Journalist George Monbiot writes, “A great tract of Earth is on fire and threatened species are being driven out of their habitats. This is a crime against humanity and nature.” Our search for food made with cheap palm oil means we all have a hand in this “eco-apocalypse.”

Earth to Humans: Why Have You Forsaken Me? Limited Behavior

What are the psychological roadblocks that explain why we’re not doing much to solve global climate change—a phenomenon that threatens the core of our society? This is the seventh and final post in a seven-part series.

Earth to Humans: Why Have You Forsaken Me? Perceived Risk

What are the psychological roadblocks that explain why we’re not doing much to solve global climate change—a phenomenon that threatens the core of our society? This is the sixth post in a seven-part series.

Earth to Humans: Why Have You Forsaken Me? Discredence

What are the psychological roadblocks that explain why we’re not doing much to solve global climate change—a phenomenon that threatens the core of our society? This is the fifth installment in a seven-part series.

Earth to Humans: Why Have You Forsaken Me? Sunk Costs

What are the psychological roadblocks that explain why we’re not doing much to solve global climate change—a phenomenon that threatens the core of our society? This is the fourth post in a seven-part series.

Earth to Humans: Why Have You Forsaken Me? Poor Comparisons

What are the psychological roadblocks that explain why we’re not doing much to solve global climate change—a phenomenon that threatens the core of our society? This is the third post in a seven-part series.

Earth to Humans: Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me? Ideologies

What are the psychological roadblocks that explain why we’re not doing much to solve global climate change—a phenomenon that threatens the core of our society? This is the second post in a seven-part series.

Earth to Humans: Why Have You Forsaken Me? Cognition

What are the psychological roadblocks that explain why we’re not trying hard at all to solve global climate change—a phenomenon that threatens the core of our society? The first post in a seven part series.

Cooperation Is Natural

Nature contact facilitates mental and physical development, improves learning, makes us more cooperative, and promotes pro-environmental choices. These are the qualities we need for a prosperous society and that negotiators in tough negotiations need for positive results.

The Self-Deceptions of Recycling

It’s important to keep in mind that recycling not only takes large amounts of energy and resources to turn materials into products again, it also may lead to greater consumption and avoidance of better solutions. It’s better to instead focus on the three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Departing Earth

Scientists, engineers, and science fiction writers have long imagined leaving Earth to colonize space, but now a budding company is accepting volunteers to become astronauts on a one-way trip to Mars. Is this just the first wave of permanent departures from our home planet—a long exodus in which forsake our precious Earth?

Are Plants Entering the Realm of the Sentient?

Some people are still grappling with the idea that humans are not the only animals with intelligence, thought, and consciousness. Some scientists are now studying whether even plants have intelligence—sensation, awareness, integration of information, long-term memory, and adaptive learning. Their findings challenge human uniqueness.

The Eco-Pope?

Pope Francis may be set to become the world leader on climate change and perhaps environmental protection more generally. Could his brave initiative break the logjam of climate denialism rife among U.S. conservatives?

Elitism and Climate Change Denialism

How can we begin to address the society-threatening damages caused by climate change when one of our major political parties is wholly set against action? Congressional Republicans stand alone in the industrialized world as the only major political party to refuse to acknowledge the threat. The will to dominate other people and nature may factor into their recalcitrance.

Sensing Turtles

Did you know that sea turtles help create the beaches that we love? And that they’re getting crowded out of those same beaches by people wanting easy access for recreation? Nerds to the rescue! Here’s an example of technology that unites people with nature rather than dividing the two.

What Studies of Groups Can’t Tell About Your Eco-choices

Am I more likely to make harmful choices because I’m more agreeable? That’s what a new study suggests, but to understand it properly means understanding that each individual is not a statistic and can actually make choices that go against the flow.

Are Polite People More Violent and Destructive?

More agreeable people have been shown to be more likely to inflict harm. People who rub us the wrong way may be more likely to lead by example to a kinder, less damaging path.

Sustainability Needs Community

Many of us know in our hearts that our lifestyle is damaging to the environment and could even contribute to societal collapse. Changing course can be hard, but it becomes much easier when we don’t try to do it alone but rather gather in groups with shared purposes such as sustainability, social equity, and more resilient communities.

Ready for a Hotter Planet?

Are we prepared for climate change and environmental decline? Not only are we not doing enough to slow climate change, scientists say, but we’re also not prepared to handle the acute and chronic mental health challenges already stirred up by climate destabilization. If we don’t slow climate change, we may at least be able to brace ourselves against its effects.

Facing the Specter of Environmental Doom

According to a NASA-funded study, industrial civilization may soon collapse: the social and ecological systems our lives depend on may suddenly fail on a massive scale due to overuse of resources, global climate change, and social inequality. Only by facing this possibility earnestly and fully—overcoming our collective denial without panic—can we avert it from happening

Ideological Blinders Can Lead to Environmental Ruin

Conservative White Males lead efforts to deny global climate change and other major environmental and social problems. They may be driven more by an unconscious fear that accepting these realities would undermine the status of their own in-group—and the political-economic system that privileges it—than by a will to deceive.

Trouble in Paradise

The world is not quite what it seems, as psychological studies so often remind us. We filter out information that conflicts with the views we hold and let in information that confirms those views — the so-called “confirmation bias.” Places like the island of Bali can have reputations as paradise, but do such images of perfection block us from seeing reality?

A Holiday Gift for Your Mother: Earth

Every year, most of us in the United States and the rest of the Western world ramp up our consumer drive into the holidays, when we participate in a ritual that’s often anxiety provoking and, perhaps worse, takes a huge toll on the environment. Let’s begin to give each other and the planet a break—and form stronger bonds in the process.

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