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  • "The Psychology of Climate Change: Why Do People Believe What They Believe?"

"The Psychology of Climate Change: Why Do People Believe What They Believe?"

  • September 29, 2017
  • 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
  • FSU Law School, 425 West Jefferson St., Room 310, Tallahassee

This panel discussion is hosted by FSU Law School and is free and open to the public. Reception to follow in the Rotunda.

Climate change and climate policy remain highly polarizing topics, and constructive exchanges of divergent points of view are extremely rare, making it taboo for casual conversation. How can beliefs about scientific issues be so contentious, so personal, and so divisive?

This panel discussion will explore cutting-edge research on the psychology of climate change, and why people believe what they believe about climate change and policy. It is abundantly clear that a resort to scientific argument is largely ineffective.

The psychology of climate change, for people of all range of beliefs, is dependent upon a variety of factors that are not highly dependent upon the state of climate science.

Finally, this panel will discuss some political ramifications of the psychological dimensions of climate change, and explore paths forward in a political environment showing few signs of bipartisanship. 

The moderator is Shi-Ling Hsu, D'Alemberte Professor & Associate Dean for Environmental Programs at Florida State University’s College of Law.  Dr. Shi-Ling Hsu is the John W. Larson professor and Associate Dean for Environmental Programs at the Florida State University College of Law. He is the author of “The Case for a Carbon Tax: Getting Past our Hang-ups to Effective Climate Policy”, which remains the most comprehensive general treatment and argument for carbon taxation. He teaches and writes in the areas of environmental and natural resource law, climate change, law and economics, and property.

Participants include:  Janet Swim, Professor of Psychology, Penn State University; John Cook, Research Assistant Professor, George Mason University; Jerry Taylor, President of the Niskanen Center; Irina Feygina, Director of Behavioral Science and Assessment, Climate Central; and Janet Bowman, Senior Policy Advisor, Florida Chapter of the Nature Conservancy.

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