Sally Weintrobe is a Fellow of the British Psychoanalytic Society. Currently she is writing a book on the culture that promotes disavowal of climate change. She edited and contributed to (2012) Engaging with Climate Change, shortlisted for the International Gradiva Prize for contributions to psychoanalysis.
Some of her talks can be found at: www.sallyweintrobe.com
May 20,, 2017
Climate Change and the New Imagination
Sally Weintrobe argues that current dominant culture serves neo-liberalism. The culture drives the false belief that we are entitled not to have to face a particular reality. This is that neo-liberalism has led to climate change and social instability and we are caught up in its structures. This talk aims to help open up a conversation that allows us to think together about needed changes in a way that recognises that change may be disturbing, troubling and difficult as well as enlivening.
"Since the publication of Engaging with Climate Change in 2012, I have given many talks on our collective difficulty in taking climate reality seriously. The text of some of these talks can be found under Talks and Interviews on this website.
Most of us are in denial about the seriousness of climate change. I believe our main difficulty is not so much facing the science as facing that climate change is caused by humans, which means us. We have barely begun to take this in in a feeling-ful way, as to do so would face each of us with conflict and grief, and lead us to question how responsible each of us is for the environmental and social damage we see more clearly now.
What sort of framework of understanding do we need to be able to think proportionately about human responsibility for climate change? What sort of support do we need to think about this in a feeling-ful way and not cut off from the subject?
My current work is on the role our culture plays in shaping disavowal about climate change. I call it the culture of uncare, and argue its aim is to alienate and distance us from the part of us that cares about the effects of our actions.
To address climate change we need to care more. It’s as simple as that. Only felt links with the part of us that cares will give us the inner strength and will to defend the earth and life on earth at this time when both are so under attack. But to care more, and to take responsibility for our part in things, we need to do more than exhort ourselves to care. We need to understand more about the culture of uncare, what drives it, and the effects it has on us."