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Meeting Environmental Challenges: The Role of Human Identity

17 June 2009

This major new publication, written jointly with Professor Tim Kasser (Knox College, Illinois, and author of 'The High Price of Materialism') examines those fundamental aspects of human identity that operate to frustrate approaches to meeting environmental challenges.

The book is freely downloadable from the sidebar or alternatively you can purchase a hardcopy from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, or our distributor, Greenbooks.

The study suggests that some environmental campaigning currently operates inadvertently to exacerbate these unhelpful aspects of identity. It also points to ways in which environmental organisations could begin to work in order to activate more helpful aspects of identity. Finally, it highlights new opportunities for collaborations across diverse civil society organisations to begin to address fundamental barriers to delivery on a range of concerns - from biodiversity loss to poverty alleviation, and racism to animal welfare abuses. 

“Never have environmental problems appeared so insuperable. Whatever the past victories of the environment movement, we need a new and deeper approach - one that begins to engage the human values and identities that lie at the heart of environmental challenges. Meeting Environmental Challenges: The Role of Human Identity does not flinch in insisting on both the possibility and the absolute necessity of working in this way. As such, it makes a clear and important contribution to a realistic response to today’s environmental crisis.”

James Gustave Speth - Carl W. Knobloch, Jr. Dean of the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, and Sara Shallenberger Brown, Professor in the Practice of Environmental Policy at Yale University, and author of The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability.


“A huge shift in public attitudes to global warming is vital to secure our future. The new strategy put forward in this superb book is subtle, powerful and based on cutting edge psychological research. It’s probably our last best shot.”

Clive Hamilton - Author of Growth Fetish and Scorcher: The dirty politics of climate change.


“Tom Crompton and Tim Kasser’s new study is a sorely-needed and hopeful resource in a time of environmental and climate dangers. Meeting Environmental Challenges: The Role of Human Identity mines a rich vein of recent psychological and social research to address one of the core challenges of social change - how to mobilize private and unconcerned citizens to alter not only their own behaviors but those of businesses and governments as well.”

Robert Cox - Board member and former president (2007-8) of the Sierra Club and professor of communication studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


“It would be the easiest thing in the world to neglect the demons in the human soul and place all our faith in angels. But Pollyanna politics won’t solve the enormous environmental and social challenges that face us. Tom Crompton and Tim Kasser have done a huge service to sustainability
by shining a critical light on the unsustainable aspects of the human psyche and at the same time reminding us of our underlying humanity, and of the common values that seek to protect and preserve the common good.”

Tim Jackson  - Professor of Sustainable Development and Director of RESOLVE, University of Surrey, UK


For more information, please contact:
Dr Tom Crompton,
Change Strategist,
WWF-UK
Panda House,
Godalming
GU7 1XR.
UK
Email: tcrompton@wwf.org.uk
Telephone: 0777 6467553
Skype: tom_crompton

Meeting Environmental Challenges: The Role of Human Identity. The full book

Family cycling along a country road in Wales, UK