08 March 2022

We're Updating Carbon Conversations

We have some big news about Carbon Conversations. Contrary to everything we have been saying since 'In Time for Tomorrow' came out we have agreed to update the materials, transforming Carbon Conversations to meet the needs of the 2020s.

 Much has changed since we started the project back in 2006. Public knowledge about climate change has increased while governments in many countries such as the UK have retreated from responsibility. Climate has moved from being a desperately urgent issue to being a crisis and an emergency.

We are not doing this alone. We are delighted have gained the support of the Climate Psychology Alliance who will be hosting the project and helping to create mentoring and support for facilitators while on the conceptual and writing side Dr Daniela Fernandez-Catherall and Rebecca Nestor are joining us as part of the writing team, bringing not just their long involvement in the climate movement to bear on the project but also their experience of Community Psychology and Psycho-social studies.

Rather than detailed guidance on the need for personal carbon reduction, people today need help in coping with the devastating feelings that sometimes overwhelm them. They need to explore ways to feel joy and satisfaction in a precarious world and support in finding their way to a variety of personal, political and community action. They need skills in communicating, both publicly and in personal situations. Reducing personal impact still matters but its place needs to shift.

The materials will be based on workshops we have run, mostly over the last five years, but some from earlier. The themes covered in the six facilitated workshops are climate distress and anxiety; roots and values and finding strength; finding your place in the climate movement; talking with family, friends and colleagues; using your voice for change; and balancing your life. A Facilitator's Guide will cover the background psychology that informs our approach and contain the outlines for the meetings. PowerPoint slides for the workshops will also be available. Only one of the meetings (the third) will address personal carbon impact but a separate Participant's Guide will contain guidance on reducing your impact, and people can use this to work through outside the group with another group member.

We are aiming to have a first draft of the new materials completed by Easter, to pilot the meetings during late April and May and to have them ready for use by July. Although the workshops will demand more of facilitators, we hope that the materials will be much more straightforward to use and translate.

We recognise that the old Carbon Conversations project holds a special place in many people’s hearts and that these changes may not be for everyone. Some people may wish to continue with the old materials or use some combination of the old and new, and to enable this the old materials will remain available on the website.

If you’d like to know more, do contact us.

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