Episode 114: The Psychological Roots of the Climate Crisis with Sally Weintrobe

In this episode host Michael Shields interviews Sally Weintrobe, a Fellow of The British Psychoanalytical Society and a founder member of the Climate Psychology Alliance who Chairs the International Psychoanalytic Association’s (IPA’s) Committee on Climate. In 2021 she won an award from the IPA for her climate work. Her past publications include, as editor and contributor, Engaging with Climate Change, short-listed in 2014 for the International Gradiva Prize for contributions to psychoanalysis. Her recent book, Psychological Roots of the Climate Crisis: Neoliberal Exceptionalism and The Culture of Uncare, which is the focus of this episode, tells the story of a fundamental fight between a caring and an uncaring imagination. It helps us to recognize the uncaring imagination in politics, in culture, and also in ourselves.In her enlightening and important book, Sally Weintrobe argues that achieving the shift to greater care requires us to stop colluding with Exceptionalism, the rigid psychological mindset largely responsible for the climate crisis. People in this mindset believe that they are entitled to have the lion's share and that they can 'rearrange' reality with magical omnipotent thinking whenever reality limits these felt entitlements. Throughout the episode host Michael Shields and Sally Wintrobe explore the themes present in Psychological Roots of the Climate Crisis, exploring in depth how the rigid psychological mindset of Exceptionalism is largely responsible for the Climate Crisis. They also explore how lively entitlement powers the will to act for and care for others, how changing demographics are motivating the neoliberal empire to act more manipulative and brutal to hold onto power, how the Climate Crisis is affecting today’s youth psychologically, and much, much more.

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