Climate Psychology and Action Lab

“This is the tragedy of climate change science: the compulsion to do ever more research on climate change when the science-society contract is broken. The tragedy is continuing research when the problem is political, diverting attention away from where the problem truly lies, and being gaslighted into crafting new scientific institutions, strategies, collaborations and methodologies.  – Glavovic et al. 2021

Glavovic et al. encourage us to think hard about what it is we can and should expect from academic research at this juncture. In our lab, we take seriously the prospect of climate breakdown and a disruption of organized human existence in our lifetimes. The IPCC 2021 report estimated that on a high emissions pathway (which appears to be compatible with our current trajectory) we are likely to experience global heating of 2.4 C above preindustrial levels in the 2041 to 2060 timeframe, and 4.4 C in the 2081 to 2100 timeframe (of course those estimates will be much lower if emissions are dramatically cut soon – but emissions from burning fossil fuels reached a record in 2022). If we stay on a high emissions pathway, the insurer Swiss Re estimates that, by 2050, climate change could cost the world 23 trillion per annum.

Our lab is connected with the Green New Deal at UCSD (a grassroots climate justice and action movement) and also with ElectrifyUC (a wider 10 campus grouping).

Our research focuses on understanding and achieving a stronger social mobilization to get the policy support to end fossil fuels. More generally, we are also interested in research as a form of praxis to build’s people’s skills to engage in collective action for community resilience of all kinds as social, economic, and ecological stresses grow.

Adam Aron

Professor

After 20 years doing neuroscience Adam switched to trying to prevent climate & ecological breakdown. He has a PhD from the University of Cambridge, and did a postdoc at UCLA. Google Scholar | CV.

Tal Waltzer

NSF SBE postdoctoral scholar at the UCSD Psychology Department.

Tal studies moral development, reasoning, and decision-making and is committed to using research to help inform and make progress on everyday ethical issues (e.g. climate action, scientific integrity). https://www.twaltzer.com/ 

Alumni

Ella Miles-Urdan, undergraduate

Tajairi Brown-Neuson, undergraduate

Haley Kawar, undergraudate

Teddy Moisa, undergraduate

Julianne Luong, undergraduate research assistant

Megan Phelps, graduate research assistant

Megan Elbel, graduate student

Rian Drexler, graduate student

Pauline Brouër

PhD Student

Pauline is current conducting a two-site study on training collective action.

Max Lyons

Undergraduate

Max is a marine biology student at UCSD, minor in psychology. He’s also a climate activist and organizer and he’s helping us with our collective action on climate research projects.

Collaborators

Anna Castiglione

PhD Student in Italy

Anna earned an MA from UCSD in psychology, where she was a recipient of the Jerri-Ann and Gary E. Jacobs Endowed Fellowship, and then a  Masters degree in Climate Physics in Trento Italy.

Members of the Green New Deal at UCSD stage a bank protest on the campus, Nov 30th, 2021, as part of the #StopTheMoneyPipeline movement. They demanded that UCSD switch from providing the retail banks, Bank of America, Wells, CITI and Chase in favor of credit unions, and that UCSD switch from using Bank of America for its main commercial (department) transactions in favor of a bank with much less exposure to fossil interests. Bank of America for example, has financed fossil extraction by nearly 150 billion dollars in the last four years: https://www.bankingonclimatechaos.org.