UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Making climate change visible : a critical role for landscape professionals Sheppard, Stephen


Climate change is getting worse, but society is not responding accordingly (IPCC, 2014). Scientists have become very worried and are increasingly trying to communicate better, some of them (such as James Hansen, formerly Director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies) even becoming activists (Mann, 2014). However, psychological research and the evidence of global politics confirm that science and science communication are not enough to stimulate behaviour change or substantive action on the climate crisis (Moser and Dilling, 2007). This essay discusses the need for experiential learning, place attachment, social pressure at the local level, as well as enhanced planning, to help mobilize community-level awareness and action on climate change. It explores the unique potential of local landscapes, landscape professionals, and their visual media in helping to deliver or reinforce these as catalysts of social change, through making climate change more visible where people live.

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