Thursday, 31 May 2018

Can interviews with the carbon calculator reduce people's footprints?

New research by Milena Buchs of Leeds University and author of previous research on Carbon Conversations has been exploring the effectiveness of our carbon calculator.

You may know that Carbon Conversations grew out of a project that conducted interviews with the public using the Centre for Alternative Technology's carbon calculator as a way of raising people's awareness of climate change. Back in 2005 the information this gave was a revelation to many people and about 10% of those interviewed joined Carbon Conversations groups in order to explore how to reduce the emissions they were in control of.

Recently Milena conducted a longtitudinal study, using the current Carbon Conversations calculator, to see if such interviews and the personalised information they provided could by themselves lead to reductions in people's footprints. The disappointing (but perhaps not surprising) news is that they don't by themselves produce reductions. The research identifies significant barriers to personal action including the lack of appropriate infrastructure but also important socio-cultural factors and many of the psychological issues that Carbon Conversations groups try to work with such as the helplessness people feel in the face of climate change.

It would be interesting to repeat this experiment in a country where there are fewer infrastructural barriers and where government policy is actively encouraging the necessary socio-cultural shifts. The full article Promoting Low Carbon Behaviours through Personalised Information? Long-Term Evaluation of a Carbon Calculator Interview is
 available here. We would encourage you to read it.

We think that the carbon calculator remains a useful tool for introducing people to the effect of everyday life on carbon emissions but it's clear that there is much more to reducing carbon emissions than easy voluntary change.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Climate Psychology Alliance

Those of you interested in the wider psychology of climate change may be interested in some upcoming events in the UK and in some publications.

The Climate Psychology Alliance Annual Conference "Climate Psychology, Children, Young People and Education" on Saturday June 9th 2018 in London looks like being a very good event and is open to non-members as well as members. There's an impressive line-up of speakers and workshop leaders, including Carbon Conversations stalwart Rebecca Nestor. Details here. It is followed by a day workshop on June 10th on "The Anthropocene in stories, symbols and the creative imagination" with Sally Gillespie and Johnathon Marshall. More information here

Rosemary Randall is speaking at a number of public events and workshops at the moment. She ran a very well received workshop 'Talking successfully about climate change' at Glasgow School of Art for CPA Scotland (report here) and will be at Oxford University on May 22nd for one of their Grand Challenges Seminars, as one of a panel speaking on the subject "
Individual lifestyle changes are no longer sufficient to tackle climate change".

A paper based on her research with Paul Hoggett in which they looked at the capacity of climate scientists and climate activists to deal psychologically with the knowledge of climate change has also just come out in the journal Environmental Values. You can find the full article here and a blog post about it here. Contact Rosemary directly if you want to read the full article but can't access it.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Vote for Conversations Carbone
Our friends in France ask if you could help them by voting for the “Conversations Carbone” project so they can get enough “citizen votes” to be selected by the “French Ministry for Ecological and Fair Transition”. They have  applied to a program called “mon projet pour la plan├Ęte” and the target is to get over 500 votes before May 11th.

They are busy running groups and have plans for more later in the year. See their website

Sunday, 1 April 2018

New project in Toronto, Canada

We are delighted to hear that Carbon Conversation TO has launched their new website and starting in the spring, they plan to offer groups in different neighbourhoods in Toronto.
We think this is the first organisation in North America to run groups with a 'localised' set of materials, based on the CC Materials, in particularly ITFT International US-Canada

Sunday, 4 March 2018

More news from Netherlands
KlimaatGesprekken were featured in deVolkskranta, a big national newspaper, in February. What to do if you are depressed about climate change is in Dutch so use google translate or S3.translator for other languages. KlimaatGesprekken are mentioned at the start and end and there’s a quote from Rosemary Randall.

The article sparked more than 25 people who want to participate in the groups. This builds on the 200 people joining last year and the team of about 30 facilitators. This year they plan to triple in size, to about 70 facilitators and 700 participants. Facilitator trainings for April and May are almost fully booked now. 
More recently there have been TV recordings of KlimaatGesprekken  groups. The programme will be broadcast on the 18th of March. Updates when we have a link, and a circular to the riseup mailinglist too.
It was a challenge for the participants to really deal with all the different themes in such a short afternoon, with cameras present. In spite of that the facilitators managed to connect people, help them think creatively and created a non judgemental atmosphere. We will see which fragments the producer uses when it goes out.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Conversations carbone

Susana Jourdan at "Artisans de la Transition" writes

"Last year we were very busy in our project to diffuse cc here in the French part of Switzerland. We were able to train 32 new facilitators last November. So we are now 40 trained facilitators and we are all doing our best to have all of them running at least one group in 2018.
We have also almost finished the translation / adaptation of the materials and should be able to edit them with a graphic layout and new pictures. Thank you very much again to you both to make this possible."
Anyone interested in the French translation of the material can get in touch with Susana.

Monday, 16 October 2017

News from Finland

M.A. Mikko Valtonen is a doctoral researcher, elementary school teacher and adult educator from Finland. In his current work, Valtonen is unifying Carbon Conversations approach to Finnish national curricula. The aim of this action study is to create a comprehensive program for Finnish basic education to achieve its curriculum-based teaching task on ecosocially civilized behaviour and sustainable lifestyle.
The doctoral research is connected to a larger project called The Climate Love Story.  The mission of this project is with stakeholders to create a new kind of online service for citizens, households and schools. The social networking service is created to encourage and help in reducing carbon footprint and rapidly strengthen the action competence to sustainable life nationally in Finland and internationally. The vision of this project is a global community: one hundred million people learning sustainable well-being in friendly social networking service by the year 2030.