Dr. Debra Davidson: Feeling the climate: Tracing emotional pathways to climate (in)action

Tuesday November 2, 2021
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

UBC Sociology’s Distinguished Speaker Series hosts University of Alberta Professor Debra Davidson for a talk titled, “Feeling the climate: Tracing emotional pathways to climate (in)action.”


The first trigger to any form of personal and collective change begins with emotions. They influence whether and how our attention is drawn to stimuli, how we reflect upon those stimuli and choose courses of action. Emotions are thus at the center of social responses to climate change, although they are not often reflected in our models of climate-related behaviour. I offer a selective, interdisciplinary review of the study of emotions and the small but growing record of empirical research on emotional responses to climate change. I then synthesize this knowledge to articulate a conceptual framework describing emotional pathways to four types of responses to climate change: apathy, denial, withdrawal, and action.

Dr. Debra Davidson

More about Dr. Debra Davidson:

Dr. Debra Davidson is Professor of Environmental Sociology in the Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology at the University of Alberta. Her teaching and research interests focus on the social dimensions of climate change mitigation and adaptation, and transitions in energy and agri-food systems. She is a former Lead Author in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, was awarded the Killam Annual Professorship at the University of Alberta in 2020, and is currently the President of the Research Committee on Environment and Society in the International Sociological Association. Recent published articles have appeared in Public Understanding of Science; Environmental Research Letters; British Journal of Sociology; and Social Problems. She is the co-editor of two recent collections, The Oxford Handbook of Energy and Society (2018, Oxford), and Environment and Society, Concepts and Challenges (2018, Palgrave).

This talk will be held both in person in ANSO 134 and on Zoom. In accordance with COVID-19 guidelines, space is limited for in-person attendance.

If you wish to attend in person, please complete this RSVP form. 

If you wish to attend remotely, please complete this RSVP to receive a Zoom link.