greenSPEAK: Environmental Sustainability Speaker

15 October 2013 - 15 October 2013
14:30 PM
Abbotsford Campus

Centre for Sustainability presents Sven Van de Wetering on barriers to behavioral change in greenSPEAK Seminar Series

Tues, Oct 15 @ 2:30 p,m

Abby B101

Free and open to the public!

Sven van de Wetering was born in Powell River, B.C. and has lived in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal, the Eastern Townships, the Laurentians, and Freiburg, Germany.  He has a B.Sc. in biology and a Ph.D. in psychology.  He has taught psychology at University of the Fraser Valley since 1998.  Since presenting a paper called “If everyone’s an environmentalist now, why are SUVs selling so well?” in 2001, a substantial proportion of his research has focused on psychological influences on environmentally harmful behaviours.  He started a course on environmental psychology at UFV in 2009.

Abstract: Escape from Easter Island

After a brief discussion of how the Easter Islanders severely damaged the conditions for their own continued flourishing, I examine the issue of whether we risk a similar fate.  Although technological fixes for many environmental problems cannot be ruled out, some changes in people’s behaviours would be helpful.  This talk focuses on four barriers to such behavioural change: forces favouring conspicuous consumption, lack of normative support for environmentally responsible behaviours, structural barriers preventing such behaviours, and willful ignorance.



UFV Centre for Environmental Sustainability

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