Neuroliberal climatic governmentalities

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Aberystwyth University


Introduction: Thinking Globally, Acting Neurologically Recent developments within the behavioural and neurological sciences are beginning to cast valuable light on the drivers of human behaviour towards the environment (see Gertner 2009). At the simplest level, research suggests that the nature of human impacts on the environment present significant challenges to the so-called greening of the brain (see Centre for Research on Environmental Decisions 2009). At one level, the green orientation of the brain appears to be inhibited by the fact that many of the consequences of our environmental actions (particularly those associated with climate change) tend to be displaced in both time and space (Jones et al. 2013). Consequently, our carbon dioxide emissions on any given day are only likely to have a discernable climatic effect in the near future. Furthermore, if we live in a relatively advanced economy, the worst impacts of our greenhouse gas emissions are most likely to afflict people in distant lands. On these terms, the lack of relevant feedback on our environmental actions works to inhibit rational responses to our current climate predicament. On another level, the very fact that many people will not directly experience the worst consequences of climatic actions tends to inhibit our more emotional prompts to pro-environmental behaviour. In essence, the nature of climate change tends to inhibit both our rational and emotionally based drivers to behaviour change.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGoverning the Climate
Subtitle of host publicationNew Approaches to Rationality, Power and Politics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas