The Group Analysis North annual lecture was presented by Paul Hoggett on the subject of climate change.

On Hoping that Humans will be Calm in their Diminishing”

This extract from Tony Hoagland’s poem captures something of the unprecedented challenge facing us. As the climate collapses we seem still firmly set on a trajectory that will destroy the unique conditions that made civilization possible 11,000 years ago.

Whilst the species will surely survive in some form it may well do so at the expense of our humanity.

What is this thing we call ‘our humanity’, why is it worth preserving, and why is it so precarious? Can it withstand the panicked surge either towards the survival of the fittest or towards the lure of salvation via the rapture, genetic upgrading or the colonisation of Mars?

In exploring such questions Paul Hoggett will examine how therapeutic insights and practices could contribute to our ‘calming’ in the turbulent times ahead?

Paul Hoggett helped set up, and was the first Chair, of the Climate Psychology Alliance. He is Emeritus Professor of Social Policy at UWE, a psychoanalytic psychotherapist and was the founding joint editor of Organisational and Social Dynamics, the journal of the Tavistock Group Relations tradition. His most recently edited volume is Climate Psychology: On Indifference to Disaster (2019: Palgrave).