Climate Change Expert Panel

Geoff Beattie staff profile photo

In the run up to COP26, Geoff was invited to join a ‘Climate Change Expert Panel’ hosted by the International Interdisciplinary Environmental Association and the Laboratorio Nacional de Ciencias de la Sostenibilidad-IE at UNAM in Mexico, the largest university in Latin America. The Chair was Dr. Paola M. Garcia-Meneses, a member of the Climate Change and Sustainable Cities Working Committees of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).

The panel also included Dr. Ana Cecilia Conde Álvarez, General Coordinator of Adaptation to Climate Change of the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change (INECC) and part of the Mexican delegation to negotiate the Paris Agreement. She is also the Lead Author of the Sixth IPCC Report on “Decision-making options for managing risk”. And Professor Iain Stewart, the El Hassan bin Talal Research Chair in Sustainability at the Royal Scientific Society (Amman, Jordan), Visiting Professor in Environmental Studies at Ashoka University, India, and Professor of Geoscience Communication at the University of Plymouth.

Trophy Hunt book cover

The panel came from a range of disciplines; it was a chance for Geoff to discuss the psychological barriers to climate change, and highlight the great gap between expressed values and actual sustainable behaviour in most people’s lives. We could all do more and demand more from our politicians. So why aren’t we? Geoff outlined the psychology behind this. The discussion, he reported, was excellent.

Book cover 'the psychology of climate change.

Geoff did an interview on the 29th October with Business Daily on the BBC World Service on the psychology of trophy hunting based on his book ‘Trophy Hunting: A Psychological Perspective’. The programme also involved interviews with the famous conservationist Richard Leakey and a representative of the Born Free Foundation.

Overcoming the psychological barriers to Climate Change

On the 27th November Geoff Beattie gave a keynote on ‘Overcoming the psychological barriers to climate change’ at the Italian National Geographic Festival of Science in Rome. 

Geoff and Laura McGuire were independently invited to contribute to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee’s report on “COP26: Principles and Priorities – a POST survey of expert views”. This report was prepared for the Secretary of State for BEIS and Minister for COP26 by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST), using the responses that a panel of experts provided. Actual quotes are not attributed to people or universities, but their approach to climate change was flagged up in the report.

In the words of POST ‘The report is the first of its kind and will make an important contribution to UK Parliament’s scrutiny of the COP26 process over the next 12 months.’ Geoff and Laura will remain on the POST COP26 expert data base going forward. The report can be found here: https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/3670/documents/35772/default/, along with an accompanying letter to the Secretary of State for BEIS and Minister for COP26 here: https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/3684/documents/35821/default/.

‘Trophy Hunting’ Shortlisted

Geoff Beattie’s book ‘Trophy Hunting’ has been has been shortlisted for a 2019 Taylor & Francis Outstanding Book and Digital Product Award in the Outstanding Professional Category!

This book explores the psychology of trophy hunting from a critical perspective and considers the reasons why some people engage in the controversial activity of killing often endangered animals for sport.

Recent highly charged debate, reaching a peak with the killing of Cecil the lion in 2015, has brought trophy hunting under unprecedented public scrutiny, and yet the psychology of trophy hunting crucially remains under-explored. Considering all related issues from the evolutionary perspective and ‘inclusive fitness’, to personality and individual factors like narcissism, empathy, and the Duchenne smiles of hunters posing with their prey, Professor Beattie makes connections between a variety of indicators of prestige and dominance, showing how trophy hunting is inherently linked to a desire for status. He argues that we need to identify, analyse and deconstruct the factors that hold the behaviour of trophy hunting in place if we are to understand why it continues, and indeed why it flourishes, in an age of collapsing ecosystems and dwindling species populations.