Embrace of the Earth 2016

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Audio File

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Our insatiable desire for energy in support of the dominant myth of unbounded growth has placed the planet in a precarious state. Our reliance on fossil fuels is causing the planet to warm at an unprecedented rate. It is imperative that we address this situation as soon as possible for the longer we wait, the more we commit future generations to unfathomable disruption. Current approaches to address this problem have relied solely on technological solutions. In essence, we have chosen to treat the symptom and not the deeply rooted causes of climate change. Depth psychology provides a unique perspective on the problem of climate change for it recognizes the importance of the unconscious in affecting our perception of and actions in the world. Listening to the unconscious opens us to new ways of understanding and addressing climate change. In this presentation, we explore how the structure and dynamics of unconscious processes relate to climate change and how these processes provide pathways to addressing the problem. We consider the archetypal presences that pervade our relationship with the natural world and how our conscious disconnection from these archetypes has led to the myth unbounded growth and exploitation of natural resources.


Jeffrey Kiehl, PhD is a Jungian analyst and climate scientist. He is an adjunct professor at UC Santa Cruz and senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. He has carried out research on climate change for over 35 years and was the 2012 recipient of the American Geophysical Union Climate Communication Prize. As a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, he shared in the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He holds a masters degree in psychology and is a senior training analyst at the CG Jung Institute of Colorado and the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts. He has coauthored over 120 papers on climate science and is the author of Facing Climate Change: An Integrated Path to the Future (Columbia U. Press), which provides a Jungian, phenomenological perspective on climate change. Jeffrey lives in Santa Cruz, CA.