Conversation with Experts

Temporary Expert / Conversation with Experts

1. Jennifer Jacquet, professor at the department of Environmental Studies NYU

Jennifer has been working in the space of climate action for a long time. My interest in her work developed due to her study of psychology and climate change. The discussion with her was particularly informative in terms of understanding how shame affects human action, who are the primary propagators of global warming and how corporations are generally indifferent towards the concerns raised by the public. One highlight was to develop a different understanding of the problem of climate change. To view it not as an environmental issue, but as a humanitarian issue. The rich cause climate change and the poor are generally on the front line facing the consequences. Wildlife is not even involved but is facing the worst consequences.

2. Robert and Irene Keim, board of directors Unitarian Universalist Ministry of Earth

Robert and Irene Keim have been working in the space of climate justice and religion for a long time. They were probably the best people to reach out to in order to understand the explore the connection between the environment and religion. Credits to Marina for connecting me with them. Their work is generally community based and philanthropic. But they were very responsive to my ideas around an art project that talks about this theme, and had some great suggestions. They pointed me towards Yale Forum of Religion and Ecology, where Prof Mary Evelyn Tucker has been studying and teaching how to make this distinct connection and how influence people. They also gave me feedback based on their experiences with climate marches and social work. One great point was

“People who are not environmentalists, become immediately dismissive about the issue if the speaker mentions climate change. Stay away from the use of the specific term and try to speak using non-scientific terms.”

I had also reached out to Prof. Wendy Doniger at UChicago but couldn’t have a dialogue with her due to her busy schedule. She mentioned that she is open to a discussion post mid-June if it relates to Hinduism in any way. This might be a possibility if I can use the same themes to work on a project about Hinduism and women empowerment in India.

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