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Poor People, Poor Planet: The Psychology of How We Harm and Heal Humanity and Earth

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Toward a Socially Responsible Psychology for a Global Era

Part of the book series: International and Cultural Psychology ((ICUP))

Abstract

Right now millions of desperately impoverished people are starving in Africa, Asia, and other lands as climate change has accelerated drought and depletion of their water resources, land quality, and access to basics for survival. Right now thousands more find themselves displaced from their homes after severe storms, raging rivers, or rising seas have devastated their communities or wildfires have burned their lands, destroying their houses, crops, and livelihoods. Right now extreme heat waves are testing both the mental and physical health of the most vulnerable among us, including the malnourished, the elderly, the young, and the isolated.

Poverty is… Pretending you forgot your lunch, being teased for the way you are dressed, feeling ashamed when Dad can’t get a job, not getting a hot dog on hot dog day, being afraid to tell your Mom that you need gym shoes, not getting to go to birthday parties, not buying books at the book fair.” (Grade 7 children, North Bay, Ontario, Canada. Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition, 1998).

Anthony Marsella (2008)

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Notes

  1. 1.

    The United States has one of the greatest levels of inequality of any “developed” nation, and recent measures of U.S. income inequality show that top wage earners increased their incomes about four times more than middle-income earners between 1979 and 2007 (Stone et al. 2012).

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Shapiro, S. (2014). Poor People, Poor Planet: The Psychology of How We Harm and Heal Humanity and Earth. In: Mustakova-Possardt, E., Lyubansky, M., Basseches, M., Oxenberg, J. (eds) Toward a Socially Responsible Psychology for a Global Era. International and Cultural Psychology. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7391-6_10

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