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A Field Guide To Climate Anxiety

Reframing Environmentalism As A Movement Of Abundance Connection And Well

Our Land: Coping with Climate Anxiety | In Context

The book is highly worth reading, and I encourage anyone who is feeling burnt out, hopeless, despairing, crushed, sick of it all, and even misanthropic to pick it up. You will be rewarded with fresh perspectives about how you can more healthily relate to these feelings, and reframe them for increased motivation and a sense of community throughout.

It includes compelling arguments for why we must ditch guilt, shame, and even empathy . It schools readers on the role of emotions in climate justice work, as well as how to incorporate existential wisdom, spiritualism, and acceptance of the severity of whats going on into our lives and still find pleasure. It debunks corrosive stories, like the myth of individualism that governs so much in American life, demonstrating how it leads to burnout. Too many activists wear burnout as a badge of honour – as though it proves theyve accomplished something – and this misguided thinking is diminishing the capacity of collective action itself.

Hurricane Ian Dwarfs Devastating Hurricane Charley

As Hurricane Ian grew into a monster storm on Wednesday, it drew troubling comparisons to Hurricane Charley, which devastated Charlotte County in 2004, and one disturbing difference.

While the storms tracks were shaping up to be similar, experts noted how Ian dwarfed Charley. By 3 a.m., Wednesday, the diameter of Ians eye had grown to about 35 miles. Thats large enough to fit the entire extent of Charleys hurricane-force wind field, Rick Knabb, a hurricane expert for The Weather Channel, noted in a tweet.

This will produce a much wider swath of damaging wind, storm surge, flooding rains, Knabbs tweet said.

Eye diameter of #Ian about 35 miles across, a larger hurricane after Tue night eyewall replacement cycle. Entire extent of hurricane force wind field of Charley 2004 would fit inside Ians eye. This will produce a much wider swath of damaging wind, storm surge, flooding rains.

Dr. Rick Knabb

Ians area of hurricane force winds had grown to about three times the size of Charleys, and its area of tropical storm-force winds was more than twice Charleys size, Paul Dellegatto, chief meteorologist for WTVT Fox 13 in Tampa, tweeted at 9:15 a.m.

Their tracks may be similar, but thats about it, Dellegattos tweet said. #Ian has potential to do significantly more damage than #Charley.

How The Climate Crisis Is Contributing To A Rise In Global Eco

Ecoanxiety: A chronic fear of environmental doom

A simple yet staggering definition from the American Psychological Association.

From a biopsychosocial perspective, it is understood that natural disasters and other geophysical events can contribute to vulnerabilities in individual well-being and overall community health. For example, most adults report experiencing some level of ecoanxiety, and almost half of individuals between age 18 and 34 report being affected daily by the stress of climate change.

While experiences of climate anxiety are unique and deeply personal, some common threads of thought include feeling like ones actions are not contributing enough to make a difference, and feeling small amid the widespread, rippling effects of climate destruction. This might lead us to want to retreat, isolate, and allow our negative thoughts and feelings to spiral.

So what do we do?

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Other Things From Me In The Last Week

I spoke with Metro about eco-anxiety for their article Heres what living under the threat of extinction is doing to our brains shared what keeps me up at night and what gives me hope in ten minutes with The Skylark and was on the Foreward podcast to discuss science storytelling for todays crises.

Feed What You Want To Grow

A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety

Rays writing teaches us to become more thoughtful about the stories we consume and share, because the difficulty or ease of this work starts there. Crucially, she suggests that reframing environmentalism as a movement of abundance, connection, and well-being may help us rethink it as a politics of desire rather than a politics of individual sacrifice and denial. Anger is also explored an emotion her students show a lot. Its importance is recognized but Ray also warns that in the long run, anger will only lead to fraying relationships and isolation, and will therefore destroy us. As Ive , social capital and connectedness are not just nice to have – theyre need to haves – in order to thrive in dark times.

The book also gets about 100 other sound ideas across, but its overarching message is this: feed what you want to grow. Its the mantra that helps Ray manage her own anxiety about the world and I must say, when I remember to do this, it certainly helps me too.

The Climate Generation that A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety is intended for encompasses the youth climate movement. This movement proves that the difficult emotions that the climate crisis stirs up dont only lead to paralysis. They can also be used as fuel for change when theyre nourished in community with the kinds of insights that Ray offers.

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Episode : A Field Guide To Climate Anxiety

by LaUraS | Apr 20, 2020

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Episode 1: Sarah Jaquette Ray’s Field Guide to Climate Anxiety

Aimee & LaUra interview Dr. Sarah Jaquette Ray about her brand new & timely book, A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety. They discuss self-care in the times of coronavirus & climate upheaval, tending to our interior worlds, and paradigm shifts. Tune in for an insightful and fun episode and the launch of season two of WHY?!? A Good Grief Network Podcast.

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A Field Guide To Climate Anxiety : How To Keep Your Cool On A Warming Planet Sarah Jaquette Rayresource Informationthe Item A Field Guide To Climate Anxiety : How To Keep Your Cool On A Warming Planet Sarah Jaquette Ray Represents A Specific Individual Material Embodiment Of A Distinct Intellectual Or Artistic Creation Found In Williamsburg Regional Librarythis Item Is Available To Borrow From 1 Library Branch

“A youth movement is reenergizing global environmental activism. The “climate generation”–late millennials and iGen, or Generation Z–is demanding that policy makers and government leaders take immediate action to address the dire climate science predictions. Those inheriting our planet’s environmental problems expect to encounter challenges, but they may not foresee the feelings of powerlessness and despair that often accompany social activism in the face of a seemingly intractable situation. Drawing on ten years’ experience leading and teaching in college environmental studies programs, Sarah Jaquette Ray has created an “existential toolkit” for the climate generation. Combining insights from psychology, sociology, social movements, mindfulness, and the environmental humanities, Ray explains why and how we need to let go of eco-guilt, resist burnout, and cultivate resilience while advocating for climate justice. A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety is the essential guidebook for the climate generation–and perhaps the rest of us–as we confront the greatest environmental threat of our time”–
  • Introduction : embracing life in the Anthropocene
  • Get schooled on the role of emotions in climate justice work
  • Cultivate climate wisdom
  • Claim your calling and scale your action
  • Be less right and more in relation
  • Ditch guilt, forget hope, and laugh more

This Timely Book Offers Ideas About How To Keep Your Cool On A Warming Planet

This Mortal Life: What’s Race Got to do With Climate Justice?

Hey Gen Dread Head!

This week I want to shed light on a book that is extremely up Gen Dreads alley and came out in the early days of the pandemic before this newsletter had taken its first dreadful steps. Dr Sarah Jaquette Rays A Field Guide to Climate Anxietyis a pioneering book in a genre that offers psychological insights and practical coping skills for eco-emotions – a genre that will no doubt expand in the years to come .

Ray is a Professor of Environmental Studies at Humboldt State University and she wrote this book for her students: the Gen Z youth so aware of climate disruption and so burnt out on bad news, that their environmental studies classes only traumatize them more. They are, as Ray calls them, the Climate Generation.

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Practical Steps To Mitigate Climate Change & Climate Anxiety

You can also take practical action by adjusting your lifestyle choices and advocating within your community. Below are a few changes to consider:

  • Shift your method of daily transportation. You can do this by driving an electric vehicle, carpooling, walking, biking, or using public transportation.
  • Adjust your diet by eating less red meat or eating more vegan or vegetarian meals.
  • Utilize renewable sources such as solar panels.
  • Participate in local recycling programs.
  • Petition for community change and investment in climate-focused infrastructure by writing to elected officials.

*Please offer yourself compassion if you do not have access to the resources to make these lifestyle choices. The public often places significant responsibility on the individual to make expensive and impractical changes. This list is not meant to place responsibility or invoke shame, but rather to offer options if one is in a position to act on them.

From this article, take what feels best for you and leave the rest. There are many ways to process and fight climate anxiety, but the most important piece to begin with is acknowledging its presence. From there, you can take steps to foster connection and community, build resilience and personal power, and ultimately find meaning within the chaos.

Book Review: A Field Guide To Climate Anxiety

Sarah Jacquette Rays book, A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety, was published before two major crises occurred: the novel coronavirus, and the economic implosion. These crises affect everyone on the planet, for COVID-19 and the subsequent effects on world economies are touching upon every human life. These crises cause the very things that are detrimental to our living successfully and happily on the planet as the earths climate continues to warm. Thus, this book is most timely, and may be viewed as addressing them, as well as the crisis our changing climate presents.

Ray writes for her students, Gen Z college juniors born at the end of the 1990s and early 2000s, who may be anxious and depressed about the climate emergency wrought by living in the Anthropocene age, where ecosystems are being compromised by human intervention, but who refuse to be the last letter of the generational alphabet. Ray calls this the climate generation because this cohort will have the energy and power to help right the wrongs of the Anthropocenemainly by reducing/eliminating the influence of extractive industries.

The subtitle of her book, How to Keep Your Cool On a Warming Planet, suggests the guide that comprises the book. Ray stresses that stress is not helpful in sustaining the effort to create a planet friendly to all living things, that guilt over not ever being able to do enough to save the planet is actually detrimental to making sustained change.

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Climate Anxiety Is An Overwhelmingly White Phenomenon

Is it really just code for white people wishing to hold onto their way of life or to get back to normal?

The climate movement is ascendant, and it has become common to see climate change as a social justice issue. Climate change and its effectspandemics, pollution, natural disastersare not universally or uniformly felt: the people and communities suffering most are disproportionately Black, Indigenous and people of color. It is no surprise then that U.S. surveys show that these are the communities most concerned about climate change.

One year ago, I published a book called A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety. Since its publication, I have been struck by the fact that those responding to the concept of climate anxiety are overwhelmingly white. Indeed, these climate anxiety circles are even whiter than the environmental circles Ive been in for decades. Today, a year into the pandemic, after the murder of George Floyd and the protests that followed, and the attack on the U.S. Capitol, I am deeply concerned about the racial implications of climate anxiety. If people of color are more concerned about climate change than white people, why is the interest in climate anxiety so white? Is climate anxiety a form of white fragility or even racial anxiety? Put another way, is climate anxiety just code for white people wishing to hold onto their way of life or get back to normal, to the comforts of their privilege?


A Field Guide To Climate Anxiety: How To Keep Your Cool On A Warming Planet

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‘a Field Guide To Climate Anxiety’: How To Keep Your Cool On A Warming Planet

A new book by Sarah Ray, professor of Environmental Studies, will be a handy resource for students, teachers, activists, and anyone contending with the emotional and social heaviness of the movement to save our planet.

Climate change fatalism is burning out Gen Z before some of them are even old enough to vote. Greta Thunberg just wants to “have a normal life,” and she’s proven herself more resilient than most.

_A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety_, by Sarah Ray, professor of Environmental Studies, will be a handy resource for students, teachers, activists, and anyone contending with the emotional and social heaviness of the movement to save our planet.

Based on Ray’s decade-plus of experience as a college educator and program leader, _A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety_ is not just another self-help book: it draws on research in psychology, sociology, cultural studies, mindfulness insights, social justice movements, and the environmental humanities. The result is an accessible and relatable resource for anyone struggling with climate anxiety. Chapter themes include:– How to identify the signs and symptoms of climate anxiety, and where they come from– Finding your place in the climate movement– Parsing journalism and sensational media representations of environmental crises– Resisting the urge to argue and be “right”– Allowing yourself to have fun and experience joy despite the state of things

Field Guide To Climate Anxiety Author Will Speak To Cwu Community In February

Dealing with climate change anxiety will be the focus of a February 1 webinar at CWU.

Members of the Central Washington University community and others interested in exploring how to remain optimistic in the era of climate change are invited to attend a free webinar Tuesday, February 1.

The event, sponsored by CWU Sustainability and CWU Libraries, will take place from noon to 1 p.m. and will center around the ideas presented in the book, A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety: How to Keep Your Cool on a Warming Planet, written by Sarah Jaquette Ray.

The Humboldt State University environmental studies professor wrote the book after recognizing that many of her students were experiencing a sense of grief, hopelessness, and anxiety due to the magnitude of the climate crisis. After experiencing rising temperatures, flooding, and wildfires in recent years, many college students today are looking for ways to cope.

This book was written for Gen Z, said CWU Sustainability Coordinator Kathleen Klaniecki, who is coordinating Tuesdays webinar, along with a follow-up discussion from noon to 1 p.m. February 8.

The author felt like everything college students were being taught about climate change was doom and gloom, and she wanted to give them strategies for addressing the climate crisis with hope and empowerment. Its just as important for students to address their feelings about climate change as it is to learn about it in the classroom.

Also Check: Do You Have An Anxiety Disorder

Sustainability Book Review: A Field Guide To Climate Anxiety

As a reoccurring feature on the Sustainability Roundtable blog, we will post reviews of books related to sustainability. Interested in submitting your own review to the blog? Contact August at

A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety: How to Keep Your Cool on a Warming Planetby Sarah Jaquette Ray, University of California Press, 2020

Review by Beth Filar Williams

Dr. Sarah Jaquette Ray, a professor of environmental studies at Humboldt State University, wrote this book after realizing that her students could not even envision a positive livable climate-changed future from the results of collective effort of many. Not because these students / this generation are lazy or do not care more so they DO care but feel powerless and are constantly bombarded with all that is wrong and seemingly unfixable, handed to them from the older generation. Why should they even try when its not possible to get a positive end game? Frozen by fear, guilt or grief, how can anyone even imagine a desired future?

Though written for Rays college students, this existential toolkit for action is also great for anyone who wants to do something about the climate crisis but struggles with anxiety when faced with the dire predictions of climate scientists. A fabulous read for a book club. Not really long, written for nonscientists, and each chapter has bullet points that would be great reflection questions or turned into discussion topics.

A few discussion questions

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