Climate magnifying impacts like heatwaves, drought, flooding, forest fires, smoke pollution, deforestation and species die-off, due in large part to the burning of fossil fuels, are increasing extensive individual and community-wide experiences of stress, anxiety, PTSD, waves of depression, feelings of loss, grief, anger and trauma.
At the Climate Hub, we understand it is important to stress that our many feelings and emotions due to climate impacts can be entirely normal and expected.
Climate anxiety and grief can be a valid and rational response to legitimate threats and losses posed by climate change processes and impacts. In some ways, our rage or grief are a testament to our deep love and care for nature, the environment, community and each other. It can really hurt to watch preventable climate change unfold.
But it is important we don’t get stuck in feelings of anxiety, fear or dread and also make room for messy hope, joy, optimism and a collective sense of solidarity and possibility for imagining and nurturing more just, caring pathways forward.
Actively helping people to channel their climate distress or navigate experiences of climate trauma via meaningful engagement and community building is a growing area of demand as climate change impacts deepen in years and decades ahead. Grounding ourselves in emotional and community care-based resilience preparation now can help us collectively meet that demand.