From the YEARS Project: How Climate Impacts Mental Health (#climatefacts)

Dr Kate Marvel: “We need courage, not hope, to face Climate Change“.

Also the magnificent “We should never have called it Earth“, also from Dr Marvel.

In “Hope, despair and transformation: Climate change and the promotion of mental health and wellbeing“, ritze, Blashki, Burke, and Wiseman [International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 2008, 2(13)] note in a section titled “Emotional distress arising from awareness of climate change as global environmental threat”:

The question that McKibben raises is how psychologically, emotionally and politically should we as human beings respond to this fundamental change in the relationship between the human species and the world we inhabit?
For many people, the resulting emotions are commonly distress and anxiety. People may feel scared, sad, depressed, numb, helpless and hopeless, frustrated or angry. Sometimes, if the information is too unsettling, and the solutions seem too difficult, people can cope by minimising or denying that there is a problem, or avoiding thinking about the problems. They may become desensitised, resigned, cynical, skeptical or fed up with the topic. The caution expressed by climate change skeptics could be a form of denial, where it involves minimising the weight of scientific evidence/consensus on the subject. Alternatively, it could indicate that they perceive the risks of change to be greater than the risks of not changing, for themselves or their interests …
Notwithstanding the enormity of the climate change challenge, we know what many of the solutions are, and there are many actions that citizens can take individually and collectively to make a difference at household, local, national and global level. When people have something to do to solve a problem, they are better able to move from despair and hopelessness to a sense of empowerment.

Blashki, et al include a table from the Australian Psychological Society about how individuals can respond to the stress of being aware of climate change and its impacts:

Finally, there is the tongue-in-cheek yet serious work by Nye and Schwarzennager:

About ecoquant

See Retired data scientist and statistician. Now working projects in quantitative ecology and, specifically, phenology of Bryophyta and technical methods for their study.
This entry was posted in American Association for the Advancement of Science, Arnold Schwarzennegger, attribution, Bill Nye, climate change, climate grief, global warming. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to From the YEARS Project: How Climate Impacts Mental Health (#climatefacts)

  1. Claire Galkowski says:

    Thanks, I needed that.
    May I have the serenity to accept that which I can’t change, the courage to change what I can and should, and the wisdom to know the difference.

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