We can call it climate grief
Or, we can call it Environmental Melancholia or despair or an increase
in anxiety. Whichever name or phrase we want to give this new
phenomenon the important thing is: We recognize it’s real. Our world
is changing and it is the most profound process with respect to our
life on this planet that any of us have experienced and it’s only normal,
and healthy, yes healthy, that we might find ourselves
experiencing some very powerful emotions. It’s not just the impact of
the truth of the science, it’s also the speed with which things are
changing that is terrifying. On the other hand, we may find we just
feel ‘low’ or ‘hopeless’ or ‘flat’ or ‘numb’. Any feelings or lack of
feelings that we might be experiencing when we read another UN
released report on the state of the planet are going to hit us deep
and hard. We are in “terra incognita” or unknown territory with
respect to the psychological impact of this scientific truth on our
well-being, our sense of resiliency and most of all, our transforming
relationship towards the notion of hope. The first job on this path
of turning towards the truth of climate change is to feel the impact
in our body; to work to come into relationship with ourself and our
feelings as the planet changes. And to process the deep feelings of
grief and fear that are inevitably surfacing at this time for all of
us. Most importantly is being able to feel mobilized to act.
To engage with others to push for change from governments and corporations
to ensure our pain and fear is not simply a personal experience.
Working with the emotional impact of the climate emergency must not be our final stop.
We must make good use of what our feelings are communicating to us.
We can then become actors motivated by the love we have for our planet
and for our natural world, we can connect with others in community
and mobilize to push for change.