Climate Change [Anxiety] is Real

Climate anxiety - G. Putzu, Picture Alliance.jpg

Deutsche Welle (DW), always your one-stop shop for climate doom, is today running (apparently without irony) a feature article on the emotional toll climate-change anxiety is wreaking—a phenomenon which has, unsurprisingly, given rise to the cottage industry of "eco-psychology" ministering to those afflicted with "ecological grief." The piece deftly mingles the trauma experienced by actual victims of catastrophic weather events with the collateral mental-health damage inflicted upon the rest of us. Here's a nugget:

For many people it is daunting to grasp the full implications of climate change, including coming to terms with their own role in it and how they can help as individuals.

Whether or not people are experiencing or observing firsthand rapid environmental changes, [Ashlee] Cunsolo speaks of a "pervasive sense of dread and doom and anxiety."

"I think ecological grief has emerged most prominently from people at the front line, but I don’t think we can say with certainty that they're experiencing it more than others." Often, she added, people who don’t bear the burden of global warming's direct impacts, feel a sense of guilt that they're "stuck in a system that perpetuates climate change, but [they] can't get out of it." 

Many people become depressed and immobile, or "rationalize the problem away," according to [Suzie] Burke.


But not to worry. Presumably the wise minds at DW  believe we can still magically thread the climate-hysteria needle—striking just the right balance between scaring the wits out of everyone and making them psychotic. The piece ends with a populist boost from Ms. Burke. "What we can't afford is for people to give up," she avers. "It's too big a problem. There is still time to turn the tide. We just need to have the will to do it—and the will comes from the people."