What is climate anxiety?
This phenomenon is the immobilization we all feel in the face of a problem as consequential as climate change. It is being so frozen by our fears and our material conditions that we can't bring ourselves to imagine a better future as a multitude of emotions overwhelm us. These feelings can include resentfulness at past generations who have seemingly doomed our fate who find it difficult to acknowledge their failures and reap the benefits of an extractive, fossil-fuel based economy. You may also feel overwhelmed, stagnant, or confused. If you feel this, you are not alone. We share a mounting awareness that the effects of climate change are not abstract or predicted in some distant future, but are already being felt. Gen Z, the “climate generation,” are largely those who are fully experiencing the effects of climate change yet are also poised to organize and bring about real change that is why it is vital to deal with climate anxiety.
How can we deal with climate anxiety?
It is important to recognize and embrace the onset of younger and more empowered climate justice groups, such as Fridays for Future, and their power in reshaping climate conversations within communities and in politics. Beyond that, we must employ techniques to find our individual purposes within this movement and its intersecting ones and through strategies to cultivate personal and collective resilience in the face of the depression, anxiety, fear, and dread that many of us feel when facing climate change. We need to nurture our visions for a post–fossil fuel future. Our radical imaginations will also make visible all the good things that are being done and allow us each to see ourselves as a crucial part of a collective movement.