Episode 39 – How to Cope With Climate Despair

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This week we’re exploring ways to cope with climate despair. Maybe you’re experiencing it for the first time in the wake of the new IPCC report, or as wildfire smoke makes its way to your doorstep. Maybe you’ve been around the block a few times.

In this short episode we define what exactly climate despair is, where we struggle with it, and how to frame it as a valid emotion that guides us to transformative climate action. We take some notes from our favorite artists, writers, and scientists.

If you don’t know what to do or where to look, come join our club! It’s only 30 minutes.


Sources mentioned in the episode:
Why Grief can be Strength in a Warming World, Dan Sherrell, TEDxFulbrightAdelaide
How Climate Experts Are Finding Hope in Crisis, Shondaland
‘Climate Despair’ Is Making People Give Up on Life, VICE, July 2019
Ask Umbra advice column, Grist
The Purple Palace on Youtube
Alice Aedy Instagram post

Additional resources:
Resources for working with climate emotions, All We Can Save x Gen Dread
Our episodes on Climate Anxiety and How to Get Involved in Climate Action might be helpful too.

“In my time as a climate-conscious person, I’ve noticed that this feeling of nihilism in the public climate discourse tends to come and go, and it seems to be almost always when there’s a new batch of unprecedented disasters all at once, which means that a new batch of people are confronting just how much trouble we’re in. That often looks like a lot of people giving up. But if you look closer, I think, it looks more like a lot of people just getting started.

Mary Annaïse Heglar, Hot Take Newsletter

Together we must move like waves. Have you observed the ocean? The waves are not the same over and over—each one is unique and responsive. The goal is not to repeat each other’s motion, but to respond in whatever way feels right in your body. The waves we create are both continuous and a one-time occurrence. We must notice what it takes to respond well. How it feels to be in a body, in a whole—separate, aligned, cohesive. Critically connected.

adrienne maree brown, Emergent Strategy

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Ep. 43 – Carbon Footprints and Treehuggers – Climate Language World Is Burning

Did the fossil fuel industry really invent the carbon footprint? Did you know that the first "treehugger" came waaaay before the 1960s hippie, and took a much greater risk? This week we're talking about the language of climate change, specifically the carbon footprint and the term "treehugger." Olivia digs into the real story behind the corporate world's favorite unit of measurement, and whether it has any value in conversations today. Then Elise tells the story of the Bishnoi people and how the "treehugger" legacy echoes the stories of climate justice activists today. Subscribe/follow/press the button to keep up with new episodes every Wednesday! You can also follow us @worldisburnin on Instagram and Twitter, and check out our website worldisburning.com for extended show notes including sources and photos. World Is Burning is hosted by Olivia Hamilton and Elise Nye. Our theme music is by Kaycie Satterfield, and our logo was made by Sonja Katanic. — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/worldisburning/message
  1. Ep. 43 – Carbon Footprints and Treehuggers – Climate Language
  2. Ep. 42 – What’s the Deal With COP26? A Brief History and What To Expect
  3. Ep. 41 – Imagining New Futures – Walkable Cities and Land Back
  4. Ep. 40 – The Bottle Episode – Milkmen and Plastic
  5. Down The Rabbit Hole Minisode 4: Golf