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"This book makes an overdue and very welcome contribution to the world, where the mental health impacts and cascading losses that climate change generates are increasing rapidly. It synthesises a range of psychological theory, personal experience, Buddhist philosophy and activist self-care wisdom. This is organised into a series of strategies that can help people of any age to play the long game of fighting for climate justice."
Sarah Jaquette Ray teaches environmental studies at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California, and is the author of The Ecological Other: Environmental Exclusion in American Culture.
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"It would be foolish not to freak out over climate change. But it would be sad if that despair kept you from working hard on this crisis, not to mention enjoying life on what is still a beautiful planet. This book has some wise strategies for finding a useful balance."—Bill McKibben, author of Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?
"Ever laid awake at night gripped with panic about the future? Ever wondered how to make sense of your path in light of the forecasted climate futures? Bold and beautiful, this hands-on companion is essential reading for wrestling with the most important issue of our time."—Kari Marie Norgaard, author of Living in Denial: Climate Change, Emotions, and Everyday Life
"Written for the Gen Z 'climate generation,' this book is essential reading for anyone despairing over our current climate emergency and future of turbulent change. Ray’s strategies offer deep and practical ways to cultivate collective resilience and creative adaptation, and even thrive in a climate-changed world."—Leslie Davenport, author of Emotional Resiliency in the Era of Climate Change
Gen Z's first "existential toolkit" for combating eco-guilt and burnout while advocating for climate justice.
A youth movement is reenergizing global environmental activism. The “climate generation”—late millennials and iGen, or Generation Z—is demanding that policy makers and government leaders take immediate action to address the dire outcomes predicted by climate science. Those inheriting our planet’s environmental problems expect to encounter challenges, but they may not have the skills to grapple with the feelings of powerlessness and despair that may arise when they confront this seemingly intractable situation.
Drawing on a decade of experience leading and teaching in college environmental studies programs, Sarah Jaquette Ray has created an “existential tool kit” for the climate generation. Combining insights from psychology, sociology, social movements, mindfulness, and the environmental humanities, Ray explains why and how we need to let go of eco-guilt, resist burnout, and cultivate resilience while advocating for climate justice. A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety is the essential guidebook for the climate generation—and perhaps the rest of us—as we confront the greatest environmental threat of our time.
Introduction: Embracing Life in the Anthropocene