A Field Guide To Climate Anxiety
Climate change is an increasingly pressing concern for many people. In addition to the negative environmental impacts, it can also lead to feelings of anxiety and worry. This is known as “climate anxiety” and it can range from a mild sense of unease to acute feelings of fear and dread.
What Is Climate Anxiety?
Climate anxiety is a feeling of fear, dread, helplessness or worry related to the world’s changing climate. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including the potential for extreme weather events, sea level rise, and the loss of wildlife habitats. It can also be triggered by news stories, images, and videos of environmental destruction.
Who Is At Risk?
Anyone can experience climate anxiety, but it is more common among people who are already anxious or who have a strong connection to nature. It is also more common in people who are more aware of the potential impacts of climate change and who have been personally affected by extreme weather events.
The symptoms of climate anxiety are similar to those of other forms of anxiety, such as excessive worry, difficulty sleeping, changes in appetite, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. Some people may also experience physical symptoms, such as headaches, nausea, or chest tightness.
There are several strategies for managing climate anxiety. It is important to focus on the things that you can do, such as reducing your carbon footprint, conserving water, and eating locally-sourced food. It is also important to practice self-care, such as getting enough sleep, engaging in relaxation activities, and seeking support from friends and family. Finally, it is important to stay informed but be mindful of how much news you take in.
Climate anxiety is a real concern for many people. It is important to be mindful of the symptoms and to take steps to manage it. By focusing on the things that you can do to reduce your impact on the environment and by practicing self-care, you can better manage your climate anxiety.
Kyle Whyte is a notable scholar and professor at the University of Michigan, holding positions such as the George Willis Pack Professor in the School for Environment and Sustainability and Professor of Philosophy. Specializing in environmental justice, his work critically examines climate policy and Indigenous peoples’ ethics, emphasizing the nexus between cooperative scientific endeavors and Indigenous justice. As an enrolled Citizen Potawatomi Nation member, he brings a vital perspective to his roles as a U.S. Science Envoy and member of the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council. His influential research is supported by various prestigious organizations including the National Science Foundation, and disseminated through publications in high-impact journals. Kyle actively contributes to global Indigenous research methodologies and education, with affiliations to numerous institutes and societies dedicated to traditional knowledge and sustainability. Recognized for his academic and community engagement, Kyle has earned multiple awards and served in various visiting professorships. His efforts extend to leadership positions on boards and committees focused on environmental justice nationwide.