What To Do With Climate Emotions
Climate change is a sobering reality and one that many of us are facing with a range of emotions. The scale of the problem and the far-reaching impacts of climate change can be overwhelming, leaving us feeling powerless or helpless. But there are concrete steps you can take to manage your climate emotions and help make a difference.
Acknowledge Your Feelings
The first step in managing your climate emotions is to acknowledge and accept them. It’s ok to feel overwhelmed, scared, or frustrated. Don’t be afraid to talk to someone about how you are feeling. Talking to a friend, family member, or even a mental health professional can help you process and cope with your emotions.
Learning more about the causes and consequences of climate change can help you feel more in control. Researching the issue can give you a better understanding of the problem and help you identify specific actions that can be taken to address it.
Once you have a better understanding of the issue, you can start to take action. This can be anything from reducing your own carbon footprint to joining an organization that works to fight climate change. Even small steps can have an impact.
You don’t have to go it alone. Engaging with your community and advocating for policy changes can make a big difference. This could range from writing letters to your local representatives to organizing protests and rallies.
It’s easy to become discouraged in the face of such a daunting problem. But it’s important to remember that progress is being made and that there are solutions to climate change. Focusing on the positive can help you stay motivated and inspired to continue to take action.
Climate change is a serious problem, but it’s one that can be addressed. By acknowledging our climate emotions, educating ourselves, and taking action, we can all make a difference.
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.