I’m putting final touches to the next ClimateCultures post. Our latest author is writing on the topic of climate grief, and that’s sent me into other reading on the web in search of extra resources to support her post. I came across a graphic story from artist Perrin Ireland where, in a couple of dozen drawings, she captures some of the weight of anxiety, foreboding and, yes, grief that climate activists — even the simply ‘climate aware’ — can feel weighing them down. Reality is hardest for those facing dire times in the here-and-now, of course; but anticipated realities can be hard for the presently comfortable. Ireland finishes with a hint on how to take it head on: together, rather than alone.
In another article, environmental humanities teacher Jennifer Atkinson, seeing her students “struggle with the depressing realities of our ecological crisis for nearly 10 years”, offered them a seminar on ‘Environmental Grief and Climate Anxiety.’ It was packed, but attracted online mockery as somehow “the equivalent of a group hug. My class,” she says, “is more like boot camp, preparing students for the long, hard fight ahead. Facing up to grief “doesn’t make them snowflakes. It makes them badasses.”