Climate Grief

From Coping to Resilience and Action

Lantern Publishing and Media
Shawna Weaver, foreword by Mary Bue, afterword by Aubrey Fine
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A convincing argument that climate grief is not an ailment to fix, but a warning from inside us and a call to action. This book acquaints us with the realities of climate change and its accompanying grief, liberating us to cope and define our next steps toward a sustainable future.

This book describes climate grief as a natural and reasonable response to the widespread effects of climate change. Penetrating our hearts and minds, climate grief is not an ailment we have to heal from but a call to change the trajectory of our shared future. While climate change is already ushering in bleak outcomes, we still have time to learn and grow toward sustainability if we listen to our bodies and our imaginations that yearn for a better future. Successfully working for such a future, through social and environmental justice, is made possible by doing our own work to cope with our fears and loss. Coping with the emotional fallout of climate change is necessary for health and well-being and critical to building resilience. Climate change and climate grief are inseparable, and feeling grief is our first step toward dealing with climate change.

This book offers an informative summary of climate change, followed by a description of grief and its phases. The universality, urgency, and inescapable scope of climate change leads to a depth of grief we are not prepared to cope with, and a grief that is still largely unknown and ignored. Readers are invited to utilise reflection questions to help develop their own coping and resilience strategies, and to build an action plan for a sustainable future. From understanding grief and coping, the reader is invited to create a plan for building personal and planetary resilience. Such resilience and well-being start by looking inward at our own grief and emerging with the motivation needed to make lifestyle changes and inspire others to join in the journey. The planet can’t be healed by few people working out of despair but by many people working out of hope, care, and an openness to learn.

Contributor Bio

Shawna Weaver is an experienced ecotherapist with advanced degrees in psychology, school counseling, and sustainability education. Throughout her career she has worked with teens, witnessing their grief about their future on a dying planet. She has written psychology and environmental education curricula for a variety of educational settings, including for the documentary The Last Pig. Her college level community engagement curriculum won international attention, and she has been regionally recognized as a community leader in social program development. She resides in Duluth, MN where she continues to empower youth to build a community that reflects their values for justice and sustainability.