Climate and environment-related fears and anxieties are on the rise everywhere. As with any type of stress, eco-anxiety can lead to lead to burnout, avoidance, or a disturbance of daily functioning.
In Generation Dread, Britt Wray seamlessly merges scientific knowledge with emotional insight to show how these intense feelings are a healthy response to the troubled state of the world. The first crucial step toward becoming an engaged steward of the planet is connecting with our climate emotions, seeing them as a sign of humanity, and learning how to live with them. We have to face and value eco-anxiety, Wray argues, before we can conquer the deeply ingrained, widespread reactions of denial and disavowal that have led humanity to this alarming period of ecological decline.
It’s not a level playing field when it comes to our vulnerability to the climate crisis, she notes, but as the situation worsens, we are all on the field—and unlocking deep stores of compassion and care is more important than ever. Weaving in insights from climate-aware therapists, critical perspectives on race and privilege in this crisis, ideas about the future of mental health innovation, and creative coping strategies, Generation Dread brilliantly illuminates how we can learn from the past, from our own emotions, and from each other to survive—and even thrive—in a changing world.
Britt Wray, Human and Planetary Health Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University and the London School of Hygine and Tropical Medicine