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Do You Have Eco-Anxiety? I Do.

Do You Have Eco-Anxiety? I Do.

Last night, after reading about the recent thirty percent increase in ocean acidification due to global warming and the devastating consequences not only to sea life, but also to the essential food chains relied upon by billions of people worldwide, I broke down in tears. I cried for the loss of life. I mourned the extinction of species. I sobbed for the uncertain future not only my children face, but all the earth’s children.

It is not as if this was the first time I considered the biblical proportions of climate disruption, but for some reason this article hit me particularly hard. Maybe, this story was just the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Or maybe, it was because just last week, I visited a Turtle Hospital in the Florida Keys and was shocked to see firsthand the very visible negative impacts of humans. Nearly every patient in the sea turtle hospital was there because of some human’s action or inaction. Whether a simple fishing line entanglement, being hit by a boat or because entire ecosystems such as Florida’s Indian Lagoon have been inundated with human waste, it was painfully clear to me that my species is wantonly destroying the planet and inflicting needless pain, suffering and death on so many other innocent beings –  and what makes it worse is that we know better, yet do it anyways.

I went to bed depressed…and angry. I tossed and turned and had nightmares about our planet on fire.

The following day however I woke up and said, WE CANNOT GIVE UP! We still have a beautiful planet to save, as not all is lost. There is still hope!  There are still so many healthy turtles in the sea, so many rainforests flush with life, so many polar bears on thin ice in need of our help, so I told myself stay passionate (forget calm) and carry on!

Yes, I was suffering from eco-anxiety, the overwhelming feeling of despair, fear and/or anger over the injustices and destruction of the planet and its inhabitants. From what I know about Care2 readers, I am sure many of you have had your share of eco-anxiety too.  It is hard not to, if you are aware and care.  To learn more about eco-anxiety, which is unsurprisingly becoming part of every psychologist’s lexicon, take a deep breathe and visit the links below.

 

The Green Boat: Reviving Ourselves in Our Capsized Culture

Courage and Compassion in Times of Great Change

Holding on to Hope

Using Humor to Explore Eco-Anxiety

Active Hope

Honoring the Earth through Song

Are You Experiencing Eco-Anxiety?

Ecopsychology

Eco-Anxiety Blogspot

What is Eco-Anxiety?

 

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Cherise Udell

Cherise Udell is a mom, clean air advocate, anthropologist and feline aficionado with the nomadic habit of taking spontaneous sojourns to unusual destinations. Before her adventures in motherhood, she was an intrepid Amazon jungle guide equipped with a pair of sturdy wellingtons and a 24-inch machete, as well as a volunteer at a rainforest animal rescue center.

149 comments

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4:09AM PDT on Aug 2, 2014

Thank you

10:20PM PST on Dec 6, 2013

Mourning can be eased by comfort and then action. This is an important article for us to consider.

1:06PM PDT on Oct 29, 2013

Great article!!!

3:17PM PDT on Aug 20, 2013

thanks

7:42PM PDT on Aug 19, 2013

Thanks

8:34PM PDT on Aug 17, 2013

No ... I work to change what I can and don't worry about what I can't change. That'd only make me sick and then I'd have more problems.

4:55AM PDT on Aug 12, 2013

thanks for sharing :)

7:20AM PDT on Aug 10, 2013

No you're definitely not alone. Reading The Burning Question by Mike Berners-Lee and Duncan Clarke is a revelation to the depth of the problem we face doing anything about climate change. There are millions (maybe billions) around the world who care and are doing amazing things in support of the planet (and on it), though it is going to take a fundamental shift away from a profit driven, materialistic, power hungry (both fuel and domination) world.
I was taught at school 30 years ago about global warming (as it was termed then). How the weather would become more erratic, extreme weather patterns would become stronger and more frequent, the ice would melt causing sea levels to rise... all came to pass.. 30 wasted years that propagandists have muddied the waters, contributed to political allies and lobbied like crazy. To benefit them, short term wealth for the ultimate long term cost. The only thing governments have so far achieved is to agree a rise of 2oC would be the maximum before the Earth becomes irreversibly changed (how this would go nobody knows, historically it didn't go well for the planet's flora and fauna). The damage that has been done so far is very evident (to some,sadly far form all) and the temperature has only risen 0.8oC. We all need to do our bit, but in truth it will be nowhere near enough. Everything in the man-made world came from the environment initially. Now more than ever governments need to protect the foundation/root of all our resources. Earth/

6:40AM PDT on Aug 7, 2013

Well, if you have just had brain surgery and lost your breasts to cancer 2yrs later, sitting is part of your routine. Me?...nope. Plants, flowers, bushes, rabbits, trees and a nice yard take up my sitting time. Have courage to take a very small chance. It will be well worth it. Peace.

6:39AM PDT on Aug 7, 2013

I also do the best I can. At least I feel happy I am a very, very small part of helping save our earth.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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