Two Must-Read Books to Help You Resist Climate Anxiety

Two Must-Read Books to Help You Resist Climate Anxiety

Globally, climate change and the societal and environmental issues exacerbated by our worsening climate are some of the most pressing and cataclysmic issues we are currently faced with. Generations today live in a world where we are constantly worrying about not only the state of our futures but the state of our planet as a whole and the feasibility of having a sustainable environment and society for generations to come. The worsening environmental disasters coupled with political and economic stressors on our global society can be overwhelming and, in many cases, blanket the state of the world in the sense of hopelessness and despair. 

What is Climate Anxiety?

Climate anxiety, also referred to as eco-anxiety, is defined by having distress or anxiety about the uncertainty of our future due to very real threats caused by a worsening climate. Harvard Medical School describes climate anxiety as being “accompanied by feelings of grief, anger, guilt, and shame, which in turn can affect mood, behavior and thinking.” Further, the American Psychological Association reports that more than 2/3 of adult Americans experience climate anxiety, with having a disproportionate effect on our younger generations. Even more alarming is a 2021 UNICEF report that states more than one billion children globally are at extremely high risk of the impacts of climate change. A study survey done by the Lancet on over 10,000 children and young people across ten different countries found climate anxiety and dissatisfaction with government responses are widespread in children and young people in countries across the world, and it impacts their daily functioning, and that a perceived failure by governments to respond to the climate crisis is associated with increased distress.

These types of studies have proven over and over again that people look to their governments and large corporations to make the necessary wide-scale changes needed to ease these burdens and improve quality of climate and life, and yet governments and corporations are constantly putting the responsibility back on the average people creating a never-ending cycle of inaction and widespread uneasiness throughout society. In these uncertain times, it is important to have the mental and emotional tools to take care of your mental health, resist burnout, to remain hopeful, and to continue to find ways to stay active and effective in the climate change fight without paying the price of your own physical, mental, and emotional health.

Here are two works of literature to help you on your journey to resisting climate anxiety.

A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety: How to Keep Your Cool on a Warming Planet- Sarah Jaquette Ray  

A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety: How to Keep Your Cool on a Warming Planet by Sarah Jaquette Ray is a complete guide to climate anxiety self care. Ray draws on her more than a decade of experience in research and teaching in environmental studies programs at universities such as the reputable and environmentally focused Humboldt State University to compile a book of anecdotes, advice, and perspectives.

A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety

Kari Marie Norgaard, author of Living in Denial: Climate Change, Emotions, and Everyday Life praised this book saying, “ever laid awake at night gripped with panic about the future? Ever wondered how to make sense of your path in light of the forecasted climate futures? Bold and beautiful, this hands-on companion is essential reading for wrestling with the most important issue of our time.” A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety is the tool needed to help build a foundation of where to start and the paths to take in order to keep yourself grounded and resilient in the age of the Anthropocene.

All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis- Edited by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson & Katharine K. Wilkinson   

All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis, edited by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine K. Wilkinson, is a beautifully curated anthology of perspectives from multiple women authors broken up into eight cleverly titled parts. This book stems from a climate initiative project called the All You Can Save Project, co-founded by editors Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine K. Wilkinson. 

All We Can Save

Rolling Stone raved this book as “a mosaic that honors the complexity of the climate crisis like few, if any, books on the topic have done yet ... a feast of ideas and perspectives, setting a big table for the climate movement, declaring all are welcome.” This book sparks reenergized hope, spirit, and connectedness in a world of looming catastrophe.


Climate anxiety is a very real response to very serious, life altering impacts caused by climate change. Children and adults alike are feeling the negative pressures of this distress as it alters their daily lives and everyday functioning. Do your best to have patience with and take care of yourself and others, to try to stay vigilant and find tools to help with the problems we are facing without reaching the feeling of being overwhelmed and burnt out, to continue to be resilient in the face of uncertainty, and to recognize the earthly and human connectedness in the fact that we are all in this together. 

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