If you have come to recognise that climate change will lead to a near term collapse in our way of life, or even worse, then this can be a very difficult realisation to process, integrate into our lives, or communicate to other people.
In my experience, the key thing is not to sit with these emotions on your own. If you have people who you can talk to about this without them thinking you must be confused, insane or depressed, then that’s ideal. However, many people feel very lonely in their realisation. Therefore, here are some links to resources that I have found helpful, as they enable you to get in touch with others.
The Aching Heart Movement is a Facebook Group associated with Extinction Rebellion, and holds regular online ‘grief circles’, facilitated by experienced grief workers. These circles have been warmly recommended to me by friends.
Death Cafe movement is an umbrella movement providing support and resources for local face to face community death cafes. You can find out if there’s a cafe near you, or even start one. This movement is not overtly about climate grief, but the meetings are absolutely open to anyone, and anything that they might bring.
The Positive Deep Adaptation Facebook Group. This one focuses on sharing ideas and information on how to live well after acceptance of likely (or unfolding) societal collapse. You won’t see posts saying we can stop a catastrophe nor on how bad things are getting, but ideas on how people and organisations are responding positively… Even if that just means how to reduce suffering. This one is my initiative and connected with the Deep Adaptation Forum (see below).
The Human Near Term Extinction Support Group on Facebook. I have not concluded that we are going extinct but the people on this group offer useful support to people struggling with that possibility in their awareness. There is also a similar group, same topic but mentioning love in the title, and I’m not sure what the difference is.
The Deep Adaptation LinkedIn group is more of a professional focus, and less sharing of resources and support for emotional processing, but still offers the possibilities of connecting with others who are considering the implications for their own lives of climate crisis.
The Deep Adaptation Forum, launched in March 2019, will be a place for deeper engagement and collaboration. Again, this platform is aimed at different professional perspectives.
Climate Psychology Alliance is aimed mainly at the psychotherapy profession, but has some useful resources. In addition, in the UK this group has launched a network of therapists to provide support. For info, email CPAtherapeutics@yahoo.com
The Reframing Collapse Facebook Group also can provide helpful feedback.
The Dark Mountain network is also beginning to put people in direct touch with each other
In addition, there are a variety of sources for reading and listening…
Lifeboat Hour podcast
Any books and articles by Caroline Baker
I write up some of my own reflections on how I have been trying and wobbling to integrate this awareness into my life and work, in this rather long reflective piece called “After Despair.” I also explored some of the emotional aspects of this topic in an hour long interview here.
Ultimately, I think we will best supported by activities that support our transcendence from our normal fears, whether those activities are spiritual or agnostic. There are an increasing number of spiritual coaches appearing online such as my friend Zori. These forms of grassroots, diverse, non dogmatic, spiritual inspiration and support will become more important. If you have suggestions, please enter them in the comments below.
If you want to attend events to discuss these issues with people, then you could follow this blog (link on the right) and you will get updates on what I post here, which include retreats like this one in UK.
If you are still thinking whether it is wise to further explore your acceptance of this predicament, perhaps because of ideas it might be irresponsible or counter-productive to think we can’t prevent a breakdown in our society, then I recommend reading my post on forms of collapse-denial.
My academic paper on the latest climate science as well as the many forms of denial about our situation is available for download here.