Chris Robertson, one of the founding facilitators of CPA’s Through the Door, reflects on the meaning of its central metaphor and on the experience of the workshop.
Any fans of Ro Randall and Andy Brown’s Carbon Conversations will be excited to learn that an updated version of this excellent initiative, named Living with the Climate Crisis, has been developed.
What is Living with the Climate Crisis?
Created by Ro, Andy, Rebecca Nestor and Daniela Fernandez-Catherall, Living with the Climate Crisis aims to help people find their place in the collective project of responding to climate change. At its heart is a clear psychological approach, based on the following principles:
- climate change is distressing: people need support in coping with the difficult feelings that sometimes overwhelm them, and to explore ways to feel joy and satisfaction in a precarious world
- the best means to collective solutions is in supportive groups based in local communities
- people need support in finding their way to a variety of personal, political and community actions
- people need skills in communicating, both publicly and in personal situations.
The programme consists of seven meetings and is currently being piloted. Facilitator materials will be available in 2023 and the authors will offer introductory workshops to support people wishing to run the groups in their own localities.
A website dedicated to Living with the Climate Crisis is under production. In the meantime follow this link for more details.
“I think eco-anxiety is an understatement for what I feel in terms of climate-related emotions. It’s a range of emotions that I fail to either name or describe.”
CPA member, Shelot Masithi, recently gave an interview to Brighton based arts charity, ONCA, about eco-anxiety.
The quote above highlights how difficult it can be to pin the term eco-anxiety down as it is often used to encompass a wide range of emotions - including anger, helplessness, sadness, grief, depression, numbness and others.
Shelot offers many insights as she shares how her feelings are shaped by her immediate experience of the climate crisis living in South Africa, particularly in relation to water shortages.
‘… as someone who grew up in the face of water cuts and shortages, I was tired of being ‘fine’ with not having water whilst giant corporations like Coca-Cola and Nestle continue having abundant access to water which they steal and then sell to the people.'
To read the full interview follow this link.
Shelot also spoke about the climate crisis and thirst in an issue of our Climate Crisis Digest which you can read here.
This was taken from her powerful and moving keynote speech at the CPA/APS conference, “Six months after COP26; what have we learnt?”
A new CPA podcast is now available on the topic of motherhood and the climate crisis, hosted by Judith Anderson and featuring Sophia Cheng and Emma Palmer.
Sophia is developing a collaborative creative project, Motherhood in a Time of Climate Crisis, involving personal stories from self-identifying women wrestling with these two topics at the same time.
She and her colleagues want to challenge the taboo and put this conversation on the map, not to position one woman against another but to explore all the nuances around how the climate crisis is shaping how (and if) we mother.
Emma's book Other Than Mother - Choosing Childlessness with Life in Mind (Earth Books 2016) was groundbreaking in exploring the terrain of this decision-making process, including the cultural changes brought about by the rise in voluntary childlessness, ecological and environmental considerations and living with the decision.
You can listen to the conversation here.
For our full podcast series follow this link.
What is the emotional experience of Scotland’s Citizen’s Assembly members as they learn about climate change? How does that compare with the general population?
These are two of the questions that CPA Scotland member, Nadine Andrews, explores in her recent paper.
“In facing up to the reality of the climate crisis and the risks it poses, people encounter powerful emotions that can be difficult to bear, Nadine writes. “Consequently, various defences and coping strategies may be used to suppress or avoid feeling these emotions. The way in which emotions are regulated has important implications for wellbeing and decision-making. In recent years there has been growing interest in using citizens' assemblies to inform government climate policy. Assembly members learn about and discuss the subject, and produce recommendations for action. Given this element of learning about climate change, it is likely that difficult emotions will come up for assembly members.”
As there is no published literature on this specific topic to date, this paper presents original research that can support organisers of future climate assemblies or other deliberative processes as well as be of practical use to policy makers and the therapeutic community.