The Great Grief: How To Cope with Losing Our World | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

By Per Espen Stoknes

Climate scientists overwhelmingly say that we will face unprecedented warming in the coming decades. Those same scientists, just like you or I, struggle with the emotions that are evoked by these facts and dire projections. My children—who are now 12 and 16—may live in a world warmer than at any time in the previous 3 million years, and may face challenges that we are only just beginning to contemplate, and in many ways may be deprived of the rich, diverse world we grew up in. How do we relate to – and live – with this sad knowledge?

Across different populations, psychological researchers have documented a long list of mental health consequences of climate change: trauma, shock, stress, anxiety, depression, complicated grief, strains on social relationships, substance abuse, sense of hopelessness, fatalism, resignation, loss of autonomy and sense of control, as well as a loss of personal and occupational identity.

This more-than-personal sadness is what I call the “Great Grief”—a feeling that rises in us as if from the Earth itself. Perhaps bears and dolphins, clear-cut forests, fouled rivers, and the acidifying, plastic-laden oceans bear grief inside them, too, just as we do. Every piece of climate news increasingly comes with a sense of dread: is it too late to turn around? The notion that our individual grief and emotional loss can actually be a reaction to the decline of our air, water, and ecology rarely appears in conversation or the media. It may crop up as fears about what kind of world our sons or daughters will face. But where do we bring it? Some bring it privately to a therapist. It is as if this topic is not supposed to be publicly discussed.

via The Great Grief: How To Cope with Losing Our World | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community.

Less than the sum of its parts: Rethinking “all of the above” clean energy. Reblogged from Brave New Climate

Brave New Climate

Guest Post by John Morgan. John is Chief Scientist at a Sydney startup developing smart grid and grid scale energy storage technologies.  You can follow John on twitter at @JohnDPMorgan.


The fastest path to decarbonization would seem to be combining every kind of low carbon energy available – the so-called “all of the above” camp of clean energy advocacy.  The argument runs that different kinds of clean energy are complementary and we should build as much of each as we can manage.  This is not in fact the case, and I’ll show that a mix of wind and solar significantly decreases the total share of energy that all renewables can capture.  The “all of the above” approach to emissions reduction needs to be reconsidered.

In a recent essay Breakthrough Institute writers Jesse Jenkins and Alex Trembath have described a simple limit on the maximum contribution of wind and solar energy:

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Eelgrass could save the planet – Opinion – The Boston Globe

Two years ago, in a first-ever global assessment, scientists calculated that the soils in sea grass meadows — despite being less than 0.2 percent of the world’s oceans — captured at least 10 percent of the ocean’s carbon. Since then the estimate has increased. Fred Short, a University of New Hampshire marine ecologist, puts the latest range between 12 and 20 percent. When combined with marshes and tropical mangroves, sea grasses are part of ecosystems comprising only 2 percent of ocean area — but accounting for a whopping 50 percent of ocean carbon storage.

Those discoveries are quickly elevating the concept of “blue carbon” among scientists and rapidly suggesting that these marine forests are as critical to controlling climate change as the emerald green Amazonian jungles and North American boreal expanses.

via Eelgrass could save the planet – Opinion – The Boston Globe.

Climate Politics : Stress is now on use and distribution, not just scarcity, of natural resources for a transformation – India Environment Portal | News, reports, documents, blogs, data, analysis on environment & development | India, South Asia

In this Synthesis Report the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has concluded that there will be “severe, widespread, and irreversible impacts” on people and the natural world, to which developing countries will have to adapt; it has recommended “phasing out fossil fuels by the end of the century”, which primarily concerns developed countries whose industrialization, urbanization and lifestyles have been largely responsible for most of the emissions permissible if dangerous climate change is to be avoided; it has suggested that “global emissions need to fall by 40 – 70 per cent by 2050 with multiple pathways to achieve this objective”; and, for the first time, it has given prominence to “ethics and justice” in how countries can cut emissions.

via Climate Politics : Stress is now on use and distribution, not just scarcity, of natural resources for a transformation – India Environment Portal | News, reports, documents, blogs, data, analysis on environment & development | India, South Asia.

Naomi Klein: “we are not who we were told we were” | ROAR Magazine

On the eve of the publication of her new book, Naomi Klein talks about the things that give her hope in a world that can sometimes feel very bleak.Naomi Klein rose to international acclaim in 1999 by explaining how big corporations were exploiting our insecurities to convince us to spend money we didn’t have, on stuff we didn’t need No Logo. In 2007 she masterfully dissected the ways those steering the global economy use moments of social and environmental crisis to justify transferring public wealth into the hands of the ultra-rich The Shock Doctrine. Less-known though are the alternatives Klein spends much of her time witnessing, documenting, and digging into, from the spread of fossil fuel divestment, to community-owned energy projects and resistance to tar sands pipelines.On the eve of the publication of her new book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate, Klein sat down with Liam Barrington-Bush at the Peoples Social Forum in Ottawa, to talk about where she finds hope in a world that can sometimes feel very bleak. She reminds us that in a culture that treats people as consumers and relationships as transactions, ‘we’re not who we were told we were.’::::::::::::::::::::::LBB: In a recent piece in the Nation, you wrote: “Because of the way our daily lives have been altered by both market and technological triumphalism, we lack many of the observational tools necessary to convince ourselves that climate change is real — let alone the confidence to believe that a different way of living is possible.” What has helped you to believe that a different way of living is possible?NK: I think part of it is just having been lucky enough to have seen other ways of living and to have lived differently myself. To know that not only is living differently not the end of the world, but in many cases, it has enabled some of the happiest times of my life.I think the truth is that we spend a lot of time being afraid of what we would lose if we ever took this crisis seriously. I had this experience when I had been living in Argentina for a couple of years; I came back to the US because I had agreed to do this speech at an American university. It was in Colorado and I went directly from Buenos Aires, which was just on fire at that moment; the culture was so rich, the sense of community was so strong. It was the most transformative experience of my life to be able to be part of that.So I end up staying at a Holiday Inn, looking out at a parking lot, and it’s just so incredibly grim. I go to this class and I do my spiel. I was talking about Argentina and the economic crisis. At this point the US economy’s booming and nobody thinks anything like this could ever happen to them. And this young woman says, “I hear what you’re saying, but why should I care?”

via Naomi Klein: “we are not who we were told we were” | ROAR Magazine.

Peoples Climate Mobilisation – Join – 350

In September, heads of state are going to New York City for a historic summit on climate change. With our future on the line, we will take a weekend and use it to bend the course of history.To make this moment count, we need to act — together.All around the world, people will be coming together for a weekend of historic action on climate change. Our collective demand is for Action, Not Words: take the action necessary to create a world with an economy that works for people and the planet.Find a Peoples Climate Mobilisation event near you and join.Want to host an event? Click here.Find an event near you:City/ZIP/Postal & CountryShare on FacebookTweetLINK:

via Peoples Climate Mobilisation – Join – 350.