6 March 2019

Africa: Eco-Anxiety and Hope - What to Do Instead of Waiting for Extinction

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(File photo).

How do we respond to eco-anxiety? Curl ourselves into balls of denial and trust that some techno-fix just over the horizon will save us or do we need transformative hope?

The sixth extinction is upon us; the oceans are acidifying; the insects that pollinate our food are dying; the oceans are filling with plastic and are turning acidic; the ice caps are retreating; desertification is spreading; extreme weather events are multiplying; deforestation is increasing; biodiversity loss is accelerating; soil degradation is becoming critical; diseases are spreading, and heat waves and fires are the new normal. Oh, and the International Panel on Climate Change says we have only 11 years left to avert climate change catastrophe.

But you know all this. You've been hearing about these wicked problems for decades. Every time you've opened a newspaper, turned on the TV or radio, this news has been there in one form or another. You've watched this slow-motion disaster unfold before you for years. How does it make you feel? Depressed? Angry? Fearful? Weary? Hopeless? Are you grieving?

If it's any or all of the above, you are not alone. You are probably suffering from "ecological grief" or "eco-anxiety". Australian environmental philosopher, Glenn...

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