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

Sarah Jaquette Ray teaches environmental studies at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California. In her book “How to Keep Cool on a Warming Planet”, Ray provides a field guide for practical approaches to address climate change. Weaving layers of insight from psychology, mindfulness and social movements, the importance of staying focused on activities to cultivate resilience are key components to staying positive and healthy. This is not a book about climate change, rather, a self-help instructional resource not just for Gen X and Z’ers most affected by the changing climate, but for all other generations. (Yes, even Baby Boomers).

2018 – A Year of Extreme Weather Events

Ray’s book performs an outstanding service to many who develop powerless feelings to overcome the dire consequences of inaction. Daily news cycles are flooded with death and destruction, with climate change being a negative denominator, intense weather events worldwide capture the gloom and doom reporting of today’s mainstream outlets. (Fear sells: “If It Bleeds, It Leads”, has been the media’s longstanding motto). Ray’s guide book provides a well-founded series of tools for those in dire need of positive reinforcement and direction.

“Because climate change affects people unevenly across racial and economic lines, and because Gen Z is the most diverse generation the U.S. has ever seen, they are better able to draw connections between big oil, the wealth gap, and environmental exploitation.” – Sarah Jaquette Ray https://edgeeffects.net/climate-generation/

Sarah Jaquette Ray on “A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety: How to Keep Your Cool on a Warming Planet” (16 minutes)

New Climate Change Terminology

Ray’s book provides an array of new terminology as part of the climate change, as well as ongoing social change throughout the world. Here are a few examples:

Eco-guilt: Guilt about how race, class, gender, ability, or zip code can compound suffering.

Solastalgia – Feelings people have when their environments undergo radical change or degradation

Ecological Footprint: A task for people to understand the impacts of their consumption habits (what they eat, what they buy, how often the fly in airplanes, etc).

“A Field To Climate Anxiety: How To Keep Cool On A Warming Planet” is an excellent resource during our challenging times. The tools inherent in Sarah Jaquette Ray’s book provide concrete steps for us to take. As Ray writes: “Let us stop pretending Climate Change is merely a battle between facts and alternative facts.”

Resources for the Environment

Below are a list of resources I use about Climate Change, and to understand the latest news and be informed.

Yes Magazine – Environment:


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Sunrise Movement – Green New Deal

1950-2016: https://climate.nasa.gov/climate_resources/101/video-global-temperature-variation/

Published by Brian J. Podesta

Administrator and writer for WritingReal, a place for stories about people and places. Included are my musical projects and my book reviews.

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