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A World on Fire & Minds Ablaze with Stress: 3 Steps Ease to Eco-Anxiety

California’s fires are making history in the scale, scope, and fury of what we’re seeing. In the span of a week, 12,000 lightning strikes hit the Golden State in what meteorologists call a lightning “siege.”

These California fires affected the air quality a thousand miles away in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem where I live.

Haze from the California fires makes an apocalyptical view in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem. Photo Credit: Heather White

The high levels of particulate matter polluted the Montana sky and made it hard to enjoy the outdoors.

Earlier this summer in June 20202, the Arctic Circle hit more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Tropical storms are headed to the Gulf Coast. We are experiencing climate change in real time during a global pandemic.

In the sustainability field, we talk a lot about climate adaptation. Most of that conversation centers around wildlife habitats, urban planning, flood control, and city design.

But now things are getting real.

What will the future look like?

We need to talk about where we will live, how we will organize ourselves, and how will we will support each other. As we face these key questions, we must also take care of our well-being as we confront these converging crises and immense challenges ahead.

Here are 3 strategies to support our well-being as we contend with the climate crisis:

1. Connect with community

Technology and mobility translate into families often living far away from each other. The “busy-ness” in modern society means that we often do not know our neighbors.

The upheaval of 2020 demonstrates that we will require a strong local base for resilience in the future.

Create or find a support network within your community to talk about climate change, plan for weather-related emergencies, and brainstorm on how to promote climate adaptation in your neighborhood.

To see the full article, please visit Thrive Global.

Heather White is an environmental lawyer, nonprofit consultant, and writer. She writes about sustainability and conservation issues and is especially interested in eco-anxiety. She lives in Bozeman, Montana.


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