"Eco-Grief:" New Term Describes Emerging Trend Of Climate Anxiety

Mar 9, 2020

As climate change affects the environment, experts say that worries about climate change are affecting people’s emotions,  in a new phenomenon called "eco-grief."

Professor Jennifer Atksinson defines eco-grief this way: "Distress about the state of our planet, so climate change, mass extinction, toxic pollution.”

Atkinson teaches at the University of Washington in Bothell, and she says she’s been noticing that many of her students had been dealing with eco-grief, but didn’t have a name to put to their feelings.

“It’s only very recently that t erms like eco-grief and climate anxiety have emerged,” Atkinson says.

Now, Atkinson is on a speaking tour helping people develop ways to deal with their eco-grief, which includes: “to acknowledge the problem, to talk about it, to spend time outdoors and spend time connecting with the places that you love, and then finally to take action.”

Atkinson's next stop will be at on the South Coast, at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks on Monday night.