Research & Teaching about the Emotions of Climate Change

Atkinson, Jennifer. “Addressing Climate Change Makes You a Badass, Not a Snowflake.” High Country News. May 29, 2018.

Armstrong, Carly Louise. “No Tragedies before Grade Four? Expert Opinion on Teaching Climate to Children.” 

Barker, Pamela and Amy McConnell Franklin. “Social and Emotional Learning for a Challenging Century.” Earth Ed: Rethinking Education on a Changing Planet. Ed. Erik Assadourian. Washington: Island Press, 2017.

Bigelow, Bill. “Teaching Climate Change.” A People’s Curriculum for the Earth: Teaching Climate Change and the Environmental Crisis. Eds. Bill Bigelow and Tim Swinehart. Milwaukee: Rethinking Schools Ltd, 2015.

Clayton, Susan, Christie Manning, Kirra Krygsman, and Meighen Speiser, eds. Mental Health and Our Changing Climate: Impacts, Implications, and Guidance. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association and ecoAmerica, 2017.

Eaton, Marie, Holly J. Hughes and Jean MacGregor, eds. Contemplative Approaches to Sustainability in Higher Education: Theory and Practice. New York: Routledge, 2017.

Eckersley, Richard. “Nihilism, Fundamentalism, or Activism: Three Responses to Fears of the Apocalypse.” The Futurist (2008): 35-39.

Fiskio, Janet. “Building Paradise in the Classroom.” Teaching Climate Change in the Humanities. Edited by Stephen Siperstein, Stephanie Lemenager, and Shane Hall. New York: Routledge, 2016.

Fritze, Jessica, Grant Blashki, Susie Burke, and John Wiseman. “Hope, Despair, and Transformation: Climate Change and the Promotion of Mental Health and Wellbeing.” International Journal of Mental Health Systems 2, no. 13 (September 2008): 1-10.

Hufnagel, Elizabeth. “Students’ Emotional Connections to Climate Change: A Framework for Teaching and Learning.” D.P. Shepardson, A. Roychoudhury, and A.S. Hirsch, eds. Teaching and Learning about Climate Change: A Framework for Educators. Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2017.

Majeed, Haris and Jonathan Lee. “The Impact of Climate Change on Youth Depression and Mental Health.” The Lancet 1. June 2017.

Maniates Michael. “Teaching for Turbulence.” Worldwatch Institute State of the World 2013. Island Press, Washington, DC.

Norgaard, Kari.  Living in Denial: Climate Change, Emotions, and Everyday Life. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2011.

Ray, Sarah Jaquette. “Coming of Age at the End of the World: The Affective Arc of Environmental Studies Curricula.” Affective Ecocriticism: Emotion, Embodiment, and Environment. Ed. Kyle Bladow and Jennifer Ladino. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2018.

Affect & Emotion

Albrecht, Glenn, GM Sartore, L. Connor, N. Higginbotham, S. Freeman, B. Kelly, H. Stain, A. Tonna, and G. Pollard.  “Solastalgia: The Distress Caused by Environmental Change.” Australas Psychiatry 12, no. 10 (2007): 95-98.

Albrecht, Glenn. Earth Emotions: New Words for a New World. Cornell University Press, 2019.

Bladow, Kyle and Jennifer Ladino, eds. Affective Ecocriticism: Emotion, Embodiment, Environment. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2018.

Cunsolo, Ashlee and Neville Ellis. Ecological Grief as a Mental Health Response to Climate Change-Related Loss.  Nature Climate Change 8. 2018. 275-281.

Eisenstein, Charles. Climate—A New Story. North Atlantic Books, 2018.

Cunsolo, Ashlee and Karen E. Landman, eds. Mourning Nature: Hope at the Heart of Ecological Loss and Grief. McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2017. 

Head, Lesley. Hope and Grief in the Anthropocene: Reconceptualising Human-Nature Relations. Routledge, 2016. 

Houser, Heather. Ecosickness in Contemporary U.S. Fiction: Environment and Affect. New York City, NY: Columbia University Press, 2014.

Leiserowitz, Anthony, Edward Maibach, Connie Roser-Renouf, Seth Rosenthal, Matthew Cutler, John Kotcher. Climate Change in the American Mind: October 2017. Yale University and George Mason University. New Haven, CT: Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, 2017. 

Macy, Joanna. “Working through Environmental Despair.” In Ecopsychology, ed. Roszak, Gomes, & Kanner. Sierra Club, 1995.

Marshall, George. Don’t Even Think about It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change. Bloomsbury, 2015.

McLean, Jess. Those Anthropocene Feelings. Kill Your Darlings. 3 Dec. 2018. 

Norgaard, Kari. Living in Denial: Climate Change, Emotions, and Everyday Life. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2011.

Outka, Paul. “Environmentalism after Despair.” Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities 1:1. September 15, 2014.

Schaefer, Donovan O. Religious Affects: Animality, Evolution, and Power. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2015. 

Seymour, Nicole. Bad Environmentalism: Irony and Irreverence in the Ecological Age. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2018.

Slovic, Scott, and Paul Slovic, eds. Numbers and Nerves: Information, Emotion, and Meaning in a World of Data. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press, 2015.

Spark, Amy. “Mourning the Ghost: Ecological Grief in the Ghost River Valley.” Master’s Thesis, University of Edinburgh. 2016.

Von Mossner, Alexa M. Affective Ecologies: Empathy, Emotion, and Environmental Narrative. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press, 2017.

Hope / Optimism

Andrade-Duncan, Jeff.  “Growing Roses in Concrete.” (video here, article here).

Boggs, Grace Lee, with Scott Kurashige. The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012.

Bristow, Tom, Thom van Dooren, Cameron Muir. Hope in a Time of Crisis: Environmental Humanities and Histories of Emotions. Histories of Emotions: From Medieval Europe to Contemporary Australia. Blog post (November 6, 2015).

Brown, Adrienne Maree. Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds. Chico: AK Press, 2017.

Foran, John. The Varieties of Hope. Resilience.

Foster, John, ed. Facing up to Climate Reality: Honesty, Disaster, and Hope. Green House Think Tank, 2019.

Freire, Paulo. “Opening Words.” Pedagogy of Hope: Reliving Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Bloomsbury Publishing, 1992.

Gore, Al. The Turning Point: New Hope for the Climate.Rolling Stone Magazine. Online June 18, 2014.  

Hawken, Paul. The Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came Into Being and Why No One Saw it Coming. New York: Viking, 2007.

Houser, Heather. “How Does it Feel?” Ecosickness in Contemporary U.S. Fiction: Environment and Affect. New York: Columbia University Press, 2014.

Jensen, Derrick. Beyond Hope. Orion Magazine Online. 

Kelsey, Elin. Introduction. Beyond Doom and Gloom: An Exploration through Letters,” ed. Elin Kelsey. RCC Perspectives 6, 2014. Accessed at

Loeb, Paul Rogat, ed. The Impossible Will Take A Little While: Perseverance and Hope in Troubled Times. New York City: Basic Books, 2014.

—. Soul of a Citizen: Living with Conviction in Challenging Times. St. Martin’s Press, 2010.

Kirksey, Eben. Emergent Ecologies. Durham: Duke University Press, 2015.

Macy, Joanna and Chris Johnstone. Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy. New World Library, 2012.

Mauch, Christof. “Slow Hope: Rethinking Ecologies of Crisis and Fear.” RCC Perspectives: Transformations in Environment and Society 1 (2019).

McKibben, Bill. Hope, Human and Wild: True Stories of Living Lightly on the Earth. Milkweed, 2007.

Princen, Thomas. “A Letter to a (Composite) Student in Environmental Studies.” “Beyond Doom and Gloom: An Exploration through Letters.” Ed. Elin Kelsey. RCC Perspectives 6. 2014.

Roberts, David. “Is There Hope on Climate Change?” The Impossible Will Take a Little While: Perseverance and Hope in Troubled Times. Edited by Paul Rogat Loeb. New York: Basic Books, 2014.

Schendler, Auden and Andrew P. Jones. Stopping Climate Change is Hopeless. Let’s Do It. New York Times. October 10, 2016.

Solnit, Rebecca. A Paradise Built in Hell: Extraordinary Communities that Arise in Disaster. London, UK: Penguin Books, 2010.

—. “Acts of Hope: Challenging Empire on the World Stage.” Website. Accessed June 11, 2016.

Weston, Anthony. Mobilizing the Green Imagination: An Exuberant Manifesto. New Society Publishers, 2012.

Williams, Terry Tempest. Finding Beauty in a Broken World. Pantheon, 2008.

Social Justice & Activism

Bergman, Carla and Nick Montgomery. Joyful Militancy: Building Thriving Resistance in Toxic Times. AC Press, 2017.

Boyd, Andrew and Dave Oswald Mitchell. Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution. OR Books, 2016.

Brecher, Jeremy. Against Doom: A Climate Insurgency Manual. PM Press, 2017.

brown, adrienne maree. Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds. AK Press, 2017.

—. Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good. AK Press, 2019.

Cortez, Marisol. “The Praxis of Deceleration: Recovery as ‘Inner Work, Public Act’,” Academic Labor: Research and Artistry 2:7. 2018.

Davenport, Leslie. Emotional Resiliency in the Era of Climate Change: A Clinician’s Guide. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2017.

Democker, Mary. A Parent’s Guide to Climate Revolution: 100 Ways to Build a Fossil-Free Future, Raise Empowered Kids, and Still Get a Good Night’s Sleep. New World Library, 2018.

Dhillon, Jaskiran. “Indigenous Resurgence, Decolonization, and Movements for Environmental Justice.” Environment and Society 9. September 2018.

Doppelt, Bob. Transformational Resilience: How Building Human Resilience to Climate Disruption Can Safeguard Society and Increase Wellbeing. Routledge, 2016.

Dunlap, Julie, and Susan A. Cohen, eds. Coming of Age at the End of Nature: A Generation Faces Living on a Changed Planet. San Antonio: Trinity Press, 2016.

Haiven, Max and Alex Khasnabish. The Radical Imagination. Zed Books, 2014.

Hawken, Paul. Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Social Movement in History is Restoring Grace, Justice, and Beauty to the World. London, UK: Penguin Books, 2008.

Lipsky, Laura van Dernoot. The Age of Overwhelm: Strategies for the Long Haul. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2018.

Meadows, Donella. Leverage Points: Places to Intervene in a System. The Donella Meadows Project.

Moe-Lobeda, Cynthia. Resisting Structural Evil: Love as an Ecological-Economic Vocation. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2013.

Quiroz-Martinez, Julie, Diana Pei Wu, and Kristen Zimmerman. ReGeneration: Young People Shaping Environmental Justice. Movement Strategy Center, 2005.

News & Journalism on Eco-Grief & Climate Anxiety

These short journalistic pieces are great for teaching, as well as for understanding the centrality of emotion in general.

Why Can’t I Stress about Climate Change Like I Do about Everything Else? Eve Andrews,

In facing mass extinction, we don’t need hope, we need to grieve.

Climate Grief: The growing emotional toll of climate change.

The existential dread of climate change.

Growing ecological grief is the mental health cost of climate change. radio.

Changing climate giving you anxiety? You’re not alone.

Climate Change is Causing Eco-Anxiety and Damaging our Mental Health

To Grieve or Not to Grieve

Climate Change’s Toll on Mental Health.  American Psychological Association.

Cunsolo, Ashlee and Neville Ellis. Hope and Mourning in the Anthropocene: Understanding Ecological Grief. The Conversation. April 4, 2018.



Primary Texts (can be used in class as comic relief, as examples of how to communicate serious issues in an entertaining way, etc.)


Carnage: Swallowing the Past. (BBC “‘vegan sci-fi comedy” from gay, vegan, British, Jewish comedian Simon Amstell; 60 minutes)

Idiocracy (sci-fi comedy with environmental themes; 104 minutes)

TV Shows

The Goode Family (affectionate send-up of middle-class white environmental politics from Idiocracy’s creator)

Wildboyz (MTV nature program parody from the creators of Jackass)


1491s. “Pipeline Protest.” (parody of environmental activism by Indigenous sketch comedy troupe; would need contextualization in terms of the troupe’s collective and individual work first)

“Black Folk Don’t: Go Green” Video

(Part of a Black Public Media/PBS series unpacking stereotypes)

“Black Folk Don’t: Go Camping” Video

(Part of a Black Public Media/PBS series unpacking stereotypes)

“Black Hiker” Funny or Die Video

Marcus Brigstocke standup comedy routine on climate change (5:26-10:26 recommended; focus on lack of action at UN climate summits)

Green Porno Channel (multiple short videos from Isabella Rosselini’s parodic nature-program series from Sundance)

Lesbian National Parks and Services. (2002) 2015. “Lesbian National Parks and Services: A Force of Nature.” Video. Vimeo, July 2. Posted by Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan. (queer parody of outdoor culture; would need contextualization in terms of queer ecology and the LNPS’s other work)


Gessner, David. 2005. “Sick of Nature.” In Sick of Nature. Lebanon, N.H.: Dartmouth College Press. (comic essay on the limitations of nature writing) New York: HarperCollins.


Greenfeld, Karl Taro. 2015. The Subprimes

Secondary Sources

Chandler, Katherine R. 2014. “Poisonwood Persuasion: Rhetorical Roles of Humor in Environmental Literature.” Interdisciplinary Literary Studies 16 (2): 326-47.  

Chris, Cynthia. 2012. “Boys Gone Wild: The Animal and the Abject.” In Animals and the Human Imagination: A Companion to Animal Studies, edited by Aaron Gross and Anne Vallely, 152–73. New York: Columbia University Press.

DeLaure, Marilyn. 2011. “Environmental Comedy: No Impact Man and the Performance of Green Identity.” Environmental Communication 5 (4): 447-66.

Farrier, David. 2014. “Toxic Pastoral: Comic Failure and Ironic Nostalgia in Contemporary British Environmental Theatre.” Journal of Ecocriticism 6 (2): 1-15.

Meeker, Joseph. (1974) 1997. The Comedy of Survival: Literary Ecology and a Play Ethic. 3rd ed. Tucson: University of Arizona Press. Originally published as The Comedy of Survival: Studies in Literary Ecology.

Ray, Sarah Jaquette. Do You Suffer from Eco-Despair? Seek Critical Thinking Treatment Right Away. 

Jenny Price, Stop Saving the Planet!

John Parham, “Green Comedy: The Importance of Being Elastic.” Green Media and Popular Culture: An Introduction. Macmillan, 2015.

Contemplative Practice in Teaching

Berg, Maggie and Barbara K. Seeber. The Slow Professor: Challenging the Culture of Speed in the Academy. University of Toronto Press, 2016

Earth-Love-Go’s bibliography on contemplative practices and the environment.

Eaton, Hughes, and MacGregor. Contemplative Approaches to Sustainability in Higher Education: Theory and Practice. Routledge, 2017.

Liu, Menchi and Emily Valente. “Mindfulness and Climate Change: How Being Present Can Help Our Future.” Psychology International, October 2018

Orr, Deborah. “The Uses of Mindfulness in Anti-Oppressive Pedagogies: Philosophy and Praxis.” Canadian Journal of Education 27:4. 2002.

Ragoonaden, Karen, ed. Mindful Teaching and Learning: Developing a Pedagogy of Well-Being. Lexington Books, 2017.

Ray, Sarah Jaquette. A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety: Keeping Your Cool on a Warming Planet. University of California Press, 2020.

Wapner, Paul.  Contemplative Environmental Studies: Pedagogy for Self and Planet. The Journal of Contemplative Inquiry 3:1, 2016.

Emotional Intelligence in College Preparatory

Aguilar, Elena. Onward: Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators. Jossey-Bass, 2018.

Cavanagh, Sarah R. The Spark of Learning: Energizing the College Classroom with the Science of Emotion. Morgantown: West Virginia University Press, 2016.

Dolmadge, Jay. Beyond ‘Squeezable Stress Stars’: Mental Health on University Campuses. Guest Blog Post. Discrimination and Disadvantage. August 23, 2018.

hooks, bell. Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope. Abingdon.

Popescu, Irina. The Educational Power of Discomfort. The Chronicle of Higher Education Online. April 17, 2016.