CWU News

‘Field Guide to Climate Anxiety’ Author Will Speak to CWU Community in February

A 2020 wildfire in Yakima County.

Dealing with climate change anxiety will be the focus of a February 1 webinar at CWU.

Members of the Central Washington University community and others interested in exploring how to remain optimistic in the era of climate change are invited to attend a free webinar Tuesday, February 1.

The event, sponsored by CWU Sustainability and CWU Libraries, will take place from noon to 1 p.m. and will center around the ideas presented in the book, A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety: How to Keep Your Cool on a Warming Planet, written by Sarah Jaquette Ray. 

The Humboldt State University environmental studies professor wrote the book after recognizing that many of her students were experiencing a sense of grief, hopelessness, and anxiety due to the magnitude of the climate crisis. After experiencing rising temperatures, flooding, and wildfires in recent years, many college students today are looking for ways to cope.

“This book was written for Gen Z,” said CWU Sustainability Coordinator Kathleen Klaniecki, who is coordinating Tuesday’s webinar, along with a follow-up discussion from noon to 1 p.m. February 8.

“The author felt like everything college students were being taught about climate change was doom and gloom, and she wanted to give them strategies for addressing the climate crisis with hope and empowerment. It’s just as important for students to address their feelings about climate change as it is to learn about it in the classroom.”

During Tuesday’s webinar, Jaquette Ray will discuss key topics from her book, including:

  • The role emotions play in how we think and act on climate change
  • Exploring feelings of grief and helplessness associated with the climate crisis
  • Engaging with, and not turning away from, the challenges we face
  • Centering social justice in the climate movement
  • The power of reframing environmentalism as a movement of abundance, connection and well-being

Anyone interested in the webinar is invited to attend in Samuelson Hall room 103 or via the Zoom link at noon Tuesday. If you would like to read a free digital version of A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety, please visit the CWU Libraries website.

Reading the book in advance is not required, but it may help attendees participate in both conversations. If you have questions, you may email Klaniecki

Media contact: David Leder, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1518.