The terms “eco-anxiety” or “climate anxiety” refer to the sensation of being overwhelmed, fearful, or anxious as a result of climate change.
People’s daily lives can be disrupted, in extreme cases, by the fear associated with the potential negative effects of climate change. Eco-anxiety can have a serious impact on people’s daily lives, just like any other anxiety disorder.
People reporting feelings of eco-anxiety can experience “anxiety and stress in their daily lives (moderate effects), with no association with depression. These associations suggest that eco-depression and eco-anxiety may contribute to, or at least co-occur with, poorer mental health.” [Stanley] They also report less engagement with the movement to address climate change.
Consequently, eco-anxiety or eco-concern can also have an impact on people’s personal and professional lives by limiting their ability to respond to climate change. As a result, the climate-related risks associated with insufficient action increase. Both are inextricably intertwined. According to a survey conducted by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) in 2021, 85% of Irish people are concerned about climate change. [EPA]
In academic and medical studies, terms such as eco-anger, eco-guilt, climate-grief, eco-paralysis, and pre-traumatic stress are being used. According to Coffey et al. (2021), these conditions are becoming more prevalent. [Coffey]
There is also evidence that eco-anxious people experience cognitive and physical/behavioural impairments such as panic attacks, obsessive thinking, loss of appetite, and insomnia [Castelloe], [Dockett], [Hickman], [Nobel].
When people consider climate change and, at the same time:
These factors contribute to a cognitive dissonance between the sensation of knowing or needing to do something and the failure to act on that innate knowledge.
The solution for eco-anxiety is to make a plan and take action.
It sounds simple, right? Well, before we decide that, let’s look at some common reasons [Markman] why we don’t take action.
ELTC.earth empowers people to combat the effects of eco-anxiety and act on their desire to contribute to a better future for all.
To begin, ELTC.earth is intended to enlighten and empower people by emphasising the potential for a better future and guiding them through pathways that will enable them to take actions to get there. We address the most common reasons why people do not act in the following ways:
There is no need to feel eco-anxiety. The good news is we have the power to positively impact climate change and ensure the long term sustainability of our planet and the inhabitants on it. We have the technology to do it. We know the policies that need to be implemented. [Interface] We just need to act.
From anger to action: Differential impacts of eco-anxiety, eco-depression, and eco-anger on climate action and wellbeing (Stanley, et al, 2020) – Accessed on 17 February 2022
Climate Change in the Irish Mind (EPA, 2021) – Accessed on 17 Feb 2022
Special Eurobarometer 513 Climate, Report (EU Kantar, 2021) – Accessed on 01 Nov 2021
In Response to Climate Change, Citizens in Advanced Economies Are Willing To Alter How They Live and Work – (Pew Research, 2021) – Accessed on 01 Nov 2021
Understanding Eco-anxiety: A Systematic Scoping Review of Current Literature and Identified Knowledge Gaps (Coffey et al, 2021) – Accessed on 17 Feb 2022
Why People Aren’t Motivated to Address Climate Change (Markman, 2018) – Accessed on 19 Dec 2021
Climate Takeback Survey (Interface, 2017) – Accessed – 18 Feb 2022
Coming to terms with eco-anxiety: Growing awareness of climate change. Psychology Today (Castelloe, 2018) – Accessed on 18 Feb 2022
Clinician’s Digest: The Rise of Eco-Anxiety’. Psychotherapy Networker 43, 11-14 (Dockett, 2019) – Accessed on 18 Feb 2022
We need to (find a way to) talk about … Eco-anxiety (Hickman, 2020) – Accessed on 18 Feb 2022
Eco-anxiety: Something else to worry about (Nobel, 2007) – Accessed on 18 Feb 2022
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