Practice Brief 80 -- Topics: Culture Equity

How to productively reframe eco-anxiety as a science communicator or educator

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Why it Matters to You
  • Science communicators and educators have an obligation to prioritize the well-being of children and youth, which includes supporting learning that addresses the consequential climate concerns that threaten their current lives and futures. They need to learn to manage political complexities of that work.
  • Organizational leadership and staff should invest in professional learning and updated science learning materials that are informed by Indigenous scientists and other environmental and climate justice leaders.

What Is The Issue?

Most eco-anxiety stems from the fear of change— change of social structures, loss of preferred futures, or systems and lifestyles that maintain a hierarchical and capitalistic society. Attending to eco-anxiety means collectively reimagining new ways to live in harmony with Earth and one another, which requires the expertise of Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian and Pacific Islander communities, as many have creatively adapted to historically disproportionate socio-ecological change and climate change impacts. Centering the communities that are the most impacted by climate change is key to helping all children and youth imagine and build healthy futures.

Authors:

BY ANASTASIA SANCHEZ, KALEB GERMINARO & CHRISTINA GUEVARA; EDITED BY PHILIP BELL | OCTOBER 2021


Reflection Questions

  • Work through your own anxieties about climate science. What are you fearful of? How can your fears help identify possible opportunities for healing self, others, and nature?
  • How can you disrupt conversations that are anxiety-inducing with learning about multispecies interdependence and collective thriving?
  • How can science communication and instruction prioritize generational competence, caring, and the consequential concerns and thriving futures of the communities most impacted by climate change?

Things To Consider

Attending to Equity

Recommended Actions You Can Take



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Work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License. Others may adapt with attribution. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.