Psychology for a Safe Climate Monthly Newsletter, February 2020
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It has been an immensely difficult time for many Australians over the last two months. Many of you have been directly experiencing and witnessing the devastation caused by the bushfires. The smoke, loss and destruction are bringing home the reality of what it means to live with climate change here and now in our lifetime. It is important to remember that while people are experiencing different scales of impact, we are all effected by this new reality. Finding solidarity and connection with others in this difficulty can really help in times like this. This might look like reaching to a friend for a deeper conversation about how you're feeling, or you might make time to attend some of the events detailed below.

As always, we are here on that journey with you and we are living with the deeper question of how to respond to this crisis in the immediate moment and in the coming months and years.

The issue of climate grief and ecological anxiety has been thrust into prominence and we are fielding many requests for workshops and interviews on this subject as people come to terms with the emotional impact of ecological crisis. We are inspired to read of scientists finding that their emotional response can support them to approach their research in fresh ways, while others acknowledge the powerful mobilising potential of ecological grief when it is expressed and held together with others. More and more people are coming to see that ecological health and mental health are intimately related.

Immediately below, you will find the resource kit we compiled in response to the bushfire and climate crisis currently unfolding in Australia. There are many supportive tools and frameworks you can draw on in this kit - please do share it far and wide. This month we've tried organising our newsletter around what to read, watch and listen to. We hope you find these resources useful. You will also find some information about upcoming events that you may find supportive.

For a safe climate,
Beth, Carol and the PSC team

Staying Engaged in the Bushfire and Climate Crisis
This is a collection of psychological ideas and resources that we published in response to the 2020 Australian Bushfires.

Our hope is that these resources will inspire you to explore different ways of meeting the bushfire crisis and to support you to sustain your love for life and your engagement with climate change. The resources selected are those that we ourselves are tapping into in order to support ourselves. You can download it here.
How scientists are coping with ecological grief
This article is a wonderful exploration of the different emotional repsonses that climate scientists and researchers are grappling with in their work. We found it particularly interesting that many recognised the value of making space of their emotions as a part of their critical thinking process, you can read the article in full here.
Critical thinking to spot false climate claims
A very helpful article with some tips on how you can use critical thinking to better engage with those denying climate change. Read more here.

We have the vaccine for climate disinformation
A great article from The Conversation about how to anticipate and manage the disinformation out there about the current bushfire crisis. Read more here


From Despair to Action: cultivating hope in times of change
In this podcast PSC member Bronwyn she discusses learning how to process the grief, rage and sadness that accompanies climate action and to build resilience and cultivate hope as things continue to change around us. You can listen here

Climate Anxiety
In case you missed it, here it is again. Carol Ride's wonderful interview on ABC Radio National's All in the Mind last November. In this interview Carol discusses the connection between climate change and mental health, and the strategies we need to maintain hope and take action.You can listen here

Supporting Regenerative Activism
Back in October 2019 we supported Merel Conyer to put on a workshop she has been developing to support climate activists using narrative therapy. This video was put together to share the flavour of this day and how the idea of regenerative activism can be supported. Watch here.
Upcoming Events in February 2020
Meeting the emotional challenges of facing the climate emergency
Margaret Klein Salamon, author of Facing the Climate Emergency: How to transform yourself with climate truth, and founding director of The Climate Mobilization in the US, will lead a panel discussion that explores the emotional challenges of facing the climate emergency.
When: Tuesday 18 February, 7-9pm
Where: YBF, Level 2, 520 Bourke Street, Melbourne

Event: Ritual for acknowledging our feelings for the Earth

CERES has been hosting some gatherings for people to acknowledge our individual and collective feelings about the climate and ecological crisis, devastating fires and loss of life. The next one is coming up on Thursday 6 February.

Event: How to talk with children about climate crisis

Children are worried about their future — they see and hear scary stories about climate change. How can we best respond to their fears? Should we try to shield them from reality? Should we support them joining the school strike? Join child psychologist, Professor Ann Sanson, and two local school students for a lively discussion on how we can best support children in these uncertain times.
When: Tuesday 25 February, 6.15-7.45pm
Where: Reservoir Learning and Community Centre, 23 Edwardes Street, Reservoir
PSC volunteers are based on the lands of the Wurundjeri tribe of the Kulin nation. We acknowledge their elders past, present and future.
PSC acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are Australia’s First Peoples and the traditional owners and custodians of the land on which we work.
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Psychology for a Safe Climate · PO Box 27 Fairfield · Alphington · Melbourne, Vic 3078 · Australia

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