Active Hope: Emotional Resilience in the Face of the Climate Crisis – Resources

Fall 2021 Series

October 27, 2021 7:00 pm Online

Recognizing the realities of the climate crisis can take a heavy toll emotionally. How can we acknowledge the grief, anger, and fear that many of us feel without falling into despair? Here are some resources for supporting our spirits and exploring sources of personal and collective power.


Download [PDF]

Books and a Report

Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in Without Going Crazy
Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone
A book that shows us how to strengthen our capacity to face this crisis so we can respond with unexpected resilience and creative power. The authors guide us through a transformational process informed by mythic journeys, modern psychology, spirituality, and holistic science. This process equips us with tools to face the mess we’re in and to play our role in the collective transition to a life-sustaining society.

All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis
Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine K. Wilkinson, editors
There’s a renaissance in the climate movement of leadership that is more characteristically feminine and more faithfully feminist, rooted in compassion, connection, creativity, and collaboration. Johnson and Wilkinson have collected essays, poetry, and art from dozens of diverse women at the forefront of the climate movement. The book is both a balm and a guide for knowing and holding what has been done to the world, while bolstering our resolve never to give up on one another or our collective future.

A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety, How to Keep Your Cool on a Warming Planet
Sarah Jaquette Ray
A super accessible read. Ray takes a multi-disciplinary approach and explains how we can push back against eco-guilt and burnout and build resilience for ourselves. She provides some great strategies, including learning how different eco-related emotions affect the way we work, how we share and tell our stories, and how we can build hope and joy into our work. Ray has created an “existential toolkit” for the climate generation that combines insights from psychology, sociology, social movements, mindfulness, and the environmental humanities.

Warmth: Coming of Age at the End of Our World
Daniel Sherrell
Climate activist Dan Sherell shares his own emotional roller-coaster ride of trying to reconcile his dreams for the future with his nearly life-long knowledge that “the Problem” threatens everything he cares about. The book takes shape as a letter to a hoped-for child he may never have because of his fears for the future.

Mental Health and Our Changing Climate: Impacts, Implications, and Guidance [PDF]
American Psychological Association, Climate for health, ecoAmerica
A kind of primer on the psychology literature around climate and mental health, this report shows how climate affects our physical, mental and even community health, and provides tips and strategies to support ourselves, our families and our communities.

General Resources

The All We Can Save Project
“Resources for working with climate emotions”

Climate Psychiatry Alliance
A resource for people looking for a climate-aware therapist

Gen Dread: a newsletter about staying sane in the climate crisis
Dr. Britt Wray, who studies the links between climate change and mental health, shares strategies for coping with eco-distress, including but not only activism

Good Grief Network
Inspired by the Alcoholics Anonymous model, GGN is useful for folks who are looking for peer support groups to recognize and talk through their climate emotions

Activism as the antidote to fear: Local groups working on climate issues

“350Brooklyn strives to counter the climate crisis through local action. We work toward a world that is just, equitable, and sustainable and where all beings can thrive.” Within 350Brooklyn, specific working groups focus on city, state and local policy and legislation; education; programs for families; and reducing the use of plastics. 350Brooklyn plays an active role in key state- and city-wide coalitions, including Renewable Rikers, Gowanus Neighborhood Coalition for Justice, and NY Renews. 350Brooklyn was a key member of the coalition that defeated the $1billion planned fracked gas Williams Pipeline. 350Brooklyn is affiliated with, an international climate organization. To find affiliates in other areas, visit

350Brooklyn Families
“350Brooklyn Families is a place where we can come together and push for the cultural, societal and political changes we need to succeed in passing on a livable planet to our kids. Together we can give a voice to Brooklyn parents who are concerned about the climate crisis as well as create opportunities for children to get involved in climate activism.”

Bay Ridge Environmental Group
“We are a group of current and former Bay Ridge residents who engage in advocacy and volunteer work to advance sustainability, environmental justice, and climate change solutions in our community and elsewhere.”

Extinction Rebellion NYC
“Extinction Rebellion is a global nonviolent movement to compel the world’s governments to address the climate and ecological emergency.” The group uses nonviolent direct action to demand net-zero greenhouse emissions by 2025.

Sane Energy
“Sane Energy is committed to replacing fracked gas infrastructure with community-led, sustainable energy.” The group formed in 2011 to oppose the first fracked gas pipelines entering New York as the fracking boom got under way in Pennsylvania. Sane Energy was part of the coalition that defeated the Williams fracked gas Pipeline—which would have run along the NY shorelines—and is currently playing a leading role in organizing against the North Brooklyn fracked gas pipeline.

Sunrise Movement NYC
“Sunrise Movement is a group of powerful young people fighting for a Green New Deal. We’re college students, protestors, artists, progressive tie-wearers, freelancers, teachers, singers, cookie bakers, basement dwellers, subway riders, civically-engaged middle schoolers, GIF junkies, club fanatics, hikers, and generally just young New Yorkers joining together to advance and achieve intersectional climate justice solutions for the most vibrant city in our country.”

“We are an intergenerational, multi-racial, nationally recognized, women of color-led grassroots organization that promotes sustainability and resiliency through community organizing, leadership development, and cultural/artistic expression in Brooklyn.” UPROSE is based in Sunset Park, where the group is pioneering community solar. UPROSE is committed to preserving a working waterfront and to expanding green job development in its community.

And some national organizations working on climate

Food & Water Watch
“Food & Water Watch mobilizes regular people to build political power to move bold & uncompromised solutions to the most pressing food, water, and climate problems of our time. We work to protect people’s health, communities, and democracy from the growing destructive power of the most powerful economic interests.” Food & Water Watch was part of the coalition that successfully fought the fracked gas Williams Pipeline.

The Third Act
“Third Act is people over the age of 60—‘experienced Americans’—determined to change the world for the better. We muster political and economic power to move Washington and Wall Street in the name of a fairer, more sustainable society and planet. We back up the great work of younger people, and we make good trouble of our own.”