Students suffering ‘grief’ over climate change offered support sessions

By Paul Homewood

h/t Dave Ward


The crackpots are in town!




A university is offering students a course to help tackle eco-anxiety as it reports growing concern over rising sea levels.

The University of East Anglia (UEA) said students’ proximity to the Norfolk coast was increasing their concerns over erosion as a result of climate change.

It will offer students six two-hour sessions a week that will use mindfulness techniques based on the bestselling book Active Hope, which recommends group workshops to boost resilience.

The university said that eco-anxiety was a "direct result of the feelings of grief and distress stemming from the knowledge of climate concerns and its psychological impact".

A UEA spokesman said that "more widespread support for eco-anxiety has been developed in response to local needs in Norfolk, where people are becoming acutely conscious of rising sea levels as local coastal communities experience dramatic coastal erosion".

The American Psychological Association describes eco-anxiety as "a chronic fear of environmental doom", which can manifest as mild stress to more severe clinical disorders including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

A survey in 2021 found that 95 per cent of 16 to 25-year-olds in 10 countries, including the UK, were worried to some extent about climate change.

Nearly 60 per cent of respondents said they felt "very worried" or "extremely worried". Researchers found that climate change was associated with negative emotions including being "sad, afraid, anxious, angry and powerless".

Nearly half of participants said their feelings about climate change encroached on their daily lives.

Claire Pratt, associate director of student services at UEA, said: "We know that eco-anxiety is a massive issue for our students and so we wanted to do something to tackle these feelings."

She said that she hoped the course could help students to "feel better about climate anxiety and provide a supportive atmosphere for discussion and mindfulness".

The UEA is home to the Climatic Research Unit, a leading institute for the study of climate change science, and is part of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.

Azza Dirar, a postgraduate student who helped design the Mindfulness and Active Hope course, said: "The focus is not on the overwhelming bleak evidence of climate change and environmental degradation, but rather on how we can act with courage and wisdom during a time of looming ecological and societal collapse."

The course draws on the work by “ecophilosopher” Joanna Macy, a Buddhist convert and former CIA agent, and Chris Johnstone, who co-wrote the book Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in Without Going Crazy.

Ruth Taylor, social development manager at Norfolk and Waveney Mind who helped develop the UEA programme, said: "It’s totally normal to feel worried, upset, overwhelmed, ashamed or angry about the climate emergency.

"But there are many things we can do to increase our emotional resilience and keep a helpful and engaged perspective on the crisis."

What gives the UEA the right to waste taxpayers’ money on this nonsense?

I am not quite sure what sea level rise any of these twenty year olds have seen in East Anglia during their lifetime anyway – sea levels at Lowestoft have not risen during their lifetimes.


Surely it is the job of universities like East Anglia to teach their student the facts. You know, ones like the fact that the coast of Norfolk and Suffolk has been eroding for thousands of years, without any help from mankind. Or the fact that East Anglia has been sinking since the end of the ice age.

Somehow earlier generations of students at the UEA managed to cope with all of that without feelings of grief and distress!


November 1, 2022 at 12:29PM

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