"Making Space: Navigating Hope and the Emotional Landscape of Climate Conversations"
As scientists, we are trained to be impartial observers, but in the case of the Earth's changing climate, we are very much part of the system and impacted by it. It is crucial that we examine the emotional impact of climate change on ourselves as well as the public we hope to reach with our message. Scientists, educators, and young people report feelings of "climate grief," anxiety, and despair that can make it challenging to continue to engage in this work. In this interactive session, we will share the current understanding of this emerging phenomenon, discuss the role that hope plays in changing the system, and practice ways we can work through the complexity of our experiences and emotions to stay engaged and engage others in hopeful climate action. The session will include guided reflection exercises from The Work That Reconnects, a framework developed by Buddhist scholar and environmental activist Joanna Macy and honed over many decades by a growing network of practitioners.