“Ecological grief is the grief that’s felt in response to experienced or anticipated ecological loss.”Cavanagh, M. (2019, January). It’s Time to Talk About Ecological Grief. Undark Magazine. https://undark.org/2019/01/10/its-time-to-talk-about-ecological-grief/
Visual: Annie Spratt / Unsplash
Dr. Courtney Howard and I recently had our work on ecological grief featured in an article written by Michaela Cavanagh for Undark Magazine.
In this article, Courtney explains how grief can stem from stress and anxiety associated with slow, creeping changes in one’s environment. And, to illustrate Courtney’s points, I discuss ecological grief in the context of my work with Inuit communities in Northern Labrador. The losses these communities suffer as a result of climate change extend to every corner of their lives, and the attendant grief they experience is ubiquitous.
Later in this article, Courtney emphasizes the importance of bringing these kinds of stories, lived experiences, and emotions to the table in climate discussions. The language of ecological grief adds weight to the science, statistics, policies, and politics of climate change.
As Micheala Cavanagh writes in the final paragraph, “by beginning to pay attention to these intangible losses, we can expand the narrative of climate change and find ways to support one another, encourage action, and create healthy communities.”