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Good morning curious.friends.

This week is Mental Health Awareness week, so we wanted to take a look at the growing concerns of eco-anxiety and how negative media coverage is causing more people to experience it.

Also, find out why ice-cream vans are getting the thumbs down in the UK, the rise of climate science fiction (Cli-Fi) and also why not speaking out about climate change could cost Joe Biden the US presidency.
 
Reading time is 3:47 minutes.
Enjoy, team curious


p.s. Stats from Bloomberg Business to show how well a 'vegan' investment portfolio has done in past 5 years
Mental Health

Growing concerns for the planet causing eco-anxiety

by Martyn Lowder

What's Going On Here?

Experts are reporting an increase in the number of people suffering from anxiety relating to climate change. Things may feel overwhelming but don’t worry, you're not alone!

What Does This Mean?

Does your heartbeat shoot up when you see someone throw a plastic bottle into the bin? Does the sound of an idling engine stop you from sleeping? Do you ever miss a meal because of the guilt you feel from the carbon footprint of your ham and cheese sarnie? 

Studies suggest that 1 in 4 of us have experienced mental health issues in the last year with 1 in 6 of us reporting it in any given week. 

Susan Clayton, our eco-anxiety guru from the College of Wooster says: "We can say that a significant proportion of people are experiencing stress and worry about the potential impacts of climate change, and that the level of worry is almost certainly increasing."

Eco-anxiety, stress or mental health? 

So what is the difference? Well not very much, they’re all interlinked.

Stress is common, it's our body’s way of dealing with situations we feel are threatening. We get a release of certain hormones which trigger response from our cardiovascular, respiratory and nervous systems. It makes us hyper-alert, ready to fight - very useful in small doses. 

However, elevated stress levels on a longer-term basis can have some really negative consequences on our mental health. It can lead to depression or anxiety. Symptoms include...

Feeling sad, empty, irritable, hopeless, angry, loss of interest in work, your hobbies or your family. You might struggle to concentrate, feeling overwhelmingly tired but struggle to sleep.

Be Curious!

If you think you could be suffering from eco-anxiety or that you know someone who might, take a look at our suggestions to help deal with the panic. 

  1. Recognise the situation and talk about it - Do you see yourself in any of the symptoms we mentioned? Grab a friend and a coffee and get sharing!
  2. Reflect on what provides relief and do more of it - It could be taking your reusable tupperware to your favourite cafe, cycling to work or spending the afternoon on the family allotment. Why not organise a woodland clean up or organise a holiday a little closer to home.
  3. Connect with a community - It doesn't even need to be environmental but the curious.earth team are always looking for a good old eco-debate. 
  4. Put the feeling in its place - Remember, worry is just a feeling and not a fact! Try this...


Rather than saying: “I am hopeless when it comes to climate change” 
Switch it to: “I feel hopeless when it comes to climate change” 
Or even better:  “I have noticed I feel hopeless when it comes to climate change” 

Put simply, you're not alone. There are plenty of things that you can do that are good for yourself and good for the planet. 

Check out the charity MIND for free help and support

Remember, to look after the planet, you need to first look after yourself. 

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Climate Change

Say Hi to 'CliFi' - the rising popularity of a new storytelling genre

by Helen Steiger

What's Going On Here?

Climate Fiction (CliFi for short) is becoming an increasing popular creative medium to help us (the public) to understand climate change, and how it could impact our lives in the future. 
 

What Does This Mean?

CliFi includes books, films, art and radio programmes that explore how changes in our environment (due to climate change) could impact human society and individuals now and in the future. Yes, even Hollywood films like The Day After Tomorrow.

It’s sort of a mix of futuristic fiction, real-world storytelling and scientific fact, exploring how climate change could change the things that matter the most to us (our relationships, jobs, family etc). 

It offers a new medium to engage audiences from a wide range of backgrounds and interests who may not have considered how climate change, and its effects, could impact the lives they currently lead (as well as being a useful Call To Action!).

Why Should We Care?

It has been shown that a major psychological barrier to climate action is that climate change can often feel like a large, unrelatable term that is removed from our current life both in space and in time. This distancing effect often leads to inaction, and a tendency to ignore the problem - not helpful! 

Engaging multiple people in what the effects of climate change could personally mean to them in an informative and fun way can help to overcome this barrier as well as widening awareness of the science and issues of climate change! 

Be Curious!

  1. Have a read of ‘New York 2140’ or ‘Parable of the Sower’ - two renowned novels that examine the impacts of climate change from very different perspectives. 
  2. The BBC have recently released a high-profile radio drama ‘Forest404’ that explores what could happen if we don’t act on climate change via a dystopian drama - and its making headlines! Download and have a listen, then have a go of the experiment running alongside to explore how nature impacts you.
  3. Use this medium as an opportunity to engage others in conversation about the topic - by discussing what future world we would like to inhabit, we can start to think about what needs to be done in order to bring about our desired outcome!
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Other news we found curious...

'It would destroy it': new international airport for Machu Picchu sparks outrage - Guardian
Glastonbury festival arena to be made from recycled plastic - BBC
How Farfetch is uniting designers, retailers and shoppers to create a circular fashion economy - edie
186 countries have signed UN pact to reduce plastic pollution - Treehugger
Could climate change submerge Joe Biden's presidential bid? - Guardian
Man makes deepest ocean dive ever, only to find plastic rubbish on seafloor - Independent
Air Pollution Fears Put London’s Ice Cream Trucks at Risk
- NYTimes
Helen Steiger
NEWS WRITER
Martyn Lowder
NEWS WRITER
THANKS FOR READING

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