Teaching Climate Change at the Community College

Resources for faculty who include the topic of climate change in their PCC classes

Climate grief

Image of a woman with sooty fingers over her facePCC instructors and counselors report that many of our students experience what is often called climate grief. Psychologists have identified climate grief, also known as ecological grief or eco-anxiety, as the experience of anxiety, hopelessness or despair in the face of current and anticipated harms to species and natural ecosystems.  

ASPCC student leaders recently formed a Climate Grief Committee, which led to a series of workshops and a virtual art exhibit.

The PCC instructors interviewed as part of this project all indicated that students are feeling the emotional toll of the climate crisis, although this takes different forms. Some students clearly would prefer not to discuss distressing topics, while others want to learn everything they can so they can be effective advocates. Most instructors reported that students want and need to process their emotions as part of the class.

Find below readings for understanding climate grief, and resources for addressing it.  See also the tab Affective resources on the Climate Change Curriculum guide.

Understanding climate grief

Resources and support for addressing climate grief