Climate Anxiety

Resources and events about climate anxiety for the PCC community

EcoSocial Justice Grant Climate Anxiety Project

Many of the events in this guide were made possible by a 2023 EcoSocial Justice grant, which is being coordinated by Roberta Richards and Taryn Oakley. Gratitude to the students and staff who coordinate the EcoSocial Justice Grant program

Feedback and questions about this guide can be directed to Roberta Richards,

Climate Anxiety

photo of mountainsClimate anxiety, sometimes called eco-anxiety or climate grief, refers to the feelings of sadness, loss, fear and hopelessness caused by climate disruption. Youth and young adults are often the ones experiencing climate anxiety most acutely.

The Oregon Health Authority conducted a study on the impact of climate change on youth mental health, and found results similar to those found in international studies. A summary of the experience of Oregon youth: 

  • They are experiencing feelings of hopelessness, despair, anxiety and frustration about climate change
  • They feel dismissed by adults and the older generation.
  • They feel angry that not enough is being done to protect their future
  • They understand climate change as closely linked with systemic racism and oppression. They believe both need to be addressed at the same time.                                             "Climate Change and Youth Mental Health," June 2022, p.5.

This guide includes resources for understanding and addressing climate anxiety, including programming and support available here at Portland Community College. See below recommended books, web resources and podcasts. Use the tabs on the left to find events and resources  for students and faculty/staff

"Field Guide to Climate Anxiety" student/faculty/staff book club!

Book cover of Field Guide to Climate AnxietyJoin us for an online student/faculty/staff book club of Sarah Jaquette Ray's A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety - How to Keep your Cool on a Warming Planet.

  • Starting Fall 2023
  • Author book talk! Sarah Jaquette Ray will join us by Zoom on Oct. 13th, 9 - 10:30 a.m.
  • Free copies of the book available for students (while supplies last).
  • Library print and e-copies available
  • Contact Roberta Richards ( or Taryn Oakley ( for more information.
  • Sign up to learn more and get Zoom links!

About the book:  Gen Z's first "existential toolkit" for combating eco-guilt and burnout while advocating for climate justice.

A youth movement is reenergizing global environmental activism. The “climate generation”—late millennials and iGen, or Generation Z—is demanding that policy makers and government leaders take immediate action to address the dire outcomes predicted by climate science. Those inheriting our planet’s environmental problems expect to encounter challenges, but they may not have the skills to grapple with the feelings of powerlessness and despair that may arise when they confront this seemingly intractable situation.

Drawing on a decade of experience leading and teaching in college environmental studies programs, Sarah Jaquette Ray has created an “existential tool kit” for the climate generation. Combining insights from psychology, sociology, social movements, mindfulness, and the environmental humanities, Ray explains why and how we need to let go of eco-guilt, resist burnout, and cultivate resilience while advocating for climate justice. A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety is the essential guidebook for the climate generation—and perhaps the rest of us—as we confront the greatest environmental threat of our time.

Online resources

TED Talk, How to turn climate anxiety into action, with psychologist Renée Lertzman (14 minutes)

Web resources:

PBS video. "Our host will tackle the big question: what can someone do to realistically treat climate anxiety." (11 minutes)

Highly recommended climate anxiety books!