Volume 7, Issue 1, Spring 2021
Understanding and Dealing with Climate Grief
An LBT Approach
Confronted with the reality that our environment is (almost literally) dying, we must navigate feelings of grief and mourning. In this article, I set out to understand the emotion of climate grief, using the LBT model of emotions. I define climate grief as an emotion whose object is the loss of the local and global ecosystems as we rely on, value and relate to them. The rating of climate grief is strongly negative, such that we bleakly perceive our existence and our survival as an ecosystem. In addition, I explore how self-defeating practical syllogisms can transform the healthy emotional grieving process into a destructive process. In particular, I investigate the LBT fallacies of "awfulizing", "damnation" and "can'tstipation". Finally, I propose a set of "climate-friendly virtues" (courage, respect and self-control) and look at what all of us can do to mobilize our emotions of climate grief toward healthy, positive and sustainable action.