Nature: Treat Climate Anxiety by Encouraging Personal Climate Action

Essay by Eric Worrall

Researchers from University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada have suggested encouraging people stricken by climate anxiety to act on their delusions is the path to mitigating their symptoms.


Reducing personal climate risk to reduce personal climate anxiety

Jeremy Fyke & Andrew Weaver

Climate anxiety, reflecting concerns about the negative impacts of climate change, is growing. Planning and action on individual specific climate risks could be a way to reduce personal climate anxiety.

Personal climate anxiety is a climate impact in its own right, and accepting this is necessary to manage it at the individual level. However, this first step can be challenging, because it can trigger powerful defensive psychological responses, including mental transfer of responsibility for solutions to others, fatalism and even climate change denial9,10. Overcoming these psychological defences involves a journey that in many ways mirrors the challenges of accepting other uncomfortable personal issues such as addiction, trauma and loss.

Based on linkages between anxiety, uncertainty and risk established by cognitive science, we argue that personal climate anxiety is most effectively and sustainably reduced by prioritizing planning and action to reduce personal climate risks. Comparing climate anxiety to health anxiety around COVID-19 clarifies this argument. The counterfactual case where one prioritizes psychological, symptomatic methods for COVID-19 anxiety16 as the first line of defence while neglecting to plan and expeditiously undertake available COVID-19 risk reduction exercises such as social distancing, mask wearing and vaccination17 is self-evidently a poor plan, because it doesn’t prioritize attempts to reduce the core anxiety-causing risk itself. 

Read more:

Essentially they are saying it is better to encourage victims of climate anxiety to plan and act to mitigate their personal climate risk, because they believe the basis of the anxiety is real. They compare the condition of people suffering climate anxiety to people who fear Covid-19, who act on their anxiety by wearing masks and social distancing.

Another option for treating “climate anxiety” might be to point out the fact indiscriminately rejecting every alarmist climate prediction is a safe bet, given their long track record of predictive failure. Automatically rejecting alarmists predictions means you will be right far more often than wrong. Therapists could teach people the basics of the scientific method, and how to distinguish between genuine and junk science.

But the researchers don’t appear to have considered this option.

4.8 17 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
February 26, 2023 10:05 am

“When the whole world is running towards a cliff, he who is running in the opposite direction appears to have lost his mind.” C. S. Lewis

Neil Lock
Reply to  Forrest Mims
February 26, 2023 1:41 pm

I prefer an older quote: “Whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad.”

Reply to  Neil Lock
February 27, 2023 11:57 am

Based on that, the gods wish to destroy western civilization.

Reply to  Forrest Mims
February 26, 2023 9:44 pm

The one big issue with schoolism (schoolism = attending school, except it’s a drug – see Lisa Simpson, or being a former school addict, or with a brain crushed by “being good at school”) is the idea that being wrong in a group is always better than being right alone.

But being in a group of people chased by bears isn’t better than being alone in place no bear can reach, even if the bears might not eat everybody. (Being chased in a group might be better than chased alone.)

Reply to  Forrest Mims
February 27, 2023 5:51 am

“The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding yourself in the ranks of the insane.” – Marcus Aurelius
Must be something in for this truth to keep being repeated in one form or another. And also in relation to this:
“Those who believe that they can be certain of their salvation because they have indulgence letters will be eternally damned, together with their teachers” – Martin Luther

Joseph Zorzin
February 26, 2023 10:19 am

Those who have climate anxiety will convince more people that the problem is real if they personally, drastically lower their carbon footprint. Not doing so will convince nobody except fools. At least I could sympathize with the anxious person if they did this and they now live in poverty.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
February 26, 2023 10:29 am

Your suggestion is exactly what the climate anxious should do, as soon as possible. I do not have any sympathy for the person who lives a poverty lifestyle of their own choice. Let them tell me how it is working out in a year or so.

Tom Halla
February 26, 2023 10:21 am

Comparing climate cultists to the Branch Covidians is apt. There is an element of reality to both, but the reactions to the issue are overblown.
Shutting down the whole economy to deal with a speculative threat is sure to be worse than what is supposedly being prevented. Also, both have fairly bad “science” involved, with one faction trying to shut up any dissent.
With a few years experience, almost all the victims of Covid 19 were circling the drain anyway, so if the effect was measured in years of life lost, the effects are much smaller than if judged by total deaths. Similarly, essentially all of the ill effects of CO2 are close to being a net positive.

Reply to  Tom Halla
February 26, 2023 2:47 pm

At least it didn’t take long for Pfizer and Moderna to get immunity, legal that is.

February 26, 2023 10:21 am

Hanlon’s Razor: never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Jackdaw
February 26, 2023 5:04 pm

Jeff’s Blunt Force Instrument: Malice and Stupidity can, and often do, act together.

February 26, 2023 10:22 am

With regard to your last sentence, if they considered, or worse, suggested, that option they would be out of their jobs.

Rud Istvan
February 26, 2023 10:50 am

Nature has fallen far. ‘Climate anxiety is rising ‘ is an assertion with no underlying evidence. How can it be rising when every major ‘anxiety inducing’ climate alarm prediction has failed?

  1. Sea level rise has not accelerated.
  2. Summer Arctic sea ice has not disappeared.
  3. Glacier National Park still has glaciers.
  4. There are NO climate refugees.
  5. UK children still know snow.

Now, it may be that such facts are causing the alarmists to be more anxious about their own futures. That would be a good thing. The more anxiously shrill they get, the easier it is to ridicule them.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 26, 2023 2:22 pm

Plus Polar Bears are thriving, crop production has never been higher, mortality from extreme weather has never been lower, life spans are the highest they’ve ever been… pick any metric and look at the current state and we are better off than ever. I also stumbled across this interesting site providing all the details on failed climate predictions all in one place:

Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 26, 2023 3:23 pm

Eric Worrall offers the hint:

encouraging people stricken by climate anxiety to act on their delusions

They aren’t anxious about real things. They’re anxious about things they have imagined. The Eagles addressed this in one of their hits, Already Gone.

So oftentimes it happens that we live our lives in chains
And we never even know we have the key

I almost feel sorry for these people, enslaved by their own delusions. Almost.

Last edited 22 days ago by stinkerp
Richard Greene
Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 26, 2023 7:29 pm

There is lots of evidence that CAGW is imaginary

43 years of consistently wrong predictions of rapid dangerous global warming since the 1979 Charney Report

We did have 40 years of global warming from 1975 to 2015, but it was mild and harmless.

Then we had 8 years of no warming at all, from 2015 to 2023.

Despite first hand experience with actual, harmless climate change and wrong climate predictions, most people still believe the predictions.

No facts, data and logic can change that climate belief, because the belief of a coming climate crisis was not formed with facts, data and logic in the first place.

The key problems:
— People think the future climate can be predicted, in spite of evidence to the contrary, and

— People trust their governments, without questions or independent thinking

February 26, 2023 10:51 am

Encourage them to pick up litter in ditches and parks. Good all-round…

J Boles
February 26, 2023 10:54 am

OT a bit but I would like to mention, I should have got the covid shots, I bought in to the fear, and opted out and a month ago I caught it and HOW I WISH I got the shots as I am in bad shape, 64, male. I was at higher risk as I go to the big gym 3x a week. I am super angry at myself for not getting them. I am recovering but it will be a long road home.

Reply to  J Boles
February 26, 2023 12:06 pm

Sorry to hear about your health struggle J Boles.

But you’re ascribing causes & effects haphazardly I suggest –

Firstly, the “vaccines” do not prevent anyone from catching a dose of COVID.
Secondly, the “vaccines” do not prevent anyone with COVID from transmitting it to others.
Thirdly, many people with 4 doses of “vaccines” still contract COVID, and suffer from serious effects just as you do.
Fourthly, stop beating yourself up over contracting COVID – it can hit anyone at any time, and the seriousness of its impact on individuals is so variable it is impossible to predict.

How did I get cancer and why is mine so aggressive compared to most others with the same type?
Medical science doesn’t have any answers for me, and I’m pretty sure they also don’t have any answers for COVID sufferers like you.

Remember though that –
“We’re all in this together”.


John Hultquist
Reply to  J Boles
February 26, 2023 12:16 pm

Not enough information.
Did you supplement with Vitamin D3, Zinc, Quercetin (or foods containing), and Iron?
Did you consult a medical professional regarding pre-existing conditions or reactions
to prior vaccines?
We do hope you recover rapidly. And, of course, you now have a natural immunity.
What about other things — flu, shingles, pneumonia, TDAP, and such?

Reply to  J Boles
February 26, 2023 12:42 pm

Brch…brr-roich. Bra-argh! Bourgh! Mph…Bre-ach!!
Get outta my way, world. I’se gonna get me some of that myocardjectus…

But, I would LO-O-OVE to see the algorithm that injected this comment into a page carrying an example of this particular style of psy-op. Nickey Haley is an expert at this:
Day 1: Hold press conference where you utter the most absurd, nonsensical lies.
Day 2: The prestitutes report the lie verbatim, with no context or discussion.
Day 3: Haley’s lie is codified as True History by the millions of plagiarists who repeat Reuters/ AP news titbits as public dogma in their own news articles.

This Jay Bollox guy is very inept, though, too obvious for words.
First day on the trolling job, Bolesey?

Gunga Din
Reply to  J Boles
February 26, 2023 2:01 pm

I’m 68. Got the original shot and then the first “booster”.
Had my first heart incident (minor) shortly thereafter.
No more Covid shots for me!
I even skipped the flu shot. Waiting to see if my allergies decrease.
(But I am due for a tetanus booster. I’ll get that one.)

Reply to  Gunga Din
February 26, 2023 3:03 pm
Richard Greene
Reply to  Eric Worrall
February 26, 2023 7:51 pm

It’s not apparent the Covid vaccine works for anyone

There is no evidence with actual data that lives were saved.

Hospitalization data are not reliable enough to determine if hospitalizations were reduced. Doubtful, because deaths were not reduced and hospitalization precede deaths.

Most so called Covid patients entered the hospital with no respiratory symptoms, according to a survey of Manhattan hospitals.
They were later “declared” to be Covid patients. Hospitals get more money if patients are declared to be Covid patients.

The deaths in 2020 versus 2021 and 2022 are determined by all-cause mortality, excess mortality and deaths from any cause within 28 days of a positive PCR test for Covid 19

The adverse side effects reported to VAERS are at least 50x worse than any prior vaccine since 1990 — unprecedented. The Covid vaccines should have been halted in Spring 2021.

Search Results from the VAERS Database (

Richard Greene
Reply to  J Boles
February 26, 2023 7:42 pm

Almost everyone I know who had a Covid shot in 2021 got Omicron in 2022.

Almost everyone recovers from Omicron in 3 to 7 days since it is nothing more than a common cold

Almost everyone recovers from Covid19 in 1 to 3 weeks, because it is much more dangerous than Omicron or any common cold

If you actually have Covid19, and your immune system is having difficulty controlling the virus, it is very likely the vaccine would have had similar adverse side effects.

The vaccine creates Covid19 spike proteins in your body.

If your immune system has trouble handling Covid19 spike proteins, it doesn’t matter how they got into your body.

I’m sorry to tell you this, but I don’t censor myself to be nice:
After all the information now available about the least safe and least effective vaccines in the history of vaccines — the Covid mRNA vaccines — anyone who regrets not getting such a vaccine is a fool.

Due Diligence: The wife and I are not Covid vaccinated. I am 69 and she is 73. We are not fools. We have also not had Covid,19, Omicron, influenza or even a common cold in the past three years. Our “Covid vaccine” is Vitamin D, Vitamin C, zinc and quercetin food supplements.

February 26, 2023 11:17 am

Worst thing one can do this just feeds the politics that are truly evil.
How many kids are going to top themselves over this ?

February 26, 2023 11:19 am

Here you go:

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  pflashgordon
February 26, 2023 5:46 pm

The answer to all Woke problems.

David Dibbell
February 26, 2023 11:27 am

So what is this “planning and action to reduce personal climate risks.”?
Air conditioning? We already do that.
Build on high ground? Good idea, not new.
Affordable energy for heating your home in the winter? Sure, why give up natural gas?
Full tank of gas in case you need to evacuate or use your car for emergency shelter? Good plan. Good luck with your EV.

Seems like we already know how to manage personal climate risks. This push to eliminate fossil fuels and to make electricity less reliable is the obvious thing to change.

Reply to  David Dibbell
February 26, 2023 3:10 pm

I like to garden and I like to ski, and I happen to think the benefits of CO2 outweigh any adverse effects.

That’s why I drove about 150 miles round trip today to ski at Arapahoe Basin, and the parking lots and highways were packed.

Everyone has to do their part.

February 26, 2023 11:28 am

I have a better idea stop being herded into ideological conformity camps and think for yourself and research the issues on your own.

I realized as a TEENAGER to be a FREE-THINKING individual to figure it out on my own which is why I KNOW there is NO Climate Change Crisis because it is a manufactured LIE spewed out by power hungry politicians and the always dishonest misleading Media.

February 26, 2023 11:33 am

To paraphrase some old Greek philosopher who said something like this: ‘when you stop worrying about things you can’t do much about, you on the road to happiness.’
However, times have changed since, forget about road to happiness just take Benzo.something, it is so 2020s.

John Hultquist
February 26, 2023 12:01 pm

A similar fear issue:
Say you have a fear you are about to fall off the top of a 100 story
skyscraper. You walk through a door and find yourself at ground
level on the sidewalk. Problem solved.
Those with climate anxiety could easily solve their mental discombobulation
by figuratively walking through the door from junk science to genuine science. 
Problem solved. 

Reply to  John Hultquist
February 26, 2023 12:47 pm

To relieve his anxiety Putin makes them walk trough any window ten floors or above. The West’s twentysomethings could go to the Ukraine to fight him, and put an instant stop to their ‘climate change’ anxiety.

Reply to  vuk
February 26, 2023 3:16 pm

Works every time.

Joe Gordon
February 26, 2023 12:18 pm

One option would be to publish a “study” perpetuating these delusions and demonizing anyone who refuses to share them.

Unfortunately, children are easily controlled by keeping them ignorant, scared and indoctrinated. All the liberalism and thirst for knowledge of the post-renaissance Western world has been destroyed in one generation.

Last edited 22 days ago by Joe Gordon
John Hultquist
Reply to  Joe Gordon
February 26, 2023 2:07 pm

I often wonder what a child does as they age and realize they have been lied to.
I suspect the more serious the lie, the more serious the reaction.
Tooth Fairy – – Covid masks — >> …

Reply to  John Hultquist
February 26, 2023 3:17 pm

I’m still mad at my mom over Santa Claus. Maybe not, I was at the time.

February 26, 2023 12:22 pm

So, a feel-good psycho swindler and a climastrologist-turned-politicit want me to alter my behaviour (occupational therapy) by convincing me I suffer from a mental condition brought about by following their advice?
Yet another example of how facts and science have absolutely no bearing on a conversation driven by psychologists, economists and, for some reason, oncologists.

February 26, 2023 12:42 pm

Jeremy and Andrew are full of sh&t, worse than that they are a disgrace.

February 26, 2023 12:55 pm

These anxiety peddlers need to reflect on the possible consequences to themselves. Those of us who have undertaken “interventions” know that the first response of the peddlers’ victims, when successfully relieved of these misconceptions, is often explosive anger. We expect that, so the next, more difficult, stage is to assist the victim in dealing with the anger, and avoid falling into another hell-hole. It is a pity that these perpetrators aren’t able to witness one of these outbursts, and realise what their victims would like to do to them.

A happy little debunker
February 26, 2023 1:01 pm

Telling an Anorexic to eat less food … is not the cure they tell you it is.

February 26, 2023 1:07 pm

Wonder what they’d say to do if you were deathly afraid for college professors?

February 26, 2023 1:14 pm

Just like the gender wars going on…create a situation, make millions have mental problems, and rather than helping the vulnerable, they’re encouraging them down a path that will only harm their future. As long as they feel better now.

Ulric Lyons
February 26, 2023 1:19 pm

It’s a con, taking action will reinforce the anxiety.

Gunga Din
February 26, 2023 1:53 pm

“There is nothing to fear but fear itself”
That was said when there was a real threat. (Germany, Japan, WW2)
There is no real threat from Man’s CO2.
There is a real threat from the “solutions” to a non-threat.

February 26, 2023 2:05 pm

Historically men have coped with their fears of the new or unknown by applying the now-lost art of learning. Learning about the relative risk of the latest coronavirus would have told the anxious that they were (in the US, anyway) 72 times more likely to die in an auto accident than of Covid-1984, 1,600 times more likely to die of cancer, heart disease, or stroke, and about 1,200 times more likely to die from a medical error. Learning would have told them that slave muzzles are a political statement, not a medical intervention, that the last time mRNA “vaccine” technology was tried it killed all the ferrets, that there’s a revolving door between the FDA and pharma, and that “social distancing” makes as much sense as wearing a traffic cone to deflect incoming meteors. Learning would tell them that the planet has always warmed and cooled, that CO2 is essential to life, that people move from cold climates to hot climates all the time with no ill effects, and that the entire “climate emergency” scam exists solely to give sociopaths a pretext for working out their control freak issues.

Paul Johnson
February 26, 2023 2:17 pm

‘Tis better to light one candle than to curse the darkness, except that it increases your carbon footprint.

Reply to  Paul Johnson
February 26, 2023 3:26 pm

Flip a switch and be thankful.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Scissor
February 27, 2023 5:02 pm

For how much longer?

Tom Abbott
February 26, 2023 2:30 pm

From the article: “Therapists could teach people the basics of the scientific method, and how to distinguish between genuine and junk science.”

That’s the ticket!

If they learn their lessons well, they will see that most of climate science is unsubstantiated junk science, and they have nothing to fear from CO2. They can go about their lives without fearing they are destroying the Earth.

Edward Katz
February 26, 2023 2:44 pm

AS good example of the typical psycho-babble so close to the hearts of academics. If they’re hoping to convince people to make major lifestyle changes to combat what’s really a phantom crisis, they should get ready to fail because people worldwide have shown that when it comes to climate action , they feel it’s up to governments, businesses and industries to lead the way. The ordinary consumer has few intentions of accepting new laws, restrictions and higher taxes that will supposedly save the planet.

February 26, 2023 2:55 pm

“Climate anxiety, reflecting concerns about the negative effects of climate change, is growing.”
The solution is easy.
Think only about the positive effects of climate change. Always look on the bright side.
Over my 80 years, no aspect of climate change has caused me any anxiety, because no bad measurable or feelable event has happened to me.
On the other hand, the ornamental plants in our garden have never looked better, global food supplies fertilized by CO2 are steadily growing, more ground is going from hot and dry to wetter, better homes for increasing wildlife species, and more, more, more. Wake up and smell the roses.
The climate change story exists because of huge, expensive advertising. Ask yourself when a clothes wash detergent advertised as better than the opposition actually turned out better. It is all hollow fantasy.
The better scientists are finally being heard above the teenage cancel culture, with progress in adding benefits to the calculations of the “social cost of carbon”.
Geoff S

Right-Handed Shark
February 26, 2023 4:19 pm

I too have climate anxiety, what I fear is the very real danger of suddenly being surrounded by a XR flash mob and having them dance at me.

Last edited 22 days ago by Right-Handed Shark
Jeff Alberts
February 26, 2023 5:35 pm

Planning and action on individual specific climate risks could be a way to reduce personal climate anxiety.”

Right. Because giving in to a delusion is just the right thing to do. I mean, then you can say that a man who thinks he’s a woman IS actually a woman, and vice versa.

Pat from Kerbob
February 26, 2023 7:41 pm

Andrew Weaver has his own patents on climate crazy so all of this is expected.

Hopefully parents of suicidal kids go looking for him and Suzuki.

Richard Greene
February 26, 2023 7:57 pm

I have a serious case of climate anxiety because I read up to 24 short climate science and energy articles like this one every morning.

But I also act to halt the dreaded climate change and protect myself from it:

(1) I am building an ark to save the family from sea level rise

(2) Knowing that cow flatulence causes climate change, today I ate a hamburger, and

(3) I have decided not to buy a private jet, that I have been saving for since 1977, not that $29 would have bought more than a plastic model of a private jet

This comment is serious,
not satire

February 26, 2023 9:38 pm

Same with “trans”: you feel like a boy? Let’s cure that psychological issue by cutting your boobs!

February 26, 2023 10:08 pm

However, this first step can be challenging, because it can trigger powerful defensive psychological responses, including mental transfer of responsibility for solutions to others, fatalism and even climate change denial

Nice swipe at people who don’t accept the whole CAGW BS.

February 26, 2023 10:42 pm

From the article:

“Based on linkages between anxiety, uncertainty and risk established by cognitive science, we argue that personal climate anxiety is most effectively and sustainably reduced by prioritizing planning and action to reduce personal climate risks.”

The problem here is the confusion between climate and specific weather events. The anxiety is caused by the media attributing the most recent, extreme, weather event, in a particular area, to climate change.

In order to reduce such anxiety, I see two broad methods. First, the anxious person should check the historical records available on the internet, to discover the frequency and severity of past, extreme weather events in their area. If they do this, they will find that it is rare that any current weather event is worse than what has been recorded in the past.

When these rare events occur, as happened in Lismore, Australia, recently, when flood levels exceeded all historical records going back to the 1880’s, one should investigate the changes to the environment resulting from human development.

In Lismore, for example, a raised highway was built across a flood plain, acting like a dam wall with no exits for water to pass through. This was a main feature that resulted in a record-breaking flood height. There were also other man-made changes to the environment that would have contributed to those record floods.

The second method to reduce anxiety is to act upon this knowledge that extreme weather events mostly occur on a regular basis, every 10 or 20 or 30 years, and that one should prepare, through planning and action, to reduce the risk of personal damage from extreme weather events, by refusing to buy a house located in a flood plain, unless the house is raised on stilts above the level of previous flood heights, and refuse to buy a house in an area subject to the occasional category 4 cyclone, unless the house has been built to withstand the force of such cyclones.

February 27, 2023 6:03 am

The belief in human caused climate change is obviously a cult/religion because non scientific methods are used to defend it’s artificial ‘certainty’, or rather, attack any scrutiny. The most frightening example of this self righteous certainty would be the philosophers Ingmar Persson of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden and Julian Savulescu of the University of Oxford. They have argued that our moral brains are so compromised that the only way we can avoid climate catastrophe is to enhance them through biomedical means.

“Virtue is more to be feared than vice, because its excesses are not subject to the regulation of conscience” – Adam Smith

February 27, 2023 4:55 pm

How do you resolve “climate anxiety” when there is no actual climate crisis to be anxious about? This is a psychosis that has been foisted on these weak minds by stupid and malevolent educators and media. These weak snowflakes have never experienced any real climate changes to be anxious over, but they are taught to fear what hasn’t and never will happen, at least in their own lifetimes.

February 27, 2023 8:43 pm

There is no such thing as “Climate Anxiety” as it would take 30 years to diagnose it.

%d bloggers like this:
Verified by MonsterInsights