Climate Anxiety Counseling: Day 5

Weather: golden, warm, delightful

Number of people: 12 stoppers, 3 walk-bys

Number of hecklers: 0!

Number of climate change deniers: 1, but see below

Number of conspiracy theorists: 2.5

Pages of notes: 8

People who recognized and commented on the Peanuts reference: 4 (all-time record)

People who asked (and received) permission to take a picture: 1

People who did not ask permission and took a picture anyway: 1

People who asked me what was bothering me, or what I thought was most important: 2

Money raised for Environmental Justice League of RI: $0.86



Saturday seems slower–my slowest day yet, if I correct for the aggressiveness of yesterday’s weather.

Some people seem inclined to deliver a mishmash of what they’ve heard in various news or news-esque ways.


Some conversations: 

It’s going on everywhere. The way that the weather is changing–take a look at Alaska, there’s no more glaciers. Take a look at Texas. Not only climate but environmental too. Take a look at animals that are coming out of their habitats because we’re taking everything away from them. Just this year there were snowy owls around here, because it was so cold. Our children’s children are going to end up seeing animals only in exhibits … Those windmills they want to build off Block Island–you have to dig under the water, they’re disturbing the fish.


I’m worried about the environment in the big picture, but I don’t have time to think about that in my own life right now. I have to hustle what I can to take care of my child and me. Recycling and what’s happening to our earth, it does bother me, but I’m not in a stable place where I can give time–what’s that called, to volunteer right now.


[These two came up to the booth together.]

Her: Losing the bees, definitely.

Because they pollinate things we need?

And it would be sad just not to have them. And also, is global warming actually happening–the way it’s portrayed in the media is complex. I love animals. Polar bears aren’t having their habitat. But how do you know what’s real and what’s just propaganda.

Him: Propaganda worries me.

Her: I think we need a change of consciousness from being selfish to realizing we all live on the planet as collective people. Individual choices can make a difference. But we can’t say “Well, I’m okay, I live in California and I don’t have this, or I live in Rhode Island and I don’t have this. It’s not me so I don’t care.” Keeping people separate. But it’s a smart thing to think, “What if it happens here? Maybe we could prepare.” That gets the sensitive people and the practical people.

Him: I would like to see an end to the monetary system and transition to a resource-based economy. I think if people were aware of the origins of their clothing, their products–what price others have to pay for us to live the quality of life that we have–

What do you think a resource-based economy would do?

Do you know what it is?

Yes, but I want to know what you think it would do.

 I think it would give everybody the quality of life that they deserve to have, to prosper and be happy. I


What stresses you out?

I think selfishness, people thinking it’s okay to hurt other people or … places … as long as they have what they want.

My recruiter talked to me about the cameraderie in the military, and I never met as many selfish people as I met in the military. A lot of people, they get sucked in with they’re not gonna get deployed–not me. It was the cameraderie. And I never met so many selfish people.


Climate anxiety, that’s not real. It certainly is real, I’m feeling it right now.

But climate anxiety, that’s like climate change, that’s BS.

Well, is there anything that makes you anxious?


Come on, you gotta be more specific than that. Life, life, just life.

Everything about life? Every single aspect makes you anxious, there’s nothing that you feel good about?

Not everything. You see all this negative on the news, all this negative over here–I’m not judging I’m better than them, I might be worse, I might be equal. It’s just a crazy world. We don’t understand people’s behavior. There’s no trust no more, there’s no morals.

How should people act toward each other?

They should love each other.

How do you show love?

You show concern, compassion. You just talk to someone and you can lift them up, give a key word to someone and lift them up.

Today’s poem:

There must be a plug

in the grass or how

could anything grow

in the electric park

how could there be

any unwired ground

unbusted wilderness a missed

chance to make eye contact

why can’t the grass

evolve a plug for us

in the time it has

looking down and forgetting

my DNA humming me

like it’s stuck in my head




Tomorrow I will not be at the booth, but I’ll be posting a reflection on the week, a count of our donation so far for the Environmental Justice League of RI, and more!


4 thoughts on “Climate Anxiety Counseling: Day 5

  1. Pingback: Climate Anxiety Counseling: Reflections on Week 1 | climateanxietycounseling

  2. Pingback: Climate Anxiety Counseling: Looking Back and Looking Forward | climateanxietycounseling

  3. Pingback: Alternate History: 5/17, 4/5 | climateanxietycounseling

  4. Pingback: Alternate History: 5/17, 4/30 | climateanxietycounseling

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