Ecological Grief: Learning to Deal with Climate Change and Species Loss

Stephen is joined by a public health researcher to discuss a contemporary mental health condition caused by climate change.

With extreme weather patterns becoming the new normal, species loss, climate devastation and expert voices telling us that in the not too distant future many of us will perish, researchers are starting to see a new phenomenon emerging: Ecological grief.

It’s the mental anguish felt over our changing world and the sense that society is losing aspects of the environment we can not get back. 

Katherine Gordon

Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson is joined by Ashlee Cunsolo, a public health researcher and director of the Labrador Institute of Memorial University in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, who has been studying this new mental health condition and how it’s impacting us. 

She began studying ecological grief with her research into Intuit community in northern Canada. 

“A lot of people were talking about this concept of grief and loss and mourning and sadness and pain that comes from watching their landscapes and ecosystems change,” she says. 

Cunsolo says it may not be a new phenomenon, but that in this current time of rapidly changing climates, “what we’re looking is a language to express what people are feeling.” 

Click on the player above to hear host Stephen Henderson discuss ecological grief with public health researcher Ashlee Cunsolo.


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