A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety by Sarah Jaquette Ray [6/10]

Environmental studies academic Sarah Jaquette Ray offers us a timely in-depth look at the emotional and existential burdens of global warming, whether for activists or citizens, in “A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety: How to Keep Your Cool on a Warming Planet.” She describes it as “an existential toolkit,” and it certainly offers ideas on how to cope in our fraught era, but most of the book is an exhaustive, cogently written academic summary of a number of fields pertaining to climate change emotions and attitudes and approaches. If anyone from the fields of psychology, sociology, philosophy, social movement studies, or mindfulness, has written about how we can deal mentally and emotionally with our fearful future, Sarah Jaquette Ray. For my liking, “A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety” is less the “How-To” book that I desperately seek and more the treatise I don’t need, but Ray is such a skilled educator and clear scribe that a reader can’t help but leave the book wiser. And towards the end, some core ideas on hope, guilt, and the end of the world spring to the forefront, and the final chapter is, in my opinion, exhilarating. A valuable, pertinent addition to the many books we should be reading about the Anthropocene Era.

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