Sustainability, Climate Change, Politics, Circular Economy & Environmental Solutions · One Planet Podcast
Britt Wray - Author of “Generation Dread: Finding Purpose in an Age of Climate Crisis”
Manage episode 344534951 series 3334558
Britt Wray is the author of Generation Dread: Finding Purpose in an Age of Climate Crisis. She's a writer and broadcaster researching the emotional and psychological impacts of the climate crisis. Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, she is a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford University and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where she investigates the mental health consequences of ecological disruption. She holds a PhD in Science Communication from the University of Copenhagen. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post Guardian, and Globe and Mail, among other publications. She has hosted several podcasts, radio, and TV programs with the BBC and CBC, is a TED Resident, and writes Gan Dread, a newsletter about staying sane in the climate crisis. She is also the author of Rise of the Necrofauna: The Science, Ethics, and Risks of De-Extinction.
"So I have a background in conservation biology and have been a science communicator for well over a decade and a half now, and of course, doing that work you're confronted with climate, environmental reports and studies, which were a consistent part of my emotional baseline, just being aware of the fact that this is not all going well, which every now and then would make me feel low, for sure, in a way that was quite noticeable. But it became much more poignant in my life in 2017 when my partner and I started considering whether or not to have a kid, and I hadn't connected the reproductive part of life to the climate crisis. And all of a sudden this topic was the only thing I could really think about because it became such a dilemma for me personally, as to whether or not I felt comfortable having a child, given what the science says about where we're headed and what the lack of historical action means for the future of any child born to date, even one with privilege and protection from its parental outset. So that then, you know, eco-anxiety and climate anxiety and eco-grief in these terms that we now have as kind of household items that people are familiar with, that we have lots of journalism around, which has especially emerged in the last three years or so.
At that time, I didn't have words to describe what I was feeling and I felt very deviant for even questioning whether or not it was okay to have kids in the climate crisis. I didn't really see it reflected. I figured, Okay, this is probably me getting a little bit loopy here, and I ought to do something to bring more perspective into my line of view. And that started me on a research project looking at the psychological impacts of the climate crisis writ large beyond just the reproductive angle, but that was my on-ramp."