What a summer this has been; first drought then disastrous bushfires then floods. We really feel sad for those who have lost their homes or livelihoods. However these feelings should not stop us from discussing the causes. Now is the time to hold to account those responsible for failing to take preventative action, despite ample warning over decades.
Also we felt sad on reading an article about climate scientists’ responses now and 5 years ago, where many expressed feelings of guilt that they had not spoken out louder in the past. Guilt? They should instead feel proud for the warnings that they did give to those of us willing to listen. The shame and blame really belong with those in power who were more interested in looking after the greed of their fossil fuel and headline hungry mates, than their constituents.
As a counsellor and a psychotherapist we know that expressing feelings is an extremely important step in dealing with them. But these climate driven disasters are so severe that people can be left with profound pessimism and resulting hopelessness. However we need not lose heart. The antidote to a loss of hope is action.
We all feel better if we can do something to help mitigate a bad situation. And we all can. Even a little. If we all start with the smallest act that we can, together we create something big. And help ourselves along the way! The Australian Psychological Society has a program for this appropriately called “ACTIV 8”. See the attached graphic or go to https://www.psychology.org.au/for-the-public/Psychology-topics/Climate-change-psychology/Climate-change for more details.
As to our own activities: we have now held two workshop/house and garden tours and the response from participants has been very positive. We certainly enjoyed ourselves sharing the knowledge that we have gained over the years.