The spiritual response to climate change

Firefighter Charlie Ferris
Firefighter Charlie Ferris, of Los Angeles, watches a smoke plume from the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park, Calif., in 2013.
Jae C. Hong | AP Photo file

Have you heard the phrase “climate anxiety?” It’s not just a useful description of worrying about climate change, it’s a psychological condition plaguing many Americans.  

According to a recent study from the Pew Research Center, millennials and Gen Z say climate anxiety affects their daily functions and their plans for the future. Feeling powerless in the face of monumental damage is expected. Having agency as an individual can help. So can working with other people in a collective to make small changes. And small changes add up.

On Thursday at 9 a.m., host Angela Davis spoke with two spiritual stewards about addressing climate anxiety through spiritual practice. 

And we heard from you, too. You answered our questions: What steps have you taken to address your climate anxiety? Do they involve your faith? Are you part of a community working to slow down climate change? How’s it going? Have you found strength in collective action? Is there something you do regularly that helps quell your fears about climate change? Call us at 651-227-6000 or 800-242-2828 during the 9 a.m. hour. Or you can tweet @AngelaDavisMPR. 


  • Dan Wolpert is the executive director of MICAH, the Minnesota institute of contemplation and healing in Crookston, and the author of several books, most recently, “Creation’s Wisdom: Spiritual Practice and Climate Change.” 

  • Julia Nerbonne is the executive director of Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light. She teaches classes at the University of Minnesota on climate action and environmental justice.

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