1st Edition

Learning to Live with Climate Change
From Anxiety to Transformation

ISBN 9780367441258
Published June 17, 2021 by Routledge
140 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations

USD $59.95

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Book Description

This imaginative and empowering book explores the ways that our emotions entangle us with climate change and offers strategies for engaging with climate anxiety that can contribute to social transformation.

Climate educator Blanche Verlie draws on feminist, more-than-human and affect theories to argue that people in high-carbon societies need to learn to ‘live-with’ climate change: to appreciate that human lives are interconnected with the climate, and to cultivate the emotional capacities needed to respond to the climate crisis. Learning to Live with Climate Change explores the cultural, interpersonal and sociological dimensions of ecological distress. The book engages with Australia’s 2019/2020 ‘Black Summer’ of bushfires and smoke, undergraduate students’ experiences of climate change, and contemporary activist movements such as the youth strikes for climate. Verlie outlines how we can collectively attune to, live with, and respond to the unsettling realities of climate collapse while counteracting domineering ideals of ‘climate control.’

This impressive and timely work is both deeply philosophical and immediately practical. Its accessible style and real-world relevance ensure it will be valued by those researching, studying and working in diverse fields such as sustainability education, climate communication, human geography, cultural studies, environmental sociology and eco-psychology, as well as the broader public.

The Open Access version of this book, available at https://doi.org/10.4324/9780367441265, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.


Table of Contents

  1. Introduction: Climate is living-with
  2. Feeling the climate crisis
  3. Encountering climate anxiety
  4. Witnessing multiple climate realities
  5. Storying climate collectives
  6. Conclusion: Bearing worlds

Appendix: Discussion questions

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Blanche Verlie is an Australian climate change educator and researcher currently living on unceded Gadigal Country. Blanche has over 10 years’ experience teaching sustainability and climate change in universities, as well as experience in community-based climate change communication and activism. Blanche has a multidisciplinary background, brings an intersectional feminist approach to her work and is passionate about supporting people to engage with the emotional intensities of climate change. Blanche is currently completing a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Sydney Environment Institute at the University of Sydney.


"Is climate change the teacher we need to help us learn to live? Perhaps counterintuitively, Verlie's answer is a resounding yes. Written for educators, young people, activists, community members, parents, researchers, and politicians—and anybody who is concerned about the fate of life on the planet— this book invites us to engage in an expansive, co-creative, and entangled relationship with climate, which Verlie defines as more a verb than a noun. This book aims more for courage, witness, and inspiration than resilience, adaptation, or coping, and outlines the faculties needed to bear, endure, and generate new worlds."

Sarah Jaquette Ray, author of A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety, and professor of environmental studies at Humboldt State University.