Today Agency France Press have released an article into the mainstream entitled "Crushing climate impacts to hit sooner than feared: draft UN report" which will be a difficult read for many, even those of us who have been expecting publication of it's contents for a long time.
Reading the reality of current and expected climate impacts stated bluntly in mainstream media is a different experience from talking about them in safe spaces with activists, friends and colleagues.
And of course, talking and reading is very different to living through, preparing for and and experiencing the impacts themselves.
With the next round of major IPCC climate science and impact reporting coming up, we're going to see a LOT more of this material entering mainstream conversations and media, and it's predictable many people are going to struggle with it.
They're going to struggle to accept, they're going to struggle with the emotions, the stress and anxieties involved with acceptance, and they're going to want to know there are other people out there feeling the same way and somehow managing to get on with the work that needs to be done to address it.
This article is a short summary of what will be a comprehensive 4000 page report on climate impacts due out in February 2022, the largest ever scientific peer-review process in all of human history.
The challenges articulated in this summary highlight the exact reasons why we collective created CJU and why we are working together on our Big Plan.
"The world is confronting a complex set of interwoven challenges,"
"Unless you tackle them together, you are not going to do very well on any of them."
"We need transformational change operating on processes and behaviours at all levels: individual, communities, business, institutions and governments."
"We must redefine our way of life and consumption".
Here's the link to the full article by AFP : https://au.news.yahoo.com/crushing-climate-impacts-hit-sooner-010253060.html
This is tough and long-term work, and it's work which becomes more and more important with every single year, month, week, and day that passes.
From the work our CJU mental health team have done in understanding how humans respond to crisis, we know we need 3 things to support us in coping emotionally and mentally during times like these:
1. We need spaces, places and people with which to process and deal with our emotional responses,
2. We need systemic policies and processes that support the community during these times, and
3. We need accurate and reliable communication at all stages of the crisis. We need to know what is happening, what is going to happen and what we need to do about it.
And all of this needs to be grounded in our real experiences of the world, in the stories and deep understandings of where we live, work and spend our time.
As CJU members we have built a collective culture which is intentional about addressing these needs to enables all of us to continue our important work, while pro-actively protecting our mental health.
If you want to be involved in furthering these discussions, or to collaborate on ensuring people are able to engage with this information in ways that lead them to taking effective action (rather than into despair) - then become a member of Climate Justice Union today and let's work together.
And when you share this kind of information - which we absolutely need you to do - PLEASE be mindful that people can only engage with the grief and despair it may bring in ways that move them to action (rather than into despair) if they are supported to do so, through relationships, practical support, and intentionally designed collective responses.
We're all in this together, so let's look out for each other properly - so we can all get on with doing what needs to be done.
Bella, Jaime, Jasmine, Luke and the team at Climate Justice Union
PS. If you think it would help to connect with professional services and organisations to talk through what this article brings up for you, here are some useful resources we have curated for you: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Ll17kHaVGniedfr4udCqsUo_iX9K_JUL