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Wrestling through our climate change anxiety is the first step towards saving our planet—and ourselves.

Director of the Special Initiative on Climate Change and Mental Health at Stanford | Author of Generation Dread

Britt Wray | Human and Planetary Health Fellow at Stanford | Author of Generation Dread
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Lavin Exclusive Speaker

Our climate change anxieties have never been more overwhelming—but they’re also the key to saving the planet. BRITT WRAY shows us how to embrace our complicated, messy emotions about the climate crisis. Her revolutionary scientific research on the psychological toll of climate change—outlined in her brilliant book Generation Dread—reveals a surprising truth: that acknowledging and dealing with climate anxiety helps us find purpose, avoid burnout, and solve both mental health and ecological problems. Deeply compassionate, scientifically rigorous, and, above all, hopeful, Britt “helps us manifest something we all need nowadays: strength” (Adam McKay, director of Don’t Look Up).

Britt Wray is a ground-breaking researcher and storyteller, and a growing voice around the mental health effects of climate change. She’s the Director of the Chair’s Special Initiative on Climate Change and Mental Health in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences of Stanford Medicine. She draws on rigorous investigation and insightful interviews with therapists, activists and researchers to make the scientific case for embracing our climate crisis emotions—especially the ones we’d prefer to ignore. When we heal ourselves through community and open communication, we’ll be better equipped to heal the planet.

Britt’s acclaimed book Generation Dread, about finding purpose during the climate crisis, is an honest, profoundly compelling exploration of our climate-related stresses and “a road map out from under the burden of environmental chaos, made all the more compelling by the way it tracks her own journey” (Macleans). It was named a finalist for the 2022 Governor General’s Literary Awards.

In Generation Dread, Britt takes a candid look at the many ways our “eco-distress” pushes us into a state of grief, numbness or fatalism, and how it makes us burn out and question big life decisions like whether to have children. But she doesn’t leave us in our anxiety. She reveals how the very grief that pains us can also mobilize and transform us, and how emphasizing support and community will help us protect our planet and its inhabitants. David Wallace-Wells, the New York Times bestselling author of The Uninhabitable Earth, calls Generation Dread “a marvelous exploration of the divergent, sometimes paradoxical, but always human ways in which we navigate the effects of climate change.”

Britt is a writer, broadcaster and creator of the weekly climate newsletter “Gen Dread,” whose original research focuses on the mental health impacts of the climate crisis. She’s a highly in-demand speaker, who’s given talks alongside the likes of Jane Goodall, Al Gore, Yuval Noah Harari, Johan Rockstrom, and Ban Ki Moon. She’s a TED Resident and speaker and was a guest host of the CBC science show Quirks and Quarks as well as co-host of the BBC podcast Tomorrow’s World. Her previous book, Rise of the Necrofauna, was described as a “must-read” by The Sunday Times, and The New Yorker called it one of the best books of the year. Britt has a PhD in Science Communication from the University of Copenhagen, and is an advisor to the Good Energy Project for climate storytelling and the Climate Mental Health Network.

Speech Topics

Climate Crisis
How to Cope with Climate AnxietySaving the Earth and Saving Ourselves
Britt Wray’s fascinating and hopeful new talk demonstrates the emotional and existential effects of living in a warming world—and how we can get through them together. Although anxieties surrounding the climate crisis can cause us to burn out, give up, and question deeply personal decisions like whether to have children, working through these anxieties can unlock a deep capacity to care for and act on climate issues.
We need to look at the climate crisis as a whole—not just the political or technological issues, but the mental health consequences as well. These effects can be severe, even leading people affected by climate events to experience PTSD and a loss of identity. To combat this, Britt presents practical tips and strategies for healthily and productively dealing with our emotions, living with climate trauma, and strengthening our communities so we can combat climate change together.
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