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The Threat of Emotional Awareness to the Climate Status Quo...

The severity of global sustainability problems tends to evoke worry and anxiety in young people, and climate change education can amplify these feelings. While worry and anxiety might negatively affect a persons' well-being, they can also be a motivating force for learning and taking positive action.

Some songs about climate change can help evoke emotions such as grief, hope, and anxiety: it would be straightforward to suggest that people use self-chosen music to accompany environmentally-beneficial actions such as cycling, walking, or using public transport

Scholars in the field of education for sustainable development argue that it is vital that educators take emotions into account when teaching about global problems such as racism, economic disenfranchisement, and climate change. How to do this in the best way is still debated, however. In order to contribute to this discussion we must argue for the importance of critical emotional awareness

(CEA). CEA is vital for future teachers to gain, but also for their future students to learn to be able to fight not only social but sustainability problems in everyday life and in occupational roles. Through theoretical argumentation and insights from empirical studies, we explore the following questions: Why is CEA important? What components does this concept consist of? Some key characteristics are that CEA combines insights from emotion research and critical social science. It should be anchored in multidisciplinary emotion theories and research and should acknowledge both emotions and ways to cope. It is also vital to recognize that emotions and emotion regulation take place at individual and interactional levels and are, furthermore, influenced by larger societal emotional norms. Climate change is at its core an existential problem since it is about the future survival of humanity.

Climate change is also about moral questions regarding how to live our life in an ethically correct way taking account of the fact that climate change to a large extent is caused by human lifestyle (Ojala, 2016). These kinds of moral aspects are also related to existential anxiety according to Tillich. Furthermore, climate change concerns the spiritual part of existential anxiety in the sense that

it prompts questions about whether there is any meaning in being an active citizen when we face such a serious and complex problem (Ojala, 2016).

Optimism, a key skill of emotional intelligence, is crucial for envisioning and working towards a sustainable future. Building a shared legacy of climate action; a safer, greener, more equitable planet is possible than anything we can create alone and is a key driver for people. Organizations like Black Coral Inc that are focused on solution driven content, information and and activities are a necessity rather than fear mongering about the future.


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