While we tend to focus on the physical impacts of climate change, our ecological crisis is also taking a significant emotional toll. This executive summary outlines ways that anxiety, fear, hopelessness and guilt impact student learning in environmental studies (ESS) programs, and immobilizes young people from getting engaged in climate solutions. We also suggest that ESS curriculum is itself partly responsible for these spiraling emotions among students. In response to the need to better understand this emotional register of teaching and learning about our climate crisis, we outline a set of college-level teaching strategies – titled “An Existential Toolkit for Climate Justice” – whose purpose is to help students and educators develop the resilience to cope with our climate emergency.



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