Living with the Climate Crisis

The lake in the Oxford University Parks, dried up and empty during the drought of summer 2022

Concerned about the climate crisis? Live in Oxford? Join our new free ‘Living with the Climate Crisis’ groups and find your contribution to climate action!

When and where: Saturday 22 October 2022 at beautiful Wytham Woods (supported by Kim Polgreen, a local sustainability educator and Youth Educator in Residence at Wytham Woods, and with the permission of the Conservator of the Woods); followed by seven evening meetings on Thursdays 3/10/17/24 November and 1/8/15 December, times and location tbc.

What is Living with the Climate Crisis? It is an experience of working in a small group to help you find your place in the collective project of responding to climate change. At its heart is a clear psychological approach, based on the following principles:

  • climate change is distressing: people need support in coping with the difficult feelings that sometimes overwhelm them, and to explore ways to feel joy and satisfaction in a precarious world
  • the best means to collective solutions is in supportive groups based in local communities
  • people need support in finding their way to a variety of personal, political and community actions
  • people need skills in communicating, both publicly and in personal situations

So Living With the Climate Crisis focuses on how to cope, how to find strength, how to find your place in the climate movement, and how to communicate well. 

More detail: The pilot running in Oxford in autumn 2022 consists of one full day (22 October) and seven two-hour meetings (3/10/17/24 Nov, 1/8/15 Dec), as follows: 

  • Module One: Coming together and putting down roots (the full day)
  • Module Two: Communication (three meetings)
  • Module Three: Acting in the eco-system of change (three meetings)
  • And a final wrap-up meeting focusing on finding balance

The groups aim to help people to face their complex feelings about the climate crisis, put down roots in the kinds of action (political, personal, community, at work) that feel right for them, share experiences, gain support and support others, and become good communicators with family, friends and wider groups. 

Who is Living with the Climate Crisis for? Anyone in Oxford concerned about the climate crisis and wanting to build their capacity to act is welcome. Experienced facilitators and people from community groups who might be interested in running the groups in the future are also welcome. To make sure that Living with the Climate Crisis is suitable for you, we’ll invite you to a short telephone conversation with one of us before accepting you into the group. Once you have joined we will invite you to work with each other in the meetings, and to form supportive pairs to help each other make the progress you want to make.

The group will be convened by Rebecca Nestor and Paula Maddison, members of the Climate Psychology Alliance with experience of facilitating groups and working with individuals on climate change.

Do I have to pay to take part? No. Participation in the group is FREE and you will receive a free draft copy of our Living With the Climate Crisis handbook which has notes on the themes of each session, and a detailed guide – Living Lightly – to reducing your personal carbon footprint. In return we will ask you to provide us with feedback to help shape the final version of the materials – which will be available under Creative Commons Licences.

The project is being supported and hosted by Rosemary Randall and the Climate Psychology Alliance who will be providing support and mentoring to facilitators. 

Full description of Living with the Climate Crisis here.

More information or to express interest: contact Rebecca Nestor