Generation Dread: Finding Purpose in an Age of Climate Crisis (Hardcover)

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"A vital and deeply compelling read.” —Adam McKay, award-winning writer, director and producer (Don’t Look Up)

“Britt Wray shows that addressing global climate change begins with attending to the climate within.” —Dr. Gabor Maté, author of The Myth of Normal

"Read this courageous book.” —Naomi Klein

An impassioned generational perspective on how to stay sane amid climate disruption.

Climate and environment-related fears and anxieties are on the rise everywhere. As with any type of stress, eco-anxiety can lead to lead to burnout, avoidance, or a disturbance of daily functioning. 

In Generation Dread, Britt Wray seamlessly merges scientific knowledge with emotional insight to show how these intense feelings are a healthy response to the troubled state of the world. The first crucial step toward becoming an engaged steward of the planet is connecting with our climate emotions, seeing them as a sign of humanity, and learning how to live with them. We have to face and value eco-anxiety, Wray argues, before we can conquer the deeply ingrained, widespread reactions of denial and disavowal that have led humanity to this alarming period of ecological decline.

It’s not a level playing field when it comes to our vulnerability to the climate crisis, she notes, but as the situation worsens, we are all on the field—and unlocking deep stores of compassion and care is more important than ever. Weaving in insights from climate-aware therapists, critical perspectives on race and privilege in this crisis, ideas about the future of mental health innovation, and creative coping strategies, Generation Dread brilliantly illuminates how we can learn from the past, from our own emotions, and from each other to survive—and even thrive—in a changing world.

About the Author

BRITT WRAY is a writer and broadcaster researching the emotional and psychological impacts of the climate crisis. Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, she is a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, where she investigates the mental health consequences of ecological disruption. She holds a PhD in science communication from the University of Copenhagen. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Guardian and Globe and Mail, among other publications. She has hosted several podcasts, radio and TV programs with the BBC and CBC, is a TED Resident, and writes Gen Dread, a newsletter about staying sane in the climate crisis:


Praise For…

“A rare look at the internal work required to meaningfully confront the existential threats climate change poses to our institutions, our futures, and our selves. If you are ready to feel through eco-anxiety, grieve what’s lost, and imagine what comes next, read this courageous book.” —Naomi Klein, author of On Fire and This Changes Everything

"Dr. Britt Wray doesn’t ever look away from the hard emotional truths of the climate crisis. But it’s also exactly from this scary place that she is able to help us manifest something we all desperately need nowadays: strength. Generation Dread is a vital and deeply compelling read." —Adam McKay, award-winning writer, director and producer (Vice, Succession, Don't Look Up)

“In this intriguing and engaging work, Britt Wray explores the internal ecology of climate anxiety with insight and sensitivity. She shows finally that meaningful living is possible even in the face of that which threatens to extinguish life itself, and that addressing global climate change begins with attending to the climate within.—Dr. Gabor Maté, author of When the Body Says No

“The climate future can look bleak, and alarming, but those aren't the only ways to relate to it—or the only ways we will live through and experience it. Generation Dread is a marvelous exploration of many of the divergent, sometimes contradictory, sometimes paradoxical, but always human ways in which we navigate the effects of climate change, with ideas for how we might do so more productively and healthily in the future.” —David Wallace-Wells, author of The Uninhabitable Earth

"What a gift. Generation Dread meets the unsettled soul with kinship and insight. In these brimming pages, Britt Wray guides us through the interior and interpersonal landscape of the climate crisis, helping us find a grounded, collective path forward in our tangled time." —Dr. Katharine K. Wilkinson, climate strategist and co-editor of All We Can Save

"If like me you walk around in grief and fear about the unravelling of Earth’s ecosystems, if avoidance and silence often feel like the only way to cope, then you will meet yourself in the pages of Generation Dread. With utmost empathy and wisdom, Britt Wray explores how we can stay engaged with hard truths and act responsibly in their light. This book was just what I needed and I read it twice." —Joan Thomas, Governor General's Award-winning author of Five Wives

“An extraordinary exploration of the emotional and psychological toll environmental chaos is already exacting. It’s also a road map out from under that burden, made all the more compelling by the way it tracks [Wray’s] own journey. . . .  If Generation Dread has one overriding theme, it’s that community saves, and that trust and mutual care are its foundations.” Maclean’s

“In her new book Generation Dread . . . Wray . . . [charts] a path forward for those who feel uneasy or even stuck when it comes to eco-anxiety. Wray’s approach is holistic, weaving together various strands of thought from psychology and public health to help readers cultivate the resilience and emotional intelligence they’ll need to fight for the planet—and to survive the calamities that might come.” Mashable

“Grateful to Britt Wray for devoting her work to shining a bright light on climate dread. . . . I have said before and I’ll say it again; I believe climate anxiety and climate grief is the unseen shadow at the heart of all of our crises of society and mental health, and until that’s faced, we can’t understand fully what is happening in us and around us. In this context, Britt Wray’s book is indispensable.” –Tamara Lindeman, Brooklyn Vegan

Product Details
ISBN: 9780735280724
ISBN-10: 073528072X
Publisher: Knopf Canada
Publication Date: May 3rd, 2022
Pages: 296
Language: English