MetroFocus: January 24, 2023

Winner of the Directing Award for U.S. Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival, Reid Davenport’s debut feature, I Didn’t See You There, airing now on PBS’s POV, is, according to the Brooklyn-based filmmaker, a documentary “about disability from an overtly political perspective.”  Shot entirely by Davenport from his wheelchair as he makes his way through the urban landscape of Oakland, the film shows viewers what the world looks like from the physical perspective of a disabled person.  Tonight, the award-winning director joins MetroFocus to discuss his process and his vision, and about why the film serves as a clear rebuke to the norm of disabled people being seen and not heard.

When it comes to the many dire consequences of the climate crisis, there is one that has typically not gotten a lot of attention or research – and that is the mental health toll that a warming planet can have on people and communities.  The phenomenon is known as eco-anxiety.  Increasingly, psychologists and climate activists are recognizing that the idea of impending global doom can induce feelings of fear, anger, and despair.  Britt Wray, Human and Planetary Health Fellow at Stanford University and author of the new book “Generation Dread”, joins us to discuss the intersection of mental health and climate change, and suggests helpful ways to cope with and turn climate despair into positive action.

For more information on “Generation Dread,” click here.

TRANSCRIPT

> CONFRONTING THE INVISIBILITY OF DISABILITY WITH THE SUNDANCE WINNING FILM MAKER WHO STRAPPED A CAMERA TO HIS WHEELCHAIR TO SHOW HIS PERSPECTIVE.

THEN, CLIMATE ANXIETY AND THE EXTREME IMPACT A WARMING PLANET CAN HAVE ON OUR MENTAL HEALTH.

'METROFOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

♪♪

> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS,' WITH RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

> 'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, FILOMEN M. D'AGOSTINO FOUNDATION.

THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND, BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, AND BY --

> GOOD EVENING, AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M JENNA FLANAGAN.

MY GUEST TONIGHT IS FILMMAKER REID DAVENPORT, FIRST TIME FEATURE DIRECTOR OF A FANTASTIC NEW POINT OF VIEW DOCUMENTARY NOW AVAILABLE ON PBS.

THE FILM IS CALLED 'I DIDN'T SEE YOU THERE', AND IT'S A LOOK AT THE WORLD THROUGH THE EYES OF A PERSON WITH DISABILITY.

DAVENPORT HIMSELF AS HE USES THE WHEELCHAIR TO MOVE THROUGH THE URBAN LANDSCAPE OF OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA.

IT'S A FUNNY, ENGROSSING, THOUGHT PROVOKING FILM THAT EARNED DAVENPORT A DIRECTING AWARD AT SUNDANCE AND HAS BEEN NOMINATED FOR A HOST OF OTHER AWARDS AND FEATURES IN A NUMBER OF BEST OF LISTS FOR MUST-WATCH DOCUMENTARIES.

HERE'S A PREVIEW.

I GOT THIS NEW CAMERA THAT I CAN HANDLE MYSELF.

IT ALLOWED ME TO BE MORE SPONTANEOUS WITHOUT WORRYING ABOUT ME, IN WORDS.

I WANTED TO MAKE A FILM ABOUT HOW I SAW THE WORLD.

AND JOINING ME NOW IS THE DIRECTOR OF 'I DIDN'T SEE YOU THERE', REID DAVENPORT.

REID, WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

THANK YOU.

IT'S GREAT TO BE HERE.

ABSOLUTELY.

SO FIRST OFF, WHAT I WAS SO TAKEN WITH WITH THIS FILM IS THE POINT OF VIEW OF THE WHOLE THING.

I MEAN, IT REALLY SEEMS TO FEED INTO MAKING SURE THAT THE AUDIENCE NOT ONLY SEES THE WORLD FROM YOUR POINT OF VIEW, BUT ALSO YOU GET A SENSE OF HOW OFTEN OTHER PEOPLE DON'T SEE YOU.

YEAH, I THINK -- THE FIRST ONE IS THE DOCUMENTARY FILM HAS ALWAYS -- HAS ALWAYS MADE FILMS ABOUT DISABILITY THAT ARE EXTREMELY PROBLEMATIC, THAT SUBJUGATE PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES.

SO MY DECISION TO -- TO NOT SHOW MYSELF IS -- IS REJECTION OF THAT SUBJECT.

AND I THINK THE OTHER THING IS THAT WE HAVE A MISCONCEPTION THAT DISABILITY IS A MEDICAL DIAGNOSIS.

IT'S NOT.

DISABILITY IS YOUR REACTION TO SPECIFIC BODY -- IF YOU WANT TO MAKE A FILM ABOUT YOUR DISABILITY, YOU DON'T TURN THE CAMERA ON YOURSELF, YOU TURN THE CAMERA OUTWARD.

WELL, THAT'S SO INTERESTING THAT YOU PUT IT THAT WAY, BECAUSE OF COURSE THE PART OF THE NARRATIVE OF THE FILM STARTS WITH THE FACT THAT A CIRCUS TENT POPS UP NEAR YOUR APARTMENT IN OAKLAND, AND HOW JUST SORT OF THE HISTORY OF THE FREAK SHOW THAT'S ATTACHED TO THE CIRCUS AND HOW YOU SORT OF TURN THAT ON ITS HEAD BY SHOWING YOUR WORLD.

SURE.

AND I THINK ME BEING IN -- TOO POLITE TO HAVE A FREAK SHOW, BUT THE FREAK SHOW CIRCUS -- GOING OUT ON THE STREET, YOUR NEIGHBOR, THERE IS THE CONTINUED ACUTE SUBJUGATION OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES.

YOU KNOW, THAT'S VERY TRUE, AND THAT ALSO MADE ME THINK OF NOT JUST OUR TASTES FOR DOCUMENTARIES, BUT REALITY TV, WHICH SEEMS TO FIT RIGHT INTO THAT VEIN.

RIGHT.

DEBATE FREAK SHOW WAS -- REALITY TV OR TALK SHOW OR -- THERE IS A VOYEURISTIC INCLINATION TO SHOW PEOPLE AS --

SO HOW DO YOU BALANCE THAT?

BECAUSE WITH AT LEAST WHAT WE SEE FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE IN THE FILM, BECAUSE THERE'S QUITE A TU TIMES -- SEVERAL TIMES WHERE OUTSIDE OF YOUR IMMEDIATE FAMILY MEMBERS OR YOUR FRIENDS, OTHER PEOPLE SEEM TO ALMOST WANT TO AVOID OR OVERCORRECT AND WANT TO HELP YOU, EVEN WHEN YOU'RE LIKE, YEAH, I'M FINE, I DON'T NEED ANY HELP.

YEAH, I -- I DON'T KNOW WHAT PEOPLE SHOULD DO.

I MEAN, I -- I -- I KIND OF, I THINK -- AND I DON'T WANT TO SPEAK FOR ALL DISABLED PEOPLE, BUT -- WITH RAISING AWARENESS OF TREATING PEOPLE -- DISABLED PEOPLE.

WE'RE PEOPLE, AND WE -- TO TEACH YOU HOW NOT TO BE AWKWARD.

OF COURSE, YES.

ONE OF THE OTHER THINGS THAT I WAS IMPRESSED AND MOVED BY IS HOW YOU FOUND SO MUCH BEAUTY IN THE MUNDANE OF LIFE.

YOU KNOW, WE SEE A LOT OF, YOU KNOW, RAILWAY TRACKS AND SUBWAY CARS AND SIDEWALK AND THINGS THAT, YOU KNOW, PERHAPS MOST OF US TAKE FOR GRANTED, BUT SEEING IT IN THE FILM, IT SHOWS THE CITY LANDSCAPE WITH ITS OWN BEAUTY.

YEAH, I THINK THE FILM IS A CITY ORCHESTRA, OR A LOVE LETTER TO OAKLAND.

I THINK WE ALL HAVE -- I THINK WE ALL HAVE -- BEAUTY IN THE MUNDANE, AND I JUST REALLY WANTED TO FOCUS ON WHAT I SAW AS BEAUTIFUL, AND A LOT OF IT WAS FROM A WHEELCHAIR FROM PEOPLE'S --

WELL, ONE OF THE OTHER THINGS THAT, FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE THAT, AGAIN, MIGHT BE SURPRISING TO PEOPLE BUT REALLY SHOULDN'T IS THAT A LOT OF YOUR SENSE OF HUMOR COMES THROUGH, AND JUST YOUR ABILITY TO LAUGH AT A LOT OF THE ABSURDITIES THAT EXIST IN YOUR DAY-TO-DAY LIFE, AND HOW OTHER PEOPLE, LIKE YOU WERE MENTIONING, DON'T KNOW HOW TO REACT, OR MIGHT HAVE A FEAR THAT REALLY IS IN PLACE BECAUSE YOU'RE ABLE TO LAUGH AT A LOT OF STUFF.

YEAH, I JUST THINK IT'S WHO I AM.

THAT'S JUST PART OF THE PERSON.

I THINK THAT WHEN OTHER PEOPLE -- SELF-DEFENSE MECHANISM, WHICH -- IS AT SOME LEVEL FOR ME, YEAH, I THINK I SEE THE WORLD -- I CAN DIVORCE THE WAY I SEE THE WORLD -- SENSE OF HUMOR THAT I HAVE.

OKAY.

WELL, THEN, WHAT IS IT YOU WOULD WANT TO AUDIENCE TO TAKE AWAY FROM, OR DO YOU NOT HAVE AN AGENDA WITH THIS FILM?

IS IT SOMETHING YOU WANT PEOPLE TO SEE THROUGH YOUR EYES.

WHATEVER.

I THINK THE TEAM AND I TRIED VERY HARD TO BE AS -- WITH THIS FILM AS POSSIBLE AND TO THE AUDIENCES GET WHAT THEY WANT.

DIFFERENT INTERPRETATIONS OF DIFFERENT SCENES OR WHAT THE FILM IS FOR ME OVERALL, TWO DIFFERENT PEOPLE.

SO, IS THAT WHERE YOU GOT THE TITLE FROM?

YOU ALMOST GOT ME.

I DON'T KNOW.

BECAUSE IT FEELS LIKE BASED ON WHAT YOU SAID THAT THE TITLE OF 'I DIDN'T SEE YOU THERE' IS NOT NECESSARILY SO MUCH -- AND THE FILM SHOWS IT'S NOT ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE NOT NOTICING YOU, BUT NOT UNDERSTANDING WHAT YOUR EXPERIENCE, YOUR VIEW OF THE WORLD IS.

RIGHT.

RIGHT.

AND IT'S AGAIN -- IT'S ABOUT LOOK -- IT'S ABOUT LOOKING AND NOT SEEING.

WELL, OF THE PEOPLE THAT -- BECAUSE WE DO SEE PARTS OF YOU IN THE FILM, AND WHEN I SAY PARTS OF YOU, I MEAN LIKE AN ARM OR FOOT OR MAYBE AN EYE OR SOMETHING, BUT AGAIN, WE DON'T SEE ALL OF YOU, BUT WHY WAS THAT SO IMPORTANT?

THAT WOULD BE THE FIRST PART OF THE QUESTION.

AND IS SECOND PART IS, YOU ALSO DON'T DIRECTLY NAME CEREBRAL PALSY IN THE FILM, AND I'M WONDERING IF THOSE WERE TWO DIRECT CONSCIOUS CHOICES YOU MADE.

YEAH, I DON'T IDENTIFY AS A PERSON WITH CEREBRAL PALSY.

I IDENTIFY AS A DISABLED PERSON.

TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF AUTHORITY GIVEN TO THE ESTABLISHMENT TO -- DISABLED PEOPLES' EYES, AND -- IS THE MOST ABLIST PEOPLE I'VE EVER MET.

I HAVE MET OTHER PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN MORE TREATED AS -- AND THAT'S WHY I PREFER DISABLED.

I THINK THE OTHER WORD IS IT'S ABOUT BEING ABLE TO SHOW MY PERSPECTIVE AND THEN -- TO REALLY SEE IT, PICTURE THEMSELVES IN THE BODY.

I THINK SEEING MY FACE WOULD ADD A BARRIER THAT I --

OKAY.

LASTLY, BECAUSE WE ONLY HAVE ABOUT A MINUTE LEFT, BUT WHILE MOST OF THE FILM TAKES PLACE IN OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA, YOU ARE NO LONGER A RESIDENT OF OAKLAND, AM I CORRECT?

CORRECT.

I MOVED TO NEW YORK 15 MONTHS AGO.

AND ONE OF THE CONVERSATIONS THAT NEW YORK HAS A LOT OF IS OUR ACCESSIBILITY OF THE CITY.

THERE'S A POINT IN THE FILM THAT YOU TALK ABOUT THE FACT THAT ONE OF THE REASON YOU LIVE WHERE YOU LIVE IS BECAUSE YOU HAVE FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT.

DO YOU FEEL YOU ALSO HAVE THAT IN NEW YORK?

I DO, BUT, I MEAN, EVERY CITY -- NO CITY IN AMERICA IS ACCESSIBLE.

HERE IN NEW YORK, THE SUBWAY STATIONS ARE ALL 25% WHEELCHAIR -- OF SUBWAY STATIONS ARE ACCESSIBLE, WHICH IS ABSURD.

WE HAVE A REALLY, REALLY, REALLY LONG WAY TO GO.

ALL RIGHT.

WELL, WITH THAT, THE FILM IS TITLED 'I DIDN'T SEE YOU THERE.'

AND REID DAVENPORT I WANT TO THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BRINGING US THIS FILM, BECAUSE I THINK IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT POINT OF VIEW, WHICH IS ALSO WHERE THE FILM IS STREAMING BUT POINT OF VIEW FOR THE PEOPLE TO SEE, SO THANK YOU SO MUCH.

THANK YOU.

IT'S GOOD TO BE HERE.

ABSOLUTELY.

> GOOD EVENING, AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M JENNA FLANAGAN.

WHEN IT COMES TO THE MANY DIRE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CLIMATE CRISIS, THERE IS ONE THAT HAS TYPICALLY NOT GOTTEN A LOT OF ATTENTION OR RESEARCH, AND THAT IS THE MENTAL HEALTH TOLL THAT A WARMING PLANET CAN HAVE ON PEOPLE AND COMMUNITIES.

THE PHENOMENON IS KNOWN AS ECOANXIETY.

INCREASINGLY PSYCHOLOGISTS AND CLIMATE ACTIVISTS ARE RECOGNIZING THAT THE IDEA OF IMPENDING GLOBAL DOOM CAN INDUCE FEELINGS OF ANGER AND DESPAIR.

THOSE CAN ACT AS A CATALYST FOR ACTION.

JOINING ME NOW TO TALK ABOUT ECOANXIETY AND RECOMMEND HELPFUL STRATEGIES AS PART OF OUR PROMISE INITIATIVE REPORTING ON THE HUMAN STORIES OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND ITS SOLUTIONS IS BRIT RAY.

BRIT IS A HUMAN AND PLANETARY HEALTH FELLOW AT STANFORD UNIVERSITY, AND AUTHOR OF 'GENERATION DREAD, FINDING PURPOSE IN AN AGE OF CLIMATE CRISIS'. BRIT, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US ON THIS CHALLENGING, CHALLENGING TOPIC.

HI, JENNA.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

SO, FIRST, I JUST WANT TO START WITH JUST A NOTION OF ECOANXIETY.

NOW, I WOULD SAY THIS -- I ALSO MAY BE A BIT OF A GENERATIONAL DIVIDE, BECAUSE SOMETIMES OLDER PEOPLE FEEL AS THOUGH YOUNGER GENERATIONS ARE ANXIOUS ABOUT EVERYTHING.

SO WHAT MAKES THIS ECOANXIETY UNIQUE AND SPECIFIC?

WE ARE IN THE MIDST OF AN ESCALATING PLANETARY HEALTH CRISIS, WHICH IS THE IMPACT OF HUMAN BEHAVIOR ON THE ENVIRONMENT, WHICH IS NOW COMING BACK TO BITE US AS A NUMBER ONE THREAT TO HUMAN HEALTH.

SO, YES, THE CLIMATE CRISIS, BAWLS LAND TRANSFORMATION, THE BIODIVERSITY CRISISER.

ALL KINDS OF ISSUES.

WE'RE IN A PANDEMIC WILL CH RELATES TO SPILLOVER, WHICH RESULTS FROM HOW HUMANS ARE ENGAGING WITH THE WORLD.

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE, AND HOW THE THREATS ARE COMPOUNDING INTO A POLY CRISIS IS THEIR FUTURES ARE BEING ENDANGERED ON A VERY DIRECT HUMAN LEVEL AS THEY'RE BRINGING FORTH TO CONTEND WITH CLIMATE DISASTERS, THE THREAT OF POTENTIALLY SURPASSING CLIMATE TIPPING POINTS, AND RECKONING WITH THE IDEA THAT HOMELANDS AND LIVELIHOODS AND LIVES ARE BEING LOST.

SO IT'S NOT CATASTROPHIC THINKING, FORM OF ANXIETY.

IT'S NOT AN ANXIETY DISORDER YOUNG PEOPLE WITH CONTENDING WITH, IT'S RATHER A HEALTHY TO A DEGREE AS LONG AS IT'S NOT OVERWHELMING AND DEBILITATING, NORMAL RESPONSE TO A REAL SET OF THREATS THAT ARE INFRINGING ON THEIR ABILITY TO FLOURISH INTO THE FUTURE.

HOWEVER, THE IDEA THAT IT IS A BELIEF OF DOOM THAT'S CREATING THIS IS REALLY SOMETHING THAT NEEDS TO BE PICKED APART, BECAUSE YOUNG PEOPLE ARE NOT DOOMED.

HUMANITY IS NOT FACING IMPENDING, INEVITABLE CATASTROPHIC LOSS HERE.

RATHER WE'RE CONTENDING WITH THE IDEA THAT SCIENCE IS SHOWING US WE'RE IN A DIFFICULT PLACE ALREADY, AND IT'S BECOMING MORE DIFFICULT, AND YET WE NEED TO STEP INTO ROLES OF AGENCY, UPHOLD OUR POWER, WORK WITH OTHERS TO SHIFT THE NEEDLE BEFORE MORE CATASTROPHIC EVENTS BECOME INEVITABLE, RIGHT?

SO THERE'S A TENSION THERE AND IT PRODUCE ANXIETY WITH HOW BAD IT'S GOING TO GET, HOW NATIONS ARE GOING TO RESPOND, WHAT ROLE THEY HAVE THE PLAY IN ALL OF THIS.

BUT IT CERTAINLY ISN'T A DEAD END.

IT'S AN EMOTIONAL GRAPPLING WITH HOW IT'S GOING TO BE AT THIS TIME.

IT'S INTERESTING YOU TALK ABOUT THE EMOTIONAL GRAPPLING WITH HOW PEOPLE ARE GOING TO BE AND HANDLE THIS, BECAUSE SOMETIMES ANXIOUS OR TENSION DRIVEN SITUATIONS, THEY CAN BRING OUT DIFFERENT RESPONSES IN PEOPLE.

SO WHAT HAS -- I MENTIONED AT THE BEGINNING THAT FEAR AND DREAD, BUT ALSO ACTIVISM.

WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND THIS IS BRINGING OUT IN POPULATIONS?

SO, IT'S NOT A MONOLITH.

IT SHOWS UP IN REALLY DIVERSE WAYS ACROSS VARIOUS KINDS OF PEOPLE'S EXPERIENCES RIGHT NOW, WHETHER THAT BE JUST SHORT-TERM DISTRESS WHEN CONFRONTING THE NEWS, FOR EXAMPLE, OR SOMETHING THAT ACTUALLY TRAPS PEOPLE IN A PIT OF DESPAIR, WHEREBY THEY START BELIEVING THAT IT IS TOO LATE TO MAKE A MEANINGFUL DIFFERENCE, AND THIS CAN FORE AND CREATE STRESS AND IMPAIR FUNCTIONING.

MIGHT CAUSE PANIC ATTACKS OR SLEEP DISTURBANCES OR FORM OF SELF-HARM.

THE LESS SEVERE END WE HAVE PEOPLE RECOGNIZING THAT THEY ARE WORRIED, THEY ARE DISTRESSED ABOUT SOMETHING THAT IS ABSOLUTELY VERY SENSIBLE AND COMPASSIONATE TO BE DISTRESSED ABOUT, BUT IT'S POINTING OUT WAYS IN WHICH THEY CAN ADDRESS THE THINGS THAT ARE STRESSING THEM.

IT BECOMES A TOOL, SOMETHING THEY CAN CREATE EMOTIONAL RESILIENCE AROUND SO THEY DON'T BECOME SO BURNED OUT, CAN APPLY SELF-CARE, AND STILL MOVE TOGETHER WITH OTHERS TO TRY AND IMPROVE THE OUTCOME.

SO IT'S -- I'M SEEING A SIMPLIFICATION THESE DAYS, WHERE A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE SAYING CLIMATE ANXIETY, THAT EQUATES TO DOOMISM, FATALISM, THAT EQUATES TO PEOPLE GIVE UP.

AND THAT'S NOT TRUE.

MANY PEOPLE SAY THEIR ANXIETY IS THE SUPER FUEL THAT'S ALLOWING THEM TO BE IN THE WORK.

THE QUESTION THEN IS, WHAT DEGREES CAN WE LIMIT IT TO WITH OUR OWN LIVES WHILE STILL BRINGING IN THE NOURISHING ASPECTS OF BEING HUMAN THAT CAN SUPPORT US IN DOING THIS WORK AND NOT CHECKING OUT FROM MENTAL EXHAUSTION.

LET'S GET INTO THAT, ESPECIALLY THE PART ABOUT NOT CHECKING OUT AND WHAT IT IS THAT WE CAN DO.

WHAT ARE, FIRST OF ALL, SOME OF THE THINGS THAT ARE STILL TANGIBLE THAT, YOU KNOW, THE AVERAGE EVERYDAY PERSON CAN DO?

IT SEEMS OFTEN THAT WE HEAR STORIES ABOUT, YOU KNOW, RECYCLING ACTUALLY ISN'T AS BENEFICIAL AS YOU THOUGHT IT WAS.

OR, OH, LIKE YOU MIGHT DO THIS ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFIT, BUT IT HAS THIS NEGATIVE IMPACT AS WELL.

SO WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS WE CAN DO THAT HELP?

THERE'S INTERNAL ACTIVISM AND EXTERNAL.

BOTH ARE PART AND PARCEL OF WHAT'S NEEDED HERE.

WE TYPICALLY NEVER TALK ABOUT THE INTERNAL ACTIVISM, WHICH IS BEING ABLE TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF, INTEGRATE, AND TAKE CARE OF EMOTIONS THAT MIGHT BE EXISTENTIAL IN NATURE SO YOU DON'T DROWN WITH THEM WHEN THEY SHOW UP IN ONE'S LIFE IF THAT'S SOMETHING THE PERSON IS CONTENDING WITH.

THAT REQUIRES THINGS LIKE SELF-CARE, WHICH WE LEARN FROM FEMINISTS LIKE AUDREY LORD THAT IT'S A POLITICAL ACT TO CARE FOR ONE'S SELF, THAT IT'S AN ACT OF POLITICAL WARFARE TO FILL ONE'S CUP UP ENOUGH TO TAKE ON STRUCTURES.

WAYS OF COMMUNING WITH OTHERS TO NORMALIZE THE DISTRESS, PUT IT ON THE TABLE AND NOT SUPPRESS IT AND MALADAPTIVELY COPE LATER.

BUT PROCESS THIS AND SAY, HEY, THIS IS VALID, LEGITIMATE.

WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO TO SUPPORT EACH OTHER, BECAUSE WE KNOW FORMS OF COMMUNITY BUILDING, SOESH TRUST, ARE WHAT PEOPLE MOVE THROUGH ADVERSITY, BOTH PSYCHOLOGICAL AND STRUCTURAL WHEN DISASTER HITS OUR TOWN, FOR EXAMPLE.

BUT WHEN WE CAN THEN UNDERSTAND THAT THIS IS A NORMAL NATURAL RESPONSE THAT WE HAVE PEOPLE TO MOVE THROUGH IT WITH, THAT WE CAN START REINVESTING THE ENERGY THAT WE'RE LOSING FROM BEING DISTRESSED INTO ACTIONS THAT MATTER THAT ARE PURPOSEFUL AT THIS TIME, THAT'S WHEN THE INTERNAL ACTIVISM IS SHIFTING OUR FOCUS, AND THE INDIVIDUAL ACTIONS ARE NOT GOING TO GET US THERE.

WE KNOW.

THAT IT CAN BE DEBILITATING TO SIT IN THOUGHTS OF ONE'S INFECTIVE RECYCLING WHICH ISN'T MAKING A DENT, BUT WE CAN STEP IN WITH OTHERS.

THIS MEANS VOTING ON ISSUES THAT ARE STRESSING YOU RELATED TO CLIMATE BE THE ENVIRONMENT.

THIS MEANS PAYING ATTENTION TO WHERE YOU'RE PUTTING YOUR MONEY, YOUR BANKING.

WHICH ORGANIZATIONS YOU'RE SIGNED UP WITH AND SUPPORTING THEM, WHERE THEY ARE INVESTED.

ARE THEY FULFILLING FUTURE EXISTENCE OF THE FOSSIL FUEL ENERGY OR DIVESTING AND PUTTING IT ELSEWHERE?

PENSIONS.

FORMS OF COMING TOGETHER WITH CLIMATE ACTIVISM GROUPS, WAYS OF BRINGING THE TOPIC INTO YOUR CLASSROOM IF YOU'RE A TEACHER OR INTO THE HEALTH CARE SET FIELD GOAL YOU'RE A HEALTH-CARE WORKER, REALLY BECAUSE IT'S A CRISIS THAT TOUCHES ALL ASPECTS OF LIFE, WE CAN ATTACK IT FROM ALL DIFFERENT ANGLES, WHETHER IT'S ECOANXIOUS ACCOUNTANTS RESTRUCTURING HOW THEY'RE DOING THEIR BUSINESS OR CHILDREN WHO ARE STRIKING FROM SCHOOL.

SO IT'S REALLY ABOUT IDENTIFYING WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL ALIVE, WHAT GETS YOU OUT OF BED, WHAT YOUR SKILLS AND TALENTS ARE, AND WHAT YOU CAN BRING TO THE ISSUE RATHER THAN GET STUCK IN THOUGHTS OF BEING A CLIMATE HYPOCRITE BECAUSE YOU HAVE A SUV AND YOU TOOK A FLIGHT AND THESE THINGS WHICH REALLY FEED THE ENVIRONMENTALIST CRITIC AND TEAR AT OUR ABILITY TO ACT AND UNDERSTAND THAT PERFECT IS THE ENEMY OF GOOD, AND WE CAN ALL DO THINGS HERE TO HELP BE PART OF THE COLLECTIVE SOLUTION, EVEN IF WE AREN'T PERFECT, AND DO UNDERSTAND THAT WE UPHOLD PARTS OF THE STRUCTURES THAT ARE MAKING US UNWELL, BECAUSE WE'RE ALL IN THIS SYSTEM THAT RUNS ON FOSSIL FUELS.

I CAN'T BELIEVE WE'RE ALMOST OUT OF TIME.

WE'VE GOT ABOUT TWO MINUTES LEFT.

I WANT TO ASK THE QUESTION, THAT AS YOU COMPARE THE INDIVIDUAL TO THE COLLECTIVE, ONE OF THE THINS THAT WE'RE SEEING YOUNGER PEOPLE SAY, I DON'T THINK I WANT TO HAVE KIDS AND ADD TO THE COLLECTIVE PROBLEM OF A CARBON FOOTPRINT.

AND I UNDERSTAND THAT'S A QUESTION YOU WRESTLED WITH YOURSELF.

NOT QUITE.

I WRESTED WITH A DIFFERENT QUESTION, WHICH IS WHAT WILL A WARMING WORLD DO TO THE SAFETY AND WELL BEING OF A CHILD I PUT INTO IT.

SO LESS THE CHILD HUMAN FOOTPRINTS EQUALS TWO CARBON FOOTPRINTS AND THEREFORE IT'S AN ECOLOGICAL SIN TO CREATE MORE HUMANS, WHICH IS A LONGSTANDING TROPE IN ENVIRONMENTALISM, WHICH HAS BEEN VERY DAMAGING AND CURTAILED THE CIVIL LIBERTIES OF MANY PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD, PREDOMINANTLY IN POORER NATIONS.

HOWEVER, THERE'S THIS OTHER WORRY WHICH MANY PEOPLE ARE -- ESPECIALLY YOUNG PEOPLE -- CONFRONTING, WHICH IS, YES, SOMETIMES THAT CONCERN ABOUT THE FOOTPRINT, BUT MUCH MORE SO I'M DISCOVERING IN MY RESEARCH, THAT PEOPLE ARE JUST WORRIED ABOUT WHAT CLIMATE DISRUPTION SCENARIO IS GOING TO DO TO ENDANGER CHILDREN'S WELL BEING AND TRAUMATIZE THEM IN THE DECADES AHEAD.

THAT IS WHAT CAN OFTEN BURR THE PAINFUL DILEMMA FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO BECOME BIOLOGICAL PARENTS BUT NEVER BELIEVE IT'S A SAFE THING FOR THEM TO DO AND THEY HAVE TO WRESTLE WE COANXIETY BEFORE COMING TO A DECISION.

OF COURSE.

WITH JUST A MINUTE OR SO LEFT, WE'RE SUPPOSED TO HAVE AN ACTIVE HURRICANE SEASON, AND I KNOW THAT'S SEND WAVES OF ANXIETY FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY IN THE NEW YORK AREA THAT REMEMBER SUPER STORM SANDY.

HOW WOULD YOU ADVISE PEOPLE TO TAKE THAT ANXIETY ABOUT MORE HURRICANES YOU KNOW, STRONGER STORMS COMING, HOW DO YOU TURN THAT INTO SOMETHING POSITIVE?

I'D SAY GET TO KNOW THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU ARE LIVING.

INVEST IN COMMUNITY.

COME TOGETHER AND TALK ABOUT HOW YOU'RE FEELING.

BE ABLE TO PROCESS BY SHARING.

THAT'S IMPORTANT.

BUT WHAT'S EVEN MORE VITAL FOR PROTECTING PSYCHOLOGICAL WELL BEING WHEN THOSE HURRICANES ARE COMING IS TO KNOW YOU HAVE HIGH SOCIAL CONNECTEDNESS WITH OTHERS, PEOPLE TO RELY ON, AND FEEL THAT LACK OF ISOLATION, LACK OF ALIENATION IN ALL THIS, WHICH UNDERGIRDS RESILIENCE, IT BUILDS RESILIENCE TO KNOW WE CAN BUILD -- TIME AND AGAIN, RESEARCH SHOWS PEOPLE HAVE LESS ANXIETY AND PTSD WHEN LIVING IN THAT COMMUNAL EFFECT.

ECOANXIETY CAN BE A TOOL FOR POINTING OUT THAT'S SOMETHING HELPFUL YOU CAN DO FOR YOURSELF.

I'D LIKE TO THANK MY GUEST BRIT RAY.

SHE'S A HUMAN AND PLANETARY HEALTH FELLOW AT STANFORD UNIVERSITY, AND AUTHOR OF 'GENERATION DREAD, FINDING PURPOSE IN AN AGE OF CLIMATE CRISIS'. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TAKING TIME ON 'METROFOCUS.'

JENNA, THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

> 'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, FILOMEN M. D'AGOSTINO FOUNDATION, THE PETER G.

PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND, BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG,

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