Man in COP 26 Green Zone

Riding the Waves…

Glasgow’s the place to be at the moment, be you a reforestation organisation or a passionate environmentalist! That said, it has been a bit of a whirlwind for all members of The Word Forest Organisation Team. But all that overwhelm, eco-anxiety, it’s good – those feelings are waves we can use to sail to success…

I’m writing this as I prepare to head to a ‘Youth Open Mic’ event run by ‘Force of Nature’, an amazing youth-led nonprofit that helps mobilise mindsets for climate action; helping people learn more about eco-anxiety, make space for it and use it to channel action and purpose. The event aims to create space for connection, expression and inspiration for youth here in Glasgow for the COP.

I’ve been on my own journey with eco-anxiety throughout 2021, learning what it looks like in my life, my reactions to it and the best ways to address it. Although this experience at COP so far has been filled with exciting exhibitions, inspiring talks, and positive solutions, there have also been – perhaps unexpectedly – quieter periods, where a sense of overwhelm has crept in. Fellow volunteer Lauren summarised this overwhelm well in her latest blog Take A Moment To Breathe And Reflect – It’s OK To Feel Overwhelmed. The Open Mic will be a perfect opportunity at a perfect time during COP to make space and build resilience for climate emotion.

As I reflect on those key COP events and agreements that have already happened, and look ahead to the action packed agenda spanning a further week-and-a-half, I can’t help but wonder: has a similar space for reflection, to help drive more effective action, been allocated for our leaders and organisation leads?

We – leaders and individuals alike – need to have our ship fully repaired to effectively brace ourselves for the storm of climate science. Our senses must be heightened to identify the next wave of emotion to ride and our compass clearly lined up with our end-destination to get the most out of this once-in-a-lifetime conference.

Jake Causley and the Team

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