#4 – Climate Distress, Polarization, and Communities of Hope

The pandemic created a pause in business as usual and invited many of us to reflect on our world. For many younger people who were already experiencing climate distress, this reflection led to a call to action on climate issues. This reflection and action unfolded within a period of polarization that cracked open even further with COVID-19, with no end in sight.

On this episode of Coming Back Better, Paul Deger is joined by Executive Producer Jacob Morrison and several esteemed guests to discuss how to understand and manage climate distress in a world reaching levels of polarization not seen in our lifetimes. We also explore how community can resolve this distress and resolve rifts.

“The fact that you’re feeling that distress and despair is a good sign. It’s a sign that you care. It’s only when we care, that we want to repair.” – Dr. Wendy Greenspun

Meet the Co-host and Experts:

Jacob Morrison is the Executive Producer of this series, and directed the award-winning feature-length documentary “River’s End: California’s Latest Water War” which can be viewed on streaming platforms and premieres around the country on PBS in April. To read more, click here:

Erika Kessler is a doctoral candidate at the Teachers College in Columbia University with a focus on climate change education.

Dr. Wendy Greenspun, PhD is a New York State licensed clinical psychologist and certified psychoanalyst who works in Climate Psychology. In addition to teaching and training professionals in climate-informed practices, she became part of the board and steering committee of the Climate Psychology Alliance- North America, where she provides workshops, training, and leadership to support climate-aware therapists and those facilitating climate cafes. To read more, click here:

Dr. Peter T. Coleman, PhD is a professor of Psychology and Education at Columbia University where he holds a joint-appointment at Teachers College and The Earth Institute. Dr. Coleman is a renowned expert on constructive conflict resolution and sustainable peace. His current research focuses on conflict intelligence and systemic wisdom as meta-competencies for navigating conflict constructively across all levels. To read more, click here:

⁠Coming Back Better, a 10-episode podcast series, is brought to you by Psych Hub and HCA Healthcare in collaboration with Columbia University’s Department of Psychiatry. Coming Back Better is a Psych Hub Podcast and is for educational purposes only. Visit to dig deeper and access the world’s most comprehensive platform for behavioral health education.

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