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  • Ayah Khan

Featured: Climate Cafe

Hearing, watching and thinking about climate change seizes the heart with worry and the rib cage becomes a cage of anxiety. It seems that every day we hear worrying news surrounding climate change. No reprieve, no break is given.



Hearing, watching and thinking about climate change seizes the heart with worry and the rib cage becomes a cage of anxiety. It seems that every day we hear worrying news surrounding climate change. No reprieve, no break is given.


“The forecasts are getting worse and worse, and scarier and scarier,” says Dan co-founder of Waltham Forest Climate Cafe. And with how horrifying climate change is, people don’t speak about it. Why should they? “It isn’t the first topic of conversation every day for everyone you know, and I guess partly that's natural for everyone's got. You know all sorts of things to worry about on a day-to-day basis.” It’s a topic that is sometimes deemed as remote, a problem that is across the globe or just hard to understand science.


It’s more important now than ever to have discussions over climate change if we want change to happen. Discussion, talking and sharing thoughts is a small step but it is a necessary step to encourage discussions on climate change. It starts a chain reaction that can benefit the fight against climate change or simply ease climate anxiety. This needs to talk about the present increases with more evidence of climate breakdown and the environmental and social impacts it has created. Discussing may seem insignificant but it helps to calm one down, organise their thoughts, and explore feelings that sometimes feel as if it’s hard to talk about with family and friends. Climate change can be a harsh topic to think about with its increasing damage to the world around us. Having support or space to talk about this can help the individual process these thoughts or feeling without dissociating or going into a panic. These spaces can help the individual come to terms with difficult truths while at the same time being grounded and feeling safe as everyone in that space understands them.


“I feel like the more spaces, the more opportunities there are for people to talk about it, engage with it and think about it, the more likely we are as communities, well, individuals, families, and society recognise how important it is and that there are things we can do. And so yeah, a space like the Climate Cafe seems important,” says Dan.

Climate cafes offer that break by giving a space for people who want to come together to talk and discuss what’s on their minds. It’s an informal setting free of judgement allowing the individual to talk about what’s on their mind and what they feel, etc. It offers a space where you can utter your fears and uncertainties about the future. It helps to acknowledge that such fears, depression, help or grief exist and that it’s alright to feel that way.


Dan and Kate founded a climate cafe in Waltham Forest to provide a space for people to express any thoughts they had about climate change. Kate says, “I think people can feel like they're personally responsible for it, so I think it's good to be in a space where you can feel that there's not a kind of pressure to kind of be perfect. You can be very open about how you feel, and I think that can be useful because I think people often feel like they can't open up about their feelings because of the pressure of being judged. Maybe by other people or family and friends. We also hear from people who feel like they can't have those conversations with their family and friends because they feel like they might. Their family and friends feel like they might be being judged, so they kind of don't want to open up and they want to shut that conversation down.”

The climate cafe offers a space where the person is surrounded by people who do want to talk and express what they feel. “I think it's good to have that space, and it's a different kind of space,” says Kate. Climate conversations have this theme of damage, casualties, impacts and negativity. Positivism or talking about solutions and strategies being put in place to combat climate change is often sidelined as science keeps forecasting an irreversible future. Sometimes people forget that there are people out there fighting and feel alone. This space allows the person to connect with others who think alike and share similar views reminding them that they are not the only one who cares. There is comfort in talking to people who might have the same feelings. It just reinforces that they are not alone in this.


And who knows, you might learn new things or even get recommended books to read- an occurrence that happens at Waltham Forest Climate Cafe.

There's more awareness and talks about climate change now than ever on a global scale. And yet on an individual scale, it seems that climate change is mentioned in passing or joked about. This can be a defence mechanism to cope with the gravity of the situation, that there is a chance the future will be unstable. This is why spaces like Kate and Dan are offering are important. “You don't really get under the surface and talk about what's going on, so I think that's space for people to kind of open up and explore those feelings. And in a really safe environment with no judgement. And no pressure to act as well,” Kate says.



“The forecasts are getting worse and worse, and scarier and scarier,” says Dan co-founder of Waltham Forest Climate Cafe. And with how horrifying climate change is, people don’t speak about it. Why should they? “It isn’t the first topic of conversation every day for everyone you know, and I guess partly that's natural for everyone's got. You know all sorts of things to worry about on a day-to-day basis.” It’s a topic that is sometimes deemed as remote, a problem that is across the globe or just hard to understand science.


It’s more important now than ever to have discussions over climate change if we want change to happen. Discussion, talking and sharing thoughts is a small step but it is a necessary step to encourage discussions on climate change. It starts a chain reaction that can benefit the fight against climate change or simply ease climate anxiety. This needs to talk about the present increases with more evidence of climate breakdown and the environmental and social impacts it has created. Discussing may seem insignificant but it helps to calm one down, organise their thoughts, and explore feelings that sometimes feel as if it’s hard to talk about with family and friends. Climate change can be a harsh topic to think about with its increasing damage to the world around us. Having support or space to talk about this can help the individual process these thoughts or feeling without dissociating or going into a panic. These spaces can help the individual come to terms with difficult truths while at the same time being grounded and feeling safe as everyone in that space understands them.


“I feel like the more spaces, the more opportunities there are for people to talk about it, engage with it and think about it, the more likely we are as communities, well, individuals, families, and society recognise how important it is and that there are things we can do. And so yeah, a space like the Climate Cafe seems important,” says Dan.


Climate cafes offer that break by giving a space for people who want to come together to talk and discuss what’s on their minds. It’s an informal setting free of judgement allowing the individual to talk about what’s on their mind and what they feel, etc. It offers a space where you can utter your fears and uncertainties about the future. It helps to acknowledge that such fears, depression, help or grief exist and that it’s alright to feel that way.


Dan and Kate founded a climate cafe in Waltham Forest to provide a space for people to express any thoughts they had about climate change. Kate says, “I think people can feel like they're personally responsible for it, so I think it's good to be in a space where you can feel that there's not a kind of pressure to kind of be perfect. You can be very open about how you feel, and I think that can be useful because I think people often feel like they can't open up about their feelings because of the pressure of being judged. Maybe by other people or family and friends. We also hear from people who feel like they can't have those conversations with their family and friends because they feel like they might. Their family and friends feel like they might be being judged, so they kind of don't want to open up and they want to shut that conversation down.”

The climate cafe offers a space where the person is surrounded by people who do want to talk and express what they feel. “I think it's good to have that space, and it's a different kind of space,” says Kate. Climate conversations have this theme of damage, casualties, impacts and negativity. Positivism or talking about solutions and strategies being put in place to combat climate change is often sidelined as science keeps forecasting an irreversible future. Sometimes people forget that there are people out there fighting and feel alone. This space allows the person to connect with others who think alike and share similar views reminding them that they are not the only one who cares. There is comfort in talking to people who might have the same feelings. It just reinforces that they are not alone in this.


And who knows, you might learn new things or even get recommended books to read- an occurrence that happens at Waltham Forest Climate Cafe.

There's more awareness and talks about climate change now than ever on a global scale. And yet on an individual scale, it seems that climate change is mentioned in passing or joked about. This can be a defence mechanism to cope with the gravity of the situation, that there is a chance the future will be unstable. This is why spaces like Kate and Dan are offering are important. “You don't really get under the surface and talk about what's going on, so I think that's space for people to kind of open up and explore those feelings. And in a really safe environment with no judgement. And no pressure to act as well,” Kate says.



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