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Nature’s Comeback: How Ecopsychology Can Heal Our World

An open letter from Koa Mullens, age 17, submitted as part of an assignment at Huntington Beach High School.

Dear Greenpeace, 

Climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing our planet today. Despite the overwhelming scientific evidence supporting the existence of climate change and the need for immediate action, some still deny its existence or refuse to take action to address it. The denial mindset poses a significant obstacle in addressing the issue of climate change, making it important to understand the reasons behind them and find effective ways to convince them otherwise. The challenge of climate change necessitates adopting a new ethical framework, based on the idea of ecopsychology and the interconnectedness of the natural world and humans.

While the scientific evidence overwhelmingly supports the reality and severity of climate change, some individuals continue to refuse to take action due to the daunting and overwhelming nature of the problem. The far-reaching and profound implications of climate change, on a global scale, are undeniable. I propose a way for people to understand the impact of our actions. We can help people understand that climate change is reversible if we take the necessary steps. The negative always gives people a sense of overwhelming doom and makes it seem unreal or unfixable. By highlighting the easy changes and the benefits to not only the planet but to individuals, people can change. In the article, “How Can We Make People Care About Climate Change,” by Per Espen Stoknes, we need to tell stories of how nature can bounce back.  We can tell stories of how “nature is resilient” and what we can do to help it. With the right mindset and determination, we can turn our challenges into opportunities for growth and come out stronger on the other side.

Ecopsychology is a captivating field of psychology that highlights the intricate connection between the human brain and the natural world. As Aldo Leopold articulated in his acclaimed novel, "Sand County Almanac," “nature is therapeutic,” not only for the environment but also for human well-being. Furthermore, ecopsychology offers a promising framework for creating a more sustainable world that fosters a profound connection between humans and nature. To convince people to adopt a new land ethic, we must emphasize the benefits of nature for humans and propose solutions that highlight this crucial relationship

While some people refuse to take action, others completely deny climate change altogether. It is more common in developed countries where there is little to no effect of climate change visible from their homes. It is important to recognize that when discussing climate change with deniers, it is necessary to meet them “in terms of where they’re at,” taking into account their beliefs and perspectives. This approach is essential, as deniers are often characterized as being similar to horses with blinders, focused on their current environment, and unable to recognize the effects of climate change outside of their immediate vicinity. By understanding and acknowledging the denier’s perspectives, we are able to create a meaningful dialogue, rather than simply arguing and potentially further entrenching the denier’s disbelief in climate change.

In light of these considerations, climate change poses a critical challenge to the planet and demands a shift in our ethical framework towards a greater appreciation of the interconnectedness of all aspects of the natural world. By highlighting the benefits of nature to human well-being and acknowledging the varied perspectives surrounding climate change, we can create meaningful messages and move towards effective action. Ecopsychology offers a promising framework for creating a connection between humans and the natural world, while also focusing on the psychological and emotional impact of climate change. Together, by adopting a new land ethic and working towards sustainable solutions, we can ensure a healthier planet for generations to come.

I appreciate your time and effort in reading my letter to you.


Koa Mullens

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