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FERC rule to spark energy transmission building nationwide; Rudy Giuliani pleads not guilty to felony charges in AZ election interference case; new digital tool emerges to help MN students with FAFSA woes; WY governor to talk property tax shifts in a TeleTown Hall.

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Israel's Prime Minister calls the new ICC charges unfair. Trump's lawyers found more classified documents in Mar-a-Lago, months after an FBI's search. And a new report finds election deniers are advancing to the fall election.

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Americans are buying up rubber ducks ahead of Memorial Day, Nebraskans who want residential solar have a new lifeline, seven community colleges are working to provide students with a better experience, and Mississippi's "Big Muddy" gets restoration help.

NY faith leaders help people address 'ecological grief'

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Tuesday, March 5, 2024   

As the impacts of climate change grow, New Yorkers and people across the country are grieving for the environment.

Ecological grief, also known as "solastalgia," has become an increasing response to climate change. A 2020 American Psychological Association survey finds almost 70% of people feel climate change is affecting their mental health.

The Reverend Chelsea MacMillan, New York organizer with GreenFaith, a multi-faith climate action organization, says the group hosts grief circles for people to commiserate about climate change.

"People are grieving the decline of bird populations, longhorn sheep that are dying in the Sierra Nevada due to extreme weather conditions," she explained. "There was heavy snowfall there this past year."

MacMillan added people are also grieving shorter and warmer winters. She sees a growing sense of hopelessness in these circles, in response to a lack of political will.

Countries worldwide are moving to a climate-friendly future, but it's uncertain how effective these efforts are. A 2022 United Nations report
finds global greenhouse-gas emissions are declining. However, it isn't fast enough to limit global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees by the end of the century.

While the grief circles concentrate on environmental issues, they sometimes open up to ongoing current events as well. MacMillan said people also are distressed by the growing sense of apathy about the world. She noted this distress has even led some to question their faith.

"I think they see a lot of clergy and faith leaders not responding to these crises, and instead focusing on the afterlife or focusing on their homogenous communities, and how do we protect our homogeneous communities from these perceived threats in the world," MacMillan added.

MacMillan feels times of crisis can strengthen a person's faith. She thinks faith isn't about waiting for God or some higher power to save the day. Rather, it's about being an active participant in heeding the cries of the world.

Disclosure: GreenFaith contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Environmental Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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