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Climate Change Discussion Groups Help People Cope, Save Environment

Climate change wasn't something she felt she could discuss deeply with the people in her life, as is the case for most Americans. Though most people acknowledge climate change is real, and about 30% say they are "Very worried" about it, just 37% say they discuss the issue occasionally or often, according to a 2022 survey from Yale University.

Using her newsletter, word of mouth and social media, Cooper recruited a group of nine people - some climate activists, others, like her, newer to the conversation - to meet virtually. Climate Awakening, founded by climate psychologist Margaret Klein Salamon, convenes small group conversations online that anyone can join for free.

Schwartz co-authored a 2022 study that found that collective climate action may mitigate climate distress.

According to an internal 2023 survey conducted by the All We Can Save Project, 89% of Circle participants reported feeling an increased sense of community and 90% said they took climate action, such as switching to climate-focused careers, after joining a conversation group.

Leaders from the All We Can Save Project and Good Grief Network, two of the largest climate conversation networks, acknowledged that the majority of participants are white and said they were currently taking steps - including partnering with Black, Indigenous and people of color-led organizations and aiming to train more BIPOC facilitators - to diversify their ranks.

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