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Beef and climate change, how are they related?
07:33 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

A student in Wendy Petersen Boring’s climate-change-focused class said she woke at 2 a.m. and then cried for two solid hours about the warming ocean.

“This is a computer science major,” Petersen Boring said.

Petersen Boring, an associate professor of history, religious studies, women & gender studies at Willamette University in Oregon, has been teaching about climate change for a little over a decade. In that short time, she has watched her students’ fear, grief, stress and anxiety grow.

“Back in 2007, it was the mouse in the room; then, it became the elephant in the room. By 2016, those concerns and fears began to flood over,” Petersen Boring said.

Her students aren’t alone. Polls show that many more Americans worry about global warming. There’s no clinical definition, but climate anxiety and grief or solastalgia – “the distress that is produced by environmental change impacting on people while they are directly connected to their home environment” – has become such a concern that the American Psychological Association created a 69-page climate-change guide to help mental health care providers.

There are support networks like Good Grief in Salt Lake City, created to help people build resilience while discussing “eco-anxiety,” despair and inaction on the environment.