BLOG: Citizens’ Climate Lobby – The Cure for Climate Trauma

BLOG: Citizens’ Climate Lobby – The Cure for Climate Trauma


This blog was originally written in 2011 by Cathy Orlando, our National Director, a couple weeks after she presented at a conference and then lobbied on behalf Citizens’ Climate Lobby.

“When I presented at the Voices of Women Conference in Ottawa about climate change, CCL and what we do, I told the story of being a Climate Reality Project presenter and how almost every time I shared the Al Gore presentation, immediately afterward I would have to take a cocktail of aspirin-Tylenol-Ibuprofin with a strong tea to avoid a stress headache.

“Even though I kept the climate presentations positive, I was still having issues with Climate Trauma, dealing with the end-of-civilization scenarios, human selfishness and the conceivably insurmountable forces we have to overcome that one can’t avoid when he/she talks about the climate crisis.

“I imagined I am talking to peace activists who deal with nuclear disarmament and serious issues. They were following my logic, were very receptive and I did not have to expand my thoughts. They totally got all of it.

“I told them about how I was suffering from Climate Trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder for climate activists.

“I joked about how nice it was to be able to speak of such things to people who get it. I felt like I was in a room of kindred spirits … which is an “Anne of Green Gables” line, which they got, too, as many of the people present at the Voices of Women conference are from the East Coast.

“(At this point a new CCL member from the West coast started crying in the back of the room and cried for the rest of my story).

“I went on to tell the story of meeting Marshall and how it took me a while to realize the power of CCL. But once I sat in on an introductory call, I knew CCL had all the necessary tools: an economic plan to transition to a renewable economy that was properly vetted, organizational capacity to support volunteers and the philosophy to get the job done in a civil manner.

“Finally, I told the story of lobbying in Washington and how on the first day I had a small list of representatives to visit and did not volunteer to do more because I feared for the headaches. After lobbying three times on the first day I never felt more hopeful and empowered after talking about climate change and did not have a headache. I went on to lobby in as many offices as I could manage to squeeze in my schedule.

“Magically, my Climate Trauma disappeared. The more I do this work, the better I feel.

“I think this story touched a few people in the room.

“Later, while lobbying, one of the aides we spoke with was a Canadian Youth Delegate at the UNFCCC in Cancun 2010. Another CCLer and I told him about how CCL cures climate trauma. He got it too.”

If you are concerned about climate change and want to feel hopeful, I encourage you to join us for a CCL Introductory Call. These calls take place every Wednesday.

Every Wednesday, learn more about Citizens’ Climate Lobby and how you can make a difference in creating the political will for legislation that will wean our nation off the fossil fuels that are changing the Earth’s climate.

Calls begin at 5 pm Pacific Time and 8 pm Eastern Time and last about an hour. Canadians are welcome.

Sign up here.

If you’re not able to make a Wednesday call, you can also listen to the pre-recorded version here.



Cathy Orlando has put her words to work for the climate by getting letters and opinion pieces published in newspapers in every province in Canada. When she’s not safeguarding the climate alongside the best volunteers on the planet, you can probably find her stargazing, dancing, reading books not about climate change, hanging out with her husband Sanjiv, and mothering her three cherished daughters.