The Five Stages of Climate Grief | Denial

Recording: The Five Stages of Climate Grief | Denial

The Climate Grief Series

Welcome to SG’s contribution to TUD Climate Action. After a successful pilot event in the summer, where we welcomed the giant, floating Climate Jellyfish to the Library, we are kicking off our Climate Grief Series. There will be five events for you to visit, corresponding to the famous five stages of grief: denial, depression, anger, bargaining, and acceptance. (To eagle-eyed readers preparing to inform SG that the stages are in the wrong order: thank you, we are aware. In our defence, grief is chaotic.) To find out what’s happening and how to get involved, please read on.

Stage 1. Denial, Featuring the Climate Oracle

26 September 2023
How “post-truth” are we really? As the planet and the debates heat up, we have to deal with climate change scepticism. It is up to the scientific community to provide the foundation for a constructive climate debate. Without facts, there can be no solutions. But how are these facts communicated? Artists, journalists, politicians, influencers – everyone is weighing in. Join us for a panel discussion where our invited experts explore how we can go beyond denial and have meaningful conversations about climate change.

To get a grip on the nature of the debate, SG will also introduce the Climate Oracle. This mysterious entity channels digital voices, speaking their concerns and answering the audience’s climate questions.

Aafke Fraaije is a postdoctoral researcher at the Ethics & Philosophy group at TU Delft, researching how we can have meaningful conversations about climate change. And how art can help us.

Pouriya Alinaghi is a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Geoscience & Remote Sensing, whose research focuses on exploring concepts from the field of network theory to improve our understanding and modeling of clouds.

Sara Vermeulen is a PhD candidate within the Ethics & Philosophy of Technology section of the TPM faculty at TU Delft. She explores how we should understand responsibility, justice and resilience in the context of climate adaptation.

Facilitator Michelle Massink works as student psychologist and trainer at the TU Delft Careers & Counseling Services. 

Stage 2. Depression

17 October 2023
The climate scenarios we face offer little cause for optimism. We are looking for ways in which we can imagine and create better futures. But how do we imagine a future so radically different from anything that has come before?

Stage 3. Anger

21 November 2023
We are all affected, but not equally. Through climate change, global injustices have become manifest as a physical reality. The solutions that we design to mitigate these changes are not morally neutral. Can we make sure that what we do next benefits all inhabitants of our planet?

Stage 4. Bargaining

12 December 2023
We like to fix things, and there is no shortage of big ideas at the TU Delft. Maybe there’s a bargain to be struck, and we can engineer our way out of the climate crisis. We will assess the risks and opportunities of geoengineering and other radical solutions.

Stage 5. Acceptance

We will tackle our emotions head-on through a staging and discussion of the play Adem (Breath) by Stijn Dijkema. What does it mean to reconcile yourself to climate grief? Are we giving up or facing up to reality? Whether you still believe we can leave a habitable planet for future generations, or simply want to prevent further suffering, this is a play you won’t want to miss.


Visit the location's website here.