Resilience Group


When I first became interested in Sustainability as an issue for the world, I was convinced that I and all the other interested “environmentalists” would, in time, be able to change the track of what was happening.  So I did everything I could to change systems, habits, and my personal perspective.  And I worked to help others see the need for the changes.  I think we made some difference.

But as we now know and are informed from various sources, the effort to preserve our environment is failing.  Our environment is rapidly deteriorating.  It is no longer an issue of mitigating the problems so that we can maintain “sustainability” in our world.  We now need to consider how we are going to adapt to the changes that are coming.

The committee that I have been working with (Education and Community Engagement Working Group) held two Salons earlier this year specifically looking at the role that emotions, in particular grief, had in our work as Suzuki Elders.  These Salons generated a significant amount of interest leading to the formation of a sub –committee to investigate how we would proceed with educating ourselves further about this subject.

The sub-committee has arrived at an awareness that the subject is much broader than first imagined and we now have a vision of what the work forward should be:  Suzuki Elders aim to play an active role in building resilience to the psycho-social impacts of climate disruption among ourselves and our communities.  Inherent in being resilient is being adaptable, thinking ahead and working so that results will be preventative.  Many organizations are aware that the promotion of resilience is core to being able to take care of each other in our communities.  An excellent site that describes resilience can be found here.

Suzuki Elders have come together because we all want to do something to help the environment.  We are passionate about this in that many of us are grand-parents and have strong feelings of compassion for our children and their future.

We will publish a paper that will include the goals we have set, objectives that will carry out some of the goals, and a library of articles and relevant web sites.  More workshops will undoubtedly be part of our work.

I would also refer you to a recent piece written by Dave Pollard who lives on Bowen Island.  It says it all for me.

Your feedback is welcome at:

Don Marshall   11/22/15



We’ve collected a selection of articles in the following subheadings: the first, Psychological Impacts, explore the potential grief, loss and sense of mourning that people might experience in the face of Climate Disruption;  the second,  Building Resilience,  talk about how to build resilience, both individually and in community. We have annotated some of these to help you choose which ones to read or view.    They are chosen from a large array of sources available on the net.

We do not sanction any one opinion or perspective…nor do we suggest that the Suzuki Elders or the David Suzuki Foundation endorse or support any one of these perspectives.

Suzuki Elders Resilience Study Group


  1. How Anxiety around Climate Change Blocks us from Taking Action: The main crisis is one of helplessness”,: Double bind of doom and gloom vs. unrealistic solutions leads to anxiety and denial. anxiety_5642336ce4b0307f2caf2569
  2. “200 million Americans will suffer “Psychological Distress” from Climate Change; Predicted that many Americans will suffer psychological distress.
  3. A Climate Advocate/worker grieves over her inability to affect change.
  4. Stephen Jenkinson on grief and climate A podcast.
  5. Stolen Future, Broken Present: the human significance of climate change – free downloadable book. A complete discussion of the issues of how we are affected by the impacts of climate disruption.
  6. Sustainability must include the social, political, economic and ecological and also the psychological.
  7. American Psych Assoc. discussion of the psychological effects of climate change.   Very complete and long. Check the contents list.
  8. We rarely talk about loss, grief, and climate change. The losses come in many forms…Some of us may have chosen changes in lifestyles to reduce our carbon footprint; it is something we do out of love, but there can still be accompanying feelings of loss…Instead of guilt, fear, and depression, can we face our profound loss, talk about it, acknowledge our grief, and move forward within this new community. Be sure to see page 2 and watch the short video.,0
  9. “Grief requires of us that we know what time we’re in. And the great enemy of grief is hope. The basic proposition of hope is: you hope for something that ain’t. You don’t hope for something that is. It’s always future oriented, which means, hope is inherently intolerable of the present. The present is never good enough. Our time requires of us to be hope free. To burn through the false choice between hopeful and hopeless… it’s the same con job. We don’t require hope to proceed. We require grief to proceed.” This has a podcast of Jenkinson speaking as in #10 above.
  10. If we want to learn to live in the Anthropocene, we must first learn how to die. Read last three paragraphs.
  12. Why Eco- Psychology should be part of the fight against climate change.




  1. TED talk by Brene Brown on the usefulness of vulnerability. Interesting and inspiring.,d.cGc
  2. Essential elements for building community resilience.    Describes how communities can approach the full scope of the 21st century’s challenges equitably and sustainability.
  3. Building resilience to the problems of economy and ecology – Dave Pollard (Bowen Island).  Know Yourself. Heal. Self-Liberate. Experiment. Build Community.   Also,
  4. Building Thriving, Resilient Communities A Collection of Resources for You & Your Neighbors to Create a Saner, Healthier Future Together.
  5. Using story telling to enable people in community to come to good decisions.
  6. Our society faces serious environmental challenges, but based on humanity’s track record of successes over the past 50 years, the ready availability of effective solutions, and the potential for future innovation, today’s problems can be overcome. David Boyd.
  7. Resilience is the capacity of a system, be it an individual, a forest, a city or an economy, to deal with change and continue to develop. It is about how humans and nature can use shocks and disturbances like a financial crisis or climate change to spur renewal and innovative thinking.   Good graphics and video explanation of resilience.   This is an important read.
  8.  Interesting take on stress in a TED talk. Very useful to those of us working on the environment.
  9. A practical guide for the great Transition. A new look at activism – see page 82 – 90.
  10. The usefulness of experiencing awe in working toward positive outcomes.
  11. Video with Renee Lertzman talking about the myth of apathy. Go to minute fourteen.