June 4, 2015, A newsletter in my mailbox:

Every year, the “new words” of the year are published. These words enter dictionaries while other, outdated words disappear. In 2007, the term “climate anxiety” was published with the definition “anxiety for a threatening climate deterioration.” This was followed by a wealth of related expressions: “climate threat,” “climate smart,” “climate-proof,” and “carbon-diet.” Of course, it is not only climate anxiety that fills our lives—other expressions turn up [in the Swedish language], like “entou-rage” (“companions to a VIP-person”) and “pimping” (“to make more luxurious”), among others—glitter terms about dubious dreams of success. They might seem contradictory, but they reflect the world we live in. On the one hand, we have become increasingly aware of the environment, yet on the other hand, we consume more than ever. And perhaps this dilemma is the origin of climate anxiety….

As far as I know, there is no specific psychotherapy for worries concerning environmental degradation. We have to take care of that in another way—by hand—like living more environmentally friendly. It is a task for us all. We can’t be satisfied with complaining to people in power. We all need to do our bit, but it is easy to feel resignation. While recycling bottles and milk cartons and cycling to work in the wind and rain in our own personal war against pollution, everyone has probably wondered what our small actions can accomplish—when factories and coal power plants billow and darken the sky. It is then that we need to think about how our small gestures are more important than we think.

One big gesture is to teach school children to take care of the environment, and so we turn to you teachers who are reading this…The word “teaching” will never be consigned to the corridors of oblivion. The word “summer” is also old and proven—and is always as enjoyable. We at Kunskapsförlaget wish you a lovely one!

Stellan Sandh CEO, Kunskapsförlaget 1