We don’t have to be overwhelmed by climate anxiety. Feel the pain, then act.

Susie Orbach

We might be scared and not know what to do. But as a new film reveals, that can help.

Film-maker Josh Appignanesi, right, in a still from his film My Extinction. Photograph: Publicity image

It doesn’t matter which week we choose. There is always a climate emergency; an emergency we can close our ears and eyes to. Two weeks ago, it was the blanketing of New York in a cloud of smoke from Canada. Last week, Beijing recorded the hottest June since records began. All over the world, sea levels rise. Drought or flooding ensues. And the loss of habitats and species. We can get frightened and find it hard to hold the knowledge of what is occurring.

As filmmaker Josh Appignanesi shows in his new film My Extinction, which will be released on 30 June, allowing himself to feel the real-time effects of climate change is uncomfortable. Appignanesi, who recycles yet makes car commercials, turns the camera on himself as his climate concerns start to make him feel disgruntled. He feels put out and inconvenienced. And he ends up getting far more involved in climate work than he’d ever thought possible.

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