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New book helps parents have ‘the climate talk’ with kids » Yale Climate Connections


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Lots of parents wonder how to have ‘the talk’ with their kids.

Not that talk. The climate talk.

“We decided to put our heads together to try and think about what is the best way to tell young people about climate change,” says Jeremy Wortzel, a psychiatry resident at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

He and his wife, Lena Champlin – an environmental scientist – worked with a panel of psychiatrists from the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry to write a children’s book.

Called “Coco’s Fire: Changing Climate Anxiety Into Climate Action,” it’s about a squirrel named Coco who feels scared when she learns about global warming.

Coco’s father helps her learn how to cope with her feelings. And he introduces her to a community of activists and changemakers who help transform her anxiety into hope.

Wortzel says the book is designed to help parents talk with their kids about climate change and teach them that solving the problem does not rest solely on their shoulders.

“We wanted to flip that narrative a little bit,” he says. “And to say, ‘It’s not just on you. You are not alone in thinking about these things. In fact, there’s a thriving local, national, and global community already thinking about these issues. Come join this thriving team.’”

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media



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