• The Phoenix
  • Posts
  • We're launching "Warmly, Zaria" — an advice column for the climate emergency

We're launching "Warmly, Zaria" — an advice column for the climate emergency

Guest post by Zaria Howell, of "Warmly, Zaria" — a brand-new advice column from Currently.

Dear readers,

These days, it feels like our world is collectively either, a) preparing for its end, or b) at the precipice of building an entirely new one. Our foundations feel shaky. Even the very laws we’ve grown to rely on, and give us some sense of safety and identity, are being revoked; the environment we’ve long had a relationship with is finally threatening to break up with us — and rightfully so, we’ve been abusive.

Speaking of relationships, our connection to ourselves, and others, which now seems to take place mostly through the thin glass of a screen, seems threatened. Many people I know feel lonely, even while being surrounded by others.

I don’t know about you, but to me sometimes the most effective way of coping seems to be located at the extreme ends of a spectrum: total isolation (which for some guarantees safety) or total c’est la vie mode.

Like how much danger can I afford in my life right now, with the threat of Covid, and now monkeypox, threatening my wellbeing?

How much more social isolation can I afford before the walls of my house begin to feel like a cell, and I feel like a prisoner of society?

Climate doomism and the emotional burnout of living though so many disasters is very real.

Bubbling beneath the surface in all of us are many questions. We’re all, collectively, trying to figure out healthy ways to cope. My hope is that this newsletter will serve as a safe space: for your questions, for your mind, for your perhaps overly active nervous system.

And who am I? My name is Zaria. I grew up on the East Coast, between Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York and now currently reside in sunny Los Angeles.

I spend my time cooking, putting my feet in the grass, watching Love Island, attempting to keep up with the news. I’m also pursuing a Masters in Social Work from Columbia University and have served as Currently’s managing editor for the past 7 months.

You might not know me very well, but I feel like I know you, because I’m going through many of the same things you are in the middle of this climate emergency. I know that our collective human experiences, and feelings, are more similar than they are different.

I’d estimate that many of the things I’m navigating, you are, too: countering my climate anxiety, finding and connecting with people who love and respect the environment as much as I do.

I’m launching Warmly Zaria to use my expertise in the intersection of mental health and climate to respond to your questions and thoughts and to hopefully help us collectively navigate through these challenging times.

I am extremely empathetic, I love the environment, and I’ve got a thing for giving advice and analyzing other people’s deepest darkest secrets (yes, I’m a Scorpio moon).

I’m ready to be your climate-oriented internet friend and confidant. And I hope you find community and love in one another through the questions, stories, and experiences that you share.

If you have a question you’d like me to answer in the newsletter, you can submit it here.

And, nothing is off limits –– wondering about the ethics of having children during the climate emergency? Looking for ways to cope with your anxiety or depression? All questions will remain anonymous so feel free to ask your most burning questions.

Thank you for sharing your life with me.