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Spinning Out

Climate Change, Mental Health and Fighting for a Better Future

Charlie Hertzog Young



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12 September 2023
In 2019, climate activist Charlie Hertzog Young attempted suicide, following a succession of breakdowns. He jumped off a six-storey building, resulting in the loss of both legs. He spent a month in a coma, lost his flat and woke up without a job.

In rebuilding his life physically and emotionally, Charlie saw that the climate crisis and mental illness are inextricably linked and, equally, little understood.

In this reflective, wise and darkly humorous account of his own recovery, he explores how his bipolarity was largely driven by climate change and identifies the ways in which our culture has led to the current crisis. He shows how climate chaos is ubiquitous, unpredictable and mediated through vast inequalities of power; how climate disaster is responsible for many times more mental health conditions than physical ailments; how our minds aren't built to deal with such threats; and how modern society isn't fit to support those suffering as a result.

Spinning Out is more than a call to arms - it's a manual for anyone who wants to fight for a better world and avoid the pitfalls of despair. It draws on the experience of dozens of activists, organisers and researchers across every habitable continent - from radical psychiatrists and youth organisers to co-operative builders in flooded Pakistan, activists in Nigeria and earth defenders in indigenous Mexico - to outline models for recovery and post-traumatic growth. It shows how meaningful action - action that aims to change not just our emissions but our entire way of life - can be a powerful means of both psychological recovery and planetary renewal.

Climate-related mental health issues are crippling millions. Spinning Out points to a better way forward - towards wedding the needs of the earth with the needs of the human mind, towards new-found meaning, connection and belonging.

Imprint:   BONNIER
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 216mm,  Width: 135mm,  Spine: 21mm
Weight:   286g
ISBN:   9781804440315
ISBN 10:   1804440310
Pages:   272
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

CHARLIE HERTZOG YOUNG is a political researcher for Clive Lewis MP, the Good Law Project and the Centre for Progressive Change. He has previously worked for the New Economics Foundation, the Labour Party, Monocle Magazine, George Monbiot and the RSA. He studied economics and anthropology at Harvard University and SOAS, University of London, and Heterodox Economics and Public Policy Analysis at the London School of Economics. He has been an activist and organiser since his teens. He has founded two organisations and staged a widely publicised walk-out of Gregory Mankiw's economics lectures, the Harvard professor who was George Bush's senior economic advisor.

Reviews for Spinning Out: Climate Change, Mental Health and Fighting for a Better Future

Utterly brilliant - engaging, thrilling, disturbing, revelatory, explosive -- George Monbiot Absolutely, gloriously, heart-rendingly, heart-stoppingly glorious -- Manda Scott, author of the bestselling BOUDICCA series This book is brave, creative and utterly necessary for understanding what is happening to us psychologically as a result of climate and societal breakdown -- Joe Ryle, Director of the Four Day Week Campaign A brilliant, compassionate account of the intersection between climate change and mental health [...] deserves to be widely read, borrowed, shared and discussed by anyone who cares about the climate -- Ro Randall, founder member of the Climate Psychology Alliance Above all else, responding to climate emergency is a battle over our minds. Charlie Young had a natural entry point to this perspective through his own experience - and the consequences are radical. If we are able to wrestle and work with our psychology, we may be better able to relate to each other and planet of which we are part. The upshot could be a whole new way of being human. And Spinning Out is a gateway to that possibility -- Anthony Painter, Director of Policy at the Chartered Management Institute (CMI)

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