She started to see this IRL when she visited climate conference COP21 in Paris back in late 2015. Clover describes being at an event that was supposed to champion and innovate missions of sustainability, to see that they were sponsored by brands such as oil tycoon Shell and car manufacturer BMW.
“I couldn’t wrap my head around the hypocrisy,” she says, recalling looking around many of her peers and seeing the same reaction as her own. “I could see my anxiety and that feeling of powerlessness was reflected in their eyes too.”
Her experience at COP21 was pivotal, but in a way that she didn’t expect.
“That was my first realisation that the threat even greater than the climate crisis is how powerless we feel in the face of it” she continues. “And I recognised that we’ve had the technology, resources and ingenuity to solve this crisis for many decades, decades before I was even born.
“And yet critically, what we’ve lacked is a mobilisation in mindset.”
Clover describes going into a huge six-month depression after seeing the wildfires ravage through Australia in late 2019. “I’d see these apocalyptic images of what was happening to my country,” she says, adding that the anxiety and depression that followed was difficult to hide from.
“I could no longer wrangle these feelings. But through that journey of despair and grief. I realised that those feelings were, in fact, my superpower.
“The threat even greater than the climate crisis is how powerless we feel in the face of it”
Clover then went on to do extensive research into the importance of channeling your eco-anxiety into productive sustainable plans and action. She works alongside her colleagues at Force Of Nature, the organisation she co-founded, consulting with huge brands such as Pepsi, Selfridge’s and Unilever.
It helps large-scale brands and activists to come to a consensus, giving them a communal goal when putting these eco-friendly plans into place. Clover’s also working with car manufacturer Hyundai on its Drive The Change campaign, which is looking at ways we can all make sustainable changes to our lifestyle this year.
Above all, though, Clover’s top mission is to spread the word about the close relationship between our climate anxiety and our ability to effect real change.
“The reason why we haven’t solved the climate crisis is because we’ve gotten so good as a culture at kind of switching off from it,” she says. “And it’s only when we look in the face of those feelings of anxiety and learn how to come into conversation with them, and learn how to channel them that we’re able to step up and act.”
Clover Hogan’s lessons learned from eco anxiety and how to channel it:
Pick your focus
Channelling your energy into a productive sustainable lifestyle change or campaign, whether it’s tackling your fast fashion habits or changing the way you deal with food waste, is the best way to address your overwhelm.
“Identifying and understanding your eco-anxieties is the best compass any of us have towards where we should be putting our energy,” Clover says.