Renee Lertzman

Climate Engagement Strategist and Author

Renee Lertzman is dedicated to providing high quality training to those working on the front lines of environmental change, as well as to scholars and researchers developing innovative approaches. Using her research as a jumping off point, she helps bridge the gap between academia and practice. For more than 20 years she has worked with organizations, professionals, and practitioners from government, business, philanthropic, and non-governmental sectors to design research tools, engagement practices, and strategies suited for the uniquely challenging nature of environmental work.

Lertzman’s first book, Environmental Melancholia: Psychoanalytic Dimensions of Engagement, was published by Routledge in 2015. Her work has been featured in The Guardian, The New York Times, and Time magazine. 

Live Event Appearances

Podcast Guest Appearances

Selling the Science of Climate Change

The scientific consensus is that human activity is cooking the planet and disrupting our economies. Yet many people still don’t believe that climate change will affect them personally, or they deny the urgency of the problem. Can better communication help sell the science of climate change? “Only the repetition of simple messages changes public opinion and affects the brain,” says David Fenton, a four-decade veteran of PR campaigns for the environment, public health and human rights.

Mind Over Chatter: Exploring Climate Psychology

Nov 29 2018 - 6:30pm

We all know about the environmental and physical effects of climate change. But what about its impact on our mental health? Therapists report that their patients are exhibiting symptoms of what they call “climate anxiety” – loss of sleep, changes in appetite, feelings of grief, anger and hopelessness. How do we maintain our optimism in the face of a global existential crisis? And how do we talk with others about our fears without turning them off – or freaking them out? Three climate psychologists discuss how to cope with mounting anxiety brought on by climate change.

REWIND: Exploring Climate Psychology / Getting Outside in the Digital Age

We all know about the environmental and physical effects of climate change. But what about its impact on our mental health?  According to some psychologists, their patients who report trouble sleeping, changes in appetite, feelings of dread or hopelessness, could be suffering from climate anxiety. 

“I’m starting to notice in my practice that sometimes people come in with ambient anxiety,” reports clinical psychotherapist Leslie Davenport. “They’re just more distressed, even if they haven't always connected the dots about why.”

The 2020 Election: Anxiety and Incrementalism

The 2020 campaign season has finally come to a close. And days after November 3rd has passed, the country is still reeling.

About seventy percent of Americans - Democrats, Independents and Republicans - say the election caused a significant amount of anxiety and stress in their lives. That’s up from fify percent four years ago. 

How should we process those difficult emotions surrounding the election? Climate psychologist Renée Lertzman recommends practicing self-awareness and self-care.