Spinning Out

Climate Change, Mental Health and Fighting for a Better Future
Charlie Hertzog Young


£12.99 | 22 June 2023 | ISBN: 9781804440315


£9.99 | 22 June 2023 | ISBN: 9781804440346

The dominant culture is driving the Earth mad. Now, the Earth is driving us mad in return. The relationship between climate chaos and mental health goes far deeper than eco-anxiety. It goes to the roots of our civilisation – its principles, its practices and its false solutions.

Charlie Hertzog Young became a climate activist in his early teens. His journey led him onto airport runways and the halls of power, but also mental health diagnoses and multiple breakdowns. Eventually, in 2019, he jumped from a six-storey rooftop. He spent a month in a coma and lost both legs. This book draws on the lessons he learned from rebuilding himself, physically and psychologically, but this book isn’t about him, it’s an exercise in collective recovery. We hear from dozens of activists, organisers and researchers across every habitable continent – from radical psychiatrists, youth organisers and co-operative builders in flooded Pakistan, to system-focused activists in Nigeria and indigenous earth defenders in Mexico – to outline models for post-traumatic growth.

Spinning Out explores – and demonstrates – how climate chaos and those in power are causing an almost inevitable mental health crisis across the globe. From the psychological fallout of losing your home, livelihood and loved ones due to floods, droughts or rising sea levels, to the increase in stress, domestic violence and drug use during extreme heatwaves, not to mention the existential dread caused by the prospect of an increasingly alarming future

Spinning Out is collection of solutions from across the globe and a manual for anyone who wants to get (un)real in fighting for a better world, while avoiding burnout and despair. Meaningful action from unlikely people, places and states of mind – action that aims to change not just our emissions but systemic changes to our entire way of life – can be a powerful means of both psychological recovery and planetary renewal, wedding the needs of the earth with the needs of the human mind.

‘Utterly brilliant – engaging, thrilling, disturbing, revelatory, explosive’George Monbiot

About the Author

CHARLIE HERTZOG YOUNG is a researcher, writer and award-winning activist. A proudly mad bipolar double amputee, he has worked for the New Economics Foundation, the Royal Society of Arts, the Good Law Project, the Four Day Week Campaign and the Centre for Progressive Change, as well as the UK Labour Party under three consecutive leaders. Charlie has spoken at the LSE, the UN and the World Economic Forum. He studied at Harvard, SOAS and Schumacher College and has written for The Ecologist, The Independent, Novara Media, Open Democracy and The Guardian.

Photo by Misan Harriman