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Guilty Grief and Ecological Mourning

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Media and Environmental Communication book series (PSMEC)


This chapter argues that grieving for ecological loss is complicated by feelings of guilt for that loss. Without a framework that accounts for the interweaving of guilt, grief, and mourning, we risk feelings of ecological grief remaining individualized, unresolved, and unarticulated, resulting in a form of melancholia. Analysis of the film Albatross by artist Chris Jordan reveals a constructive approach to environmental grief and, by extension, I argue, to guilt as well. In this approach, guilt and grief are framed as teachers, helping orient us toward love, care, and connection with the ecosystems that sustain life.


  • Guilt
  • Grief
  • Mourning
  • Environmental melancholia
  • Emotional ecologies
  • Solastalgia

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Correspondence to Tim Jensen .

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Jensen, T. (2019). Guilty Grief and Ecological Mourning. In: Ecologies of Guilt in Environmental Rhetorics. Palgrave Studies in Media and Environmental Communication. Palgrave Pivot, Cham.

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