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Young people very worried about climate

September 15, 2021 00:00:00


LONDON, Sept 14 (BBC): A new global survey illustrates the depth of anxiety many young people are feeling about climate change.

Nearly 60% of young people approached said they felt very worried or extremely worried.

More than 45% of those questioned said feelings about the climate affected their daily lives.

Three-quarters of them said they thought the future was frightening. Over half (56%) say they think humanity is doomed.

Two-thirds reported feeling sad, afraid and anxious. Many felt fear, anger, despair, grief and shame - as well as hope.

One 16-year-old said: "It's different for young people - for us, the destruction of the planet is personal."

The survey across 10 countries was led by Bath University in collaboration with five universities. It's funded by the campaign and research group Avaaz. It claims to be the biggest of its kind, with responses from 10,000 people aged between 16 and 25.

Many of those questioned perceive that they have no future, that humanity is doomed, and that governments are failing to respond adequately.

Many feel betrayed, ignored and abandoned by politicians and adults.

The authors say the young are confused by governments' failure to act. They say environmental fears are "profoundly affecting huge numbers of young people".

Chronic stress over climate change, they maintain, is increasing the risk of mental and physical problems. And if severe weather events worsen, mental health impacts will follow.

The report says young people are especially affected by climate fears because they are developing psychologically, socially and physically.

The lead author, Caroline Hickman from Bath University, told BBC News: "This shows eco-anxiety is not just for environmental destruction alone, but inextricably linked to government inaction on climate change. The young feel abandoned and betrayed by governments.

"We're not just measuring how they feel, but what they think. Four out of 10 are hesitant to have children.


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