Climate anxiety is used to describe a collection of psychological symptoms triggered by incessant propaganda about rising temperatures and changing weather patterns.
Also known as “eco-anxiety,” “eco-guilt,” and “eco-grief,” climate anxiety can be paralyzing and debilitating, especially among people aged 16 to 34. This malady has been labeled one of the top threats to global health in the 21st century. [emphasis, links added]
A 2021 survey of 10,000 youngsters, aged 16 to 25 from 10 different countries, found 84% of the respondents were “moderately worried” about climate change.
Over 50% reported feelings of sadness, anxiety, anger, powerlessness, helplessness, and guilt.
Over 45% said their feelings about climate change negatively impacted their daily life, and 75% expressed fear for the future.
Constant propaganda that blames every hurricane, drought, or tornado on human-caused climate change can lead to physical, mental, and emotional challenges — even an increased risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
A 2022 poll revealed that 45% of Americans are very or somewhat worried about having children in a world where climate change is a problem. Not only is this reducing the population replacement rate, but it also threatens the family.
Indigenous populations are particularly vulnerable to anxiety about future climate change, including food insecurity, housing shortages, lack of healthcare access, disruptions to culture, and socioeconomic disadvantages.
Maladaptive scrolling is a behavior in which an individual seeks out headlines, articles, photos, and YouTube videos, which intensifies his fears or anxieties.
Tess Brigham, MFT, points to the individual thinking, “If I know what’s happening, I can be better prepared for when things get bad” as a reason for maladaptive scrolling [“doomscrolling”].”
“The fear is that something terrible might happen that you don’t see coming… We are hardwired to survive and to see the things that could potentially harm us,” explains Brigham. “That’s in our DNA, and our ancestors needed this ability to survive. While our world is very different, we still have this drive to keep ourselves safe, which we think we’re doing by reading negative news stories.”
Climate anxiety can shake an individual’s sense of security, leading to muscle tension, breathlessness, loss of sleep, confusion, and inability to perform daily activities. Sixty-nine percent of respondents reported often losing sleep over their worries about the environment.
Climate anxiety is partially responsible for the growing suicide rate among adolescents and young adults. Among children aged 10–14 years, the suicide rate tripled during the period from 2007–2017.
In 1989 Stephen Schneider, a founding member of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), told Discover Magazine:
“We have to get some broad-based support to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have.”
Despite this admission of rank dishonesty, Schneider was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for “efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change…”
Psychologists advise young people who feel powerless about the climate to start small and focus solely on the things they can do each day to reduce their “carbon footprint” and their impact on the world around them.
“If it’s important to you, you have to look at where you are right now,” advises Natacha Duke, a psychotherapist. “When you feel lost, it can help to identify your particular strengths and what you can lend to the situation.” Getting involved in some way can reduce the feeling of helplessness common to so many teens.”
“With environmental anxieties, there’s often a lot of blame toward ourselves for not doing enough in the past or toward politicians, government entities, and others for not doing more,” Duke says. “You’re experiencing a sense of guilt or shame.”
“This is our world, this is our environment, and some of us might feel that we should have done better to take care of it,” continues Duke. “If we’re feeling guilt or shame around an issue, even if it’s something small, it can really be immobilizing for some of us.”
She advises them to look up some positive stories about the environment and global solutions that are being worked on and researched right now. (They could begin by learning the truth about climate change.)
Perhaps the best thing climate realists can do to help them is to give them some powerful yet understandable information such as “The Skeptic’s Handbook” (I and II) by Joanne Nova or “Climate at a Glance for Teachers and Students” by Anthony Watts and James Taylor.
There are also some excellent books on Amazon, such as Exposing the Great Climate Change Lie [by Lynne Balzer]. With a Kindle Unlimited account, you can read this book for free. The paperback edition can be shared with others.
For someone who can but doesn’t like to read, they could be given a shorter summary of ten or fifteen facts (as set apart from opinions) about climate change. You could challenge them to research the truth of these statements.
The attached quiz on climate change (PDF) would be a good conversation starter. We also need to remind people that the COVID-19 situation demonstrates just how much the governments, media, and “scientists” have lied to us.
Many fascinating facts about the climate change scam can be found in Lynne Balzer’s richly illustrated book, “Exposing the Great Climate Change Lie”, available on Amazon.
Trackback from your site.