A global survey of people aged 16-25 showed that 40 percent of young people fear having children because of climate change, and 45 percent said a bleak outlook on the future of the planet affects their daily lives and ability to function.
The 23-page study, Young People’s Voices on Climate Anxiety, Government Betrayal and Moral Injury: A Global Phenomenon, was published in The Lancet in early September. It overwhelmingly showed that young people around the world not only experience anxiety and other mental health issues due to the fear of climate change, but also due to the inaction of older generations to address it.
According to the study, “Over 50% [of respondents] felt sad, anxious, angry, powerless, helpless, and guilty” over climate change. In addition, over 50% said they would agree that the future could be described as “frightening.” These feelings resulted in 40 percent of those surveyed saying they are fearful of starting families because they do not want to bring children into a world that has been ravaged by climate change.
The study’s findings on whether the younger generation might feel comfortable having children in the near future echo the findings of a smaller study conducted in late 2020 that showed 96 percent of adults are concerned about the effects climate change might have on the lives of the children they already have or may have in the future. A movement began in 2019 for teens to pledge not to have children until governments around the world take immediate action on climate change.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NEW YORK POST
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