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Study Shows More Than Half of Young People Have Climate Change Anxiety

Most are certain they have no future, and that humanity is doomed.
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Eco-anxiety, or fear of environmental damage or ecological disaster, is real—and it's affecting young adults heavily. So much so that most are certain that they have no future, and that humanity is doomed.

A new studypublished in the journal Lancet Planetary Health, has revealed the stress that the younger generation is feeling about climate change. In addition to thinking that humanity is doomed, three-quarters of young adults say the future is frightening.

Researchers surveyed 15,543 children aged 16 to 25 years old from 10 countries (including the Philippines) in February and March. "These countries were chosen to reflect populations from the Global North and South, representing a range of cultures, incomes, climates, climate vulnerabilities, and exposure to differing intensities of climate-related events," the study said.

One of the countries where young adults felt the most stressed was the Philippines. 84 percent reported a significant amount of worry (49 extremely worried, 35 very worried).

"This study paints a horrific picture of widespread climate anxiety in our children and young people. It suggests for the first time that high levels of psychological distress in youth is linked to government inaction. Our children’s anxiety is a completely rational reaction given the inadequate responses to climate change they are seeing from governments," says lead co-author Carol Hickman from the University of Bath.

We'd say we're surprised but… we're not. Hopefully, this pushes more and more people to recognize how dire the situation truly is.

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Paolo Chua
Paolo Chua is the Associate Style Editor of Esquire Philippines.
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