COP27: Climate anxiety is rising – it might be a good thing

Image credit:

The COP27 UN climate summit, which will bring together world leaders, will begin on Sunday in Sharm el-Sheikh, and for many people, the reality of climate change can be depressing.

Just this year alone has seen drought in East Africa, severe floods in Pakistan, and record-breaking heatwaves.

It is hardly surprising that fear of climate change is on the rise, especially among young people who have primarily only experienced a world influenced by it.

However, academics and activists claim that despite our anxieties, the future of the world may potentially be bright.

According to Lorraine Whitmarsh, a professor of environmental psychology at the University of Bath, “those who are very conscious of climate change may be more motivated to take action.”

Her study discovered a connection between climate concerns and practical action, such as lowering one’s carbon footprint by decreasing trash or shopping secondhand.

When people discuss their own climate anxiety, they frequently claim that it is related to the enormous volume of unfavourable and frequently terrifying news about the globe.

Roisin claims she has switched to vegetarianism and only shops at local stores. She claims that taking action is the only way she can deal with her climate anxiety since it signals that she has done everything she can to address the issue.

The huge emphasis on the impending climate catastrophe, according to some activists like 23-year-old Californian Zahra Biabani, can be deceiving.

While still in college, she started blogging on environmental issues after realising there was “a gap between knowledge and action, which was being filled by doomsday.”

Caroline Hickman, a psychotherapist who specialises in treating young people with climate anxiety, has seen a sizable number of them. She asserts that worrying about the status of the earth is “quite acceptable,” but that “sinking into despair and “climate doomsday” is not the solution.”

The difference between genuine clinical anxiety about climate change, which is a mental health issue, and fears or concerns, however, is crucial.

Prof. Whitmarsh contends that while there is widespread concern about climate change, particularly among young people, the majority of people do not suffer from crippling climate anxiety that necessitates medical attention.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *