Editorial

Youth Anxiety on Climate Change

Bath University, in collaboration with five other universities, surveyed 10,000 people aged between 16 and 25, across 10 countries, regarding their thoughts on climate change. The report stated that 60 percent of young people surveyed felt worried or extremely worried, and more than 45 percent said thoughts of climate change impact their daily lives.

An editor remarked that climate change is certainly real, and without immediate action, the consequences will begin to mount. “We are seeing more aggressive weather phenomena,” the editor said. “It’s definitely a scary thought, and it’s something politicians and every day people should think about. Like I always say, there will be no world left if we don’t focus on climate change first. Politicians and the wealthy are worried about money and power, but they won’t have any of that if there is no Earth.”

“Personally, climate change is something that is very daunting to me,” a second editor added. “I definitely do think that it is real, but I don’t think of it as often as I should because some of the statistics are scary.”

A key part of the survey outlined how participants thought of climate change during their daily life. A third editor commented that although it is frightening, it does not greatly impact their day to day operations. “It’s more of a passing thought,” they said. “Of course, I think about it when I see the devastating wildfires in California, hurricanes or earthquakes happening around the world in the news. In a way, I’m part of the problem as well as I don’t do anything about it.”

Circling back, the first editor mentioned how they don’t think too much about climate change. “I mean, obviously I think it is real,” they said. “At the same time ,I don’t let it bother me. I do believe it will affect us sooner rather than later but I prefer to stay blissfully unaware.”

In regards to the days to come, the second editor reiterated how scary the future looks if action is not immediately taken. “That aspect [of fear] is very much present, but I don’t try to worry about the future as much.”

All Outlook editors agree that climate change is an urgent, foreboding issue. The anxiety that surveyed students felt is echoed by the Outlook staff.

“We truly never know what the future holds” another editor said. “And all we can worry about is the present. If everyone works together now, maybe the thought of the next 2-3 decades won’t seem so scary. That is my hope, at the very least when it comes to the disasters we have seen.”