With easily accessible, widespread coverage of these events on social media, it is easier than ever to see world events. With the increase in natural disasters and health concerns caused by the changing climate, there always seems to be a new video to watch of the world literally burning. That, paired with the reports scientists have been releasing explaining how the world is heading towards certain doom, makes it extremely easy to fall down the rabbit hole of bad news and become overwhelmed with feelings of hopelessness and anxiety.
Climate anxiety is born from these experiences, and because of their experiences growing up during the climate crisis, youth are especially susceptible to climate anxiety. We are constantly being shown images and videos of the effects of climate change, and many have taken it upon themselves to raise awareness on these issues by sharing on social media. Therefore, it is even easier for youth to get swept up in the flood of anxiety that comes with being immersed in horrifying news.
It leads to youth feeling hopeless, afraid and dejected. In fact, from my experiences talking to my siblings, classmates and friends about the climate crisis, there seem to be two responses.
Firstly: they are extremely concerned about the issue and want to know everything about it. They are constantly monitoring the situation and always have new (and oftentimes depressing) stories to share on social media or during conversations.
Secondly: they are also extremely concerned about the issue, but the anxiety is so overwhelming that they completely avoid thinking about the problem. Though it is always in the back of their mind, they are convinced we are doomed, that it is too late, that the problem is too large and there are too many obstacles in the way. They hate hearing about new developments because it only adds to their anxiety.
It is apparent in both cases that youth are incredibly stressed about this issue. Climate anxiety is widespread and affects so many people, but youth are carrying the brunt of it.