People who have come of age in recent decades — millennials and members of Generation Z — have been exposed to a steady stream of alarming news about climate change and ecological destruction.
People who have come of age in recent decades — millennials and members of Generation Z — have been exposed to a steady stream of alarming news about climate change and ecological destruction. And a growing body of evidence suggests that these worsening problems, and the failure to address them, are taking an emotional toll.
Among those studying this phenomenon is Britt Wray, 35, a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University’s Center for Innovation in Global Health. Wray recently coauthored the largest-ever survey of climate anxiety in teenagers and young adults, a 10-nation study published in The Lancet, which found that climate change is having a profound impact on young people. She is also the author of the new book, Generation Dread: Finding Purpose in an Age of Climate Crisis.
In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Wray explains how climate anxiety is greatest for Gen Z — those born between 1997 and 2012 — who have been bombarded with news of climate disasters on social media. They feel betrayed, she says, by government inaction and dismayed when told they are overreacting to what they see as an existential threat. More than half of the 16- to 25-year-olds in the Lancet survey said they believe humanity is doomed. And close to 40 percent said that fears about the future have made them reluctant to have children of their own.
Read more at Yale Environment 360
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