‘Eco-anxious’ young people are losing faith in leaders, says artist

Climate activist Clover Hogan says young people are – justifiably – terrified and angry about the future.

5 key takeaways from the IPCC’s landmark climate report

Young people in the UK are suffering severe anxiety about the climate emergency and no longer trust authority figures because of their inaction, according to activist Clover Hogan.

Clover, 22, is a researcher and podcaster on the growing problem of eco-anxiety – heightened emotional, mental, or somatic distress in response to dangerous changes in the climate system.

Eco-anxiety is a growing problem among young people. Research by Friends of the Earth found 70 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds are eco-anxious.

She said: “It feels like an increasingly difficult time to be a young person with social media, doomscrolling, and living through the pandemic. Climate change can cause added feelings of stress, anger and powerlessness.

“We have been raised to put faith in our institutions like business, education, and government, but we’re losing faith in these institutions.

“Action has not been taken at the pace or scale required and it can feel despairing and hopeless.

“All too often young people are faced with a choice between a climate change denier and a procrastinator.”

But these negative emotions can have a positive effect, says Clover, who is also the founder of Force of Nature, a youth non-profit organisation that aims to mobilise the emerging generation of leaders for climate action.

“It is easy to say eco-anxiety is a problem, but it’s a healthy natural response,” she said.

“The problem isn’t feeling eco-anxious, it’s proof we are awake to the climate crisis.

“We have seen young people becoming agents of change by channelling their feelings into action.”

Clover urges young people to not run away from the feelings but think about where they can have an impact as an individual and focus on it, rather than be overwhelmed by all aspects of the climate crisis.

The second series of Clover’s Force of Nature Podcast launches this month. She will interview 11 guests about how to combat feelings of powerlessness towards climate change across fields including plastic, fast fashion, politics, education, and social media.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in