Nearly three-quarters of Americans suffer eco-anxiety

Eco-anxiety is a growing problem throughout the world as the effects of the climate crisis become more pronounced

Samuel Webb
Tuesday 09 November 2021 15:46
<p>The devastating wildfires in the US have sparked public fears about climate change </p>

The devastating wildfires in the US have sparked public fears about climate change

A survey has revealed that more Americans than ever are fearful of the ravages of man-made climate change – causing many to suffer anxiety or depression

Yale University’s Climate Change in the American Mind survey found that an all-time record 70% of Americans are now very or somewhat worried about global warming.

Researchers added: “The percentage of those ‘very worried’ increased 10 points since March.

“Americans’ perception that global warming is a threat has increased dramatically.

“And for the first time, a majority (55%) of Americans now say that people in the United States are being harmed ‘right now’ by global warming.” Noah Oderberg, a psychologist working in Oakland, told ABC7: "You may have heard of PTSD – post-traumatic stress disorder. A psychiatrist came up with pre-PTSD because it’s not a trauma that’s already occurred.

“It’s a fear of a future trauma so it’s this new idea, and it involves anxiety and depression. It’s very new and the field of psychology is not prepared for it."

Clover Hogan researches the growing issue of eco-anxiety

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.

In September the Independent spoke to Clover Hogan, a UK researcher and podcaster in the field of eco-anxiety. She says young people are suffering severe anxiety about the climate emergency and no longer trust authority figures because of their inaction.

Clover, 22, 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.”

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