I have generalised in the title but I want to make the point that the adult humans of this planet through their carelessness and lack of foresight have led children down the path of global warming which is making them depressed. It is the children of today who have to face the future of tomorrow. It is during their lives that they will have to face the increased impact of global warming.
Today’s leaders will be dead by the time global warming intensifies to the point where it will have a dramatic impact on daily life. Is this one reason why they are careless about tackling it?
Lack of control
Children don’t have any control over climate change. That’s up to the adults. And when you see something which affects you negatively over which you have no control the result is anxiety. And anxiety leads to depression and depression can lead to suicides. And there’s been an increase in child suicides over the past recent years.
The New Yorker journalist, Andrew Solomon, has written a lengthy article entitled ‘The Mystifying Rise of Child Suicide’. He describes a “burgeoning mental health emergency” among children of the world.
The article centres around a very intelligent boy called Trevor. He was talented. He could have achieved an awful lot during his life. When he was 12, he jumped off his parent’s apartment building and fell to the pavement below dying instantly. It was sudden and unexpected.
A significant percentage of child suicides are sudden and unexpected because they harbour suicidal thoughts without any outward signs. They marinate in their heads the idea that they’re going to end their lives and have the courage to do it. It is frighteningly sad and depressing for adults to read about it.
Despondent young man
I recently wrote about a young man who was so despondent about climate change that he took his life. I entered the title of the article, “Young man despondent about climate change takes his own life” into Google search. And a plethora of articles rollout in Google search results about climate anxiety in children. A bit shocking.
Some of the headlines are despairing such as on the website vice.com, “Climate despair is making people give up on life”. There are hundreds of articles about the impact of climate change on mental health. Climate change is about the future. If young people see no future because of global warming it’s bound to have a very negative impact on their mental health.
And of course, this comes on the back of Covid-19 which damaged the world’s economies which also resulted in a lack of optimism about the future. The future is for children. It is they who are more concerned about the future and I believe this is a major reason for the increase in child suicides and mental health problems.
Covid-19 is about the chronic relationship between people and animals. It started in China either through abuses of wild animals in a wet market or in a Wuhan lab where there were further abuses of animals (bats) in animal testing for biowarfare. That’s how I understand it.
The adults of this world not only abused animals to create a worldwide pandemic they’ve also allowed their thoughtless behaviour to harm the world’s climate. The adults are not doing very well, are they? The children see this.
And we have leaders like Putin who, rather than dealing with climate change, has decided to embark on an expansionist, imperialist policy to turn the clock back and create a modern USSR. The result is death and destruction with many thousands of civilians killed including 500 children many of whom were deliberately murdered by drunk, Russian mercenaries who were former prisoners in Russian jails. Not doing very well, are we? Russia’s main income is the sale of oil and gas, old forms of energy which leads to global warming.
The children read about these things and it dents any hope that they have for the future. The possibility of a world war or a nuclear war hangs over today’s children. That adds to anxiety. It’s a genuine possibility. China is winding itself up towards a war with Taiwan. America has pledged to defend Taiwan. That looks like a possible world war situation when you throw in the Ukraine war which is dragging on.
These unnecessary wars are distracting leaders from dealing with climate change. And they are expensive. Stopping climate change is going to be incredibly expensive. Humans need to conserve money and prioritise its expenditure. Top of the priorities is slowing global warming.
This is in the interests of all our children and all the animals with whom we share the planet. I’m depressed about the management of the world so I can understand why children are.
There is a study on The Lancet website about climate anxiety in children and young people and their beliefs about government responses. They surveyed 10,000 children and young people in 10 countries.
The study reveals that 59% of them were very worried or extremely worried, and 84% were at least moderately worried.
And more than half the participants “reported each of the following emotions: sad, anxious, angry, powerless, helpless, and guilty.”
Almost half said that their feelings about climate change affected their daily life. It affected the way they functioned. Many had negative thoughts about climate change. For example, three quarters of the participants said that the future is frightening and 8/10 of the participants said that “people have failed to take care of the planet”.
They felt that governments had failed them and they rated government responses to climate change negatively. They feel betrayed.
They are experiencing climate anxiety and dissatisfaction with government responses. These thoughts are widespread in children and young people across the planet.
The adults of this world need to step up to the plate and do something about it. Not tomorrow but today.