|3 Environmental Doomsday Myths, DebunkedClimate change is real, but it’s not the end of the world.|
Jack ElbaumSunday, October 17, 2021
For many, thinking about the future of our planet is terrifying. According to a global survey reported by the BBC, 56 percent of young people believe that humanity is doomed because of climate change and 45 percent say that their anxiety about the climate affects their daily lives. Here in the US, the story is much the same; three-quarters of Americans believe that climate change will result in the extinction of man, and one in five millennials believe that that extinction will occur within their lifetime.
A college student recently wrote the following in a campus newspaper about her climate anxiety:
I stay up into the early hours of the morning, Googling some variation of “Is there hope for climate change,” and “Biden climate change plan good?” (...) I fret over every piece of waste I encounter, wondering whether I should trash it or wash it and hope it qualifies for the recycling bin. What if I wash the aluminum foil I heated leftover lasagna on, does it become recyclable then? The anxiety is crippling.
Many young people clearly are suffering intense climate anxiety. And who can blame them? Because so much of the information they consume on the issue — both from the news media and social media — is apocalyptic in nature, this is an inevitable outcome.