Highlights

  • 56% of young people think humanity is doomed, finds global climate anxiety survey
  • The rising climate crisis has made 75% of people frightened of the future
  • 41% of Indian youth surveyed were hesitant to have children of their own

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Doomsday approaching? Young people the world over believe so

More than half of young people aged 16-25 think that the future of our planet is doomed, according to a global survey of 10,000 youngsters across 10 countries.

Childhood is said to be the most carefree period in one’s life but a new largest-of-its-kind study has tossed that belief out of the window!

More than half (56 per cent) of young people aged 16-25 think that the future of our planet is doomed, according to a global survey of 10,000 youngsters across 10 countries. Nearly 74 per cent of Indian children, in particular, agreed with the belief that ‘humanity is doomed,’ which was the highest of all nations surveyed.

Future is frightening

Awaiting peer-reviewal with Lancet Planetary Health, the report shows how the ever-increasing climate crisis is damning the psychological health of young people. Ferocious floods, rising temperatures, cyclones, wildfires, landslides and many more disasters have been attributed to climate change and it is no surprise that more than 75 per cent of all those surveyed say that the ‘future is frightening.’

SEE MORE UN climate change report is 'code red for humanity'

Many, including 41 per cent in India, are also hesitant to consider having children of their own. Their feelings of climate anxiety range from sad, afraid and anxious to fear, anger, despair, grief, shame, and a little bit of hope.

Blame governments for inadequate response

Around 65 per cent of young people also believe that the government response to climate issues has failed young people, including 71 per cent of Indians. Children in Brazil, where deforestation of the Amazon rainforest has soared under President Bolsonaro, were especially enraged at 78 per cent, found the survey.

Last month, a UNICEF report launched with youth climate activists including Greta Thunberg, said that almost half the world’s 2.2 billion children were already at “extremely high risk” from the impacts of the climate crisis and pollution.

SEE MORE Climate Crisis: It's only going to get hotter!

The authors of the study state that children’s emotional response is completely rational. What more do governments need to hear to take action?

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