Young generation experience stress over climate crisis: survey
One in five young people experience stress when they think about the climate, according to a survey by Ipsos on behalf of Milieudefensie Jong released on Tuesday. According to the climate activist group, this is the first serious research into climate stress. The survey was conducted among a representative group of young people aged 16 to 30.
The vast majority of the people surveyed experience negative feelings caused by the climate crisis. One in five experience stress. 75 percent sometimes feel powerless. Moreover, 25 percent avoid climate news, and 23 percent even have doubts about having children because of the climate crisis.
“These figures are no surprise, but it still hurts to see how big this problem is,” said Winnie Oussoren, chairman of Milieudefensie Jong. "We were already an unlucky generation due to the loan system, and now we're a stressed generation as well,” she added.
Four in 10 of those surveyed believe that global warming has reached a critical stage and that the world must act now. A minority of 7 percent think it is already too late for that. On the other hand, 16 percent think climate change is nothing more than a "point of interest" and "largely exaggerated." 4 percent think it is "not a concern" at all.
42 percent of respondents are changing their behavior to combat the crisis. However, almost half of the people surveyed believe their own actions will make little difference as long as large corporations do too little about climate change. The responsibility to fight climate change lies, according to the majority of people surveyed, with politicians and businesses. However, two-thirds of respondents feel they are doing too little to combat the climate crisis.
Only 12 percent of young people think they themselves can make much of a difference in the fight against the climate crisis. “This, combined with low trust in politics, shows where climate stress can come from. Behind this is the idea that you as an individual cannot make a difference and that politics can, but take too little action,” the study reads.
15 percent said they do nothing to combat climate change because “there is no point anyway.” 8 percent admitted they are becoming more radical, and 21 percent increasingly feel the need to take action for the climate. “I have been active in the climate movement since I was 16 because I have experienced climate stress from an early age. Taking action helps me,” explained Oussoren.