Why eco-anxiety is on the rise

A sixth mass extinction. Thinning of ice sheets. Sea level rise. We are thawing Arctic permafrost. The full tragedy of climate change is unraveling before our eyes. The reality of climate change hit many after the 2018 IPCC report, which said we faced major environmental catastrophe potentially as soon as 2040. The news was a bereavement a calamity we engineered without knowing it. “You’re talking about a mix of confusing feelings, including depression, grief, rage, despair, hopelessness, guilt, and shame.

All of those feelings come with it,” says Caroline Hickman, a member of the Climate Psychology Alliance. For many, these conflicted feelings are now part of daily life. The American Psychological Association depict this “unending trepidation of ecological fate” as eco-uneasiness. Hickman has been a psychotherapist for 20 years, and before last year she had two or three patients with eco-anxiety.

Pretty much everybody is referring to it now,” she says. “Lots of people are saying they won’t have children. Others say they on want to feel guilty about having a child and bringing it into a World where they know there’ll be lots of problems. One Woman told me she fantasied about killing her child.”

Professor Albert Thomas, from the school of biological and marine sciences at the University of Plymouth, spent years producing scientific papers on the impacts of climate change but saw little to no action being taken by governments.

She became “professionally depressed” and considered abandoning her climate research entirely. This is despite her being one of the most influential scientists of our time and a named official contributor to IPCC receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 with Al Gore. Not many nations are right now doing a lot to stop atmosphere breakdown. Even if countries were to implement their Paris Agreement pledges fully, temperatures would probably still rise by 3C by the end of the century. “Eco-anxiety is only. They are going to increase. I don’t see how it can’t,” says Havick_man. Taking control of individual emissions can dramatically improve people’s mental state, she says. Maria. then ignoring the issue, getting informed and involved — with things like climate cafes, school strikes or parent groups — lessens feelings of hopelessness and loss of control.

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