If there’s one thing people should be knowing is how climate is an essential means to how you visualize the environment around you. With our global climate impact reaching an all-time high in 2022, it’s never been clearer that climate change poses the most imminent threat to our environment. This is something everyone should consider. Having that knowledge is important and it is affecting our mental health. Climate anxiety is also a very real phenomenon that stems from the overwhelming awareness of the human impact on the planet.
And there are several things that fall into this. We have to understand consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, pollution, degradation of natural resources, and use of fossil fuels. These are all integral elements.
What is the governmental response to the climate crisis? How many of us are asking that?
All of these elements lead to what we call climate change anxiety. A person who is affected may experience an inexplicable sense of despair and helplessness about the future of the planet. Do we ever stop and wonder just what is it we will be leaving the future generations?
Let me now share with you the very definition of climate anxiety. It is actually a state of extreme worry about the damage being done to the planet by humans. This condition is also common in young people—like millennials and Gen Z—who are more likely to shop for eco-friendly brands. You might notice how they are more concerned about their carbon footprint, so there are stronger programs around that focus on ways to recycle and prioritize sustainable living.
Climate anxiety is also called eco-anxiety—it is an awareness of the negative impact human practices have on the environment, an awareness that can feel overwhelming or debilitating at times. It may even be amplified for people of color, who are at higher risk of dying as a result of air pollution, floods, extreme heat, and other consequences of climate change.
Just consider the condition of Lahore in Winters. It is now that smog is completely engulfing the region. And there are serious consequences to it. You already know how it is affecting the air quality already and it is quite alarming just how our country’s strongest tourist city, a hub of cultural beauty, is getting so negatively impacted by the climate crisis.
Come to think of it- climate anxiety can manifest as leading to ruminative, distressing thoughts about future climate events. You may be seeing headlines announcing frightening new climate reports or developments (Another melting glacier! Another unprecedented wildfire!). These can be profoundly troubling. Some people experience a nagging sense of anxiety, irritability, or grief that they can’t shake; profound anger at people (especially governments or corporations) who aren’t taking action; or a sense of numbness, helplessness, or depression
If you suspect you may be experiencing climate anxiety, the first step in dealing with it is to recognize that you’re not alone. It is becoming a global concern. Even the most eco-friendly countries aren’t getting everything right. Climate anxiety is a normal response to the conditions that are actually happening in the world. We are going to feel anxiety when something we care about is under threat, and because climate change actually does threaten what we care about, climate anxiety is an entirely appropriate response. So I feel this is probably one of the most real emotions to go through in the New Year. Not just that, it is imperative that the government plays a far more stronger role in this by adapting and leading ways in creating stronger awareness of climate anxiety. This means initiating campaigns, and awareness groups. online forums- anything which is going to get our youth to take notice and talk of the existing situation and ways in which we can make a difference. It is the youth who can get something done if anything. Otherwise, the fate of our one home- our planet, is highly dubious.