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LA Times: Bye, Bye ‘Climate depression’ – ‘For young Californians, climate change is a mental health crisis too’ – But children are turning to activism & ‘literally organizing out of climate anxiety’

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

LA Times reports that children are so distressed by what they have been taught about the alleged climate crisis, some are committing suicide. Others are embracing radical climate activism as a coping mechanism for their climate mental health crisis.

For young Californians, climate change is a mental health crisis too



DEC. 27, 20205 AM

Without reducing those emissions, climate change will make natural disasters, food shortages and rising sea levels even worse, experts say. The world is not yet on track to make the changes necessary to ameliorate its worst effects.

Climate depression played a central role in teenage activist Greta Thunberg’s political awakening, and according to Varshini Prakash — executive director of youth-focused climate activism group the Sunrise Movement — it’s not uncommon for her group to meet kids who have contemplated suicide over the climate crisis.

Lifestyle changes “empower individuals to feel like they can act,” said Abby Austin, 23, the political lead for the Sunrise Movement’s L.A. branch — echoing medical professionals who say that even small personal actions can help people feel like broader change remains possible.

Getting involved with activism can serve a similar function. Many young Californians said volunteering with climate advocacy groups like the Sunrise Movement or for politicians who have made climate change a central plank in their platforms has given them a sense of purpose. 

“A lot of the people who are in Sunrise,” Austin said, “are literally organizing out of climate anxiety.”

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Feed kids a constant diet of climate anxiety; some commit suicide, some turn to radical activism, some choose to become vegans or withdraw from life or vow to never bring children of their own into what they believe will be a ruined world.

The solution is obvious. Stop frightening the children.

Parents in a war zone don’t take young children out every day to see a bloody parade of all the mutilated corpses, they try to shield their kids from the horror, to give their children as normal a childhood as possible, even in the most impossible circumstances.

But climate activists don’t seem to behave that way. Activists seem to delight in “preparing kids for the future”, by feeding them as much horror and misery as they can pack into a school day. When the kids get home, the indoctrination is far from over. The kids get to tune into often government funded climate documentaries, to reinforce the unhappiness they learned at school.

No wonder the kids end up so messed up.

Even if you believe that the climate crisis is real and imminent, even if you believe we are all going to die in the next few decades, taking joy from the lives of children is an unspeakable act of cruelty.