Eco-anxiety : Which role plays society in this?

This post was written by a student. It has not been fact checked or edited.


I believe that it's very efficient for the younger generations to inform themselves more about climate change in order to be able to step into action and make a difference for the coming future. Everyone needs to adapt in some way, questioning and changing their usual lifestyle and investing an amount of time to help find a way out of this crisis.

But this seems to be a way bigger task and not so easily put into action.

Eco-anxiety is caused by the extreme presence of climate change in the news and refers to a pressuring feeling created by serious concerns about environmental issues. This can lead to panic attacks, sleeplessness and loss of appetite.

The condition is not a medical diagnosis but it is spreading more and more, in view of the fact that the global warming situation is steadily worsening.

Nowadays there are many people aware of climate change.

The only difference is that some choose to recognize this occurring issue and try to actively fight for changes. While others ignore it and act like all the news are exaggerating and climate change isn't a severe problem.

The ones that are ignoring the signs mostly are aware of the fact that the planet is changing to the worse and things are getting more critical for animals, farmers as also for nature itself, but they aren't personally affected, so they won't evaluate it as an issue for them. This leads to no change in their usual routine and the lifestyle that could be more climate friendly lives on.

While on the other hand there are people whose lives are threatened by climate change, because of unexpected flooding or extreme droughts that they have to bear.

People suffer from hunger and their homes get destroyed which leads to immense difficulties for their countries.

But why is it so hard for society to do something against it?

One cause is the human disability to evaluate small changes over a large time frame and the mindset that is spread among them.

Small actions won't change the greater outcome.

They are not willing to restrict their daily habits because they think their contribution is too small to make a relevant impact. They look at it as an isolated action.

And particularly when the neighbor keeps on driving the big car, they don't see why they should take a step back and reduce their lives.

So all these people not caring about their actions, that bring along consequences, which is then shown in the media are the cause for younger people suffering under Eco anxious feelings.

They believe that no one is understanding the seriousness of this lurking danger.

Eco-anxiety has received more attention especially since late 2018 with Greta Thunberg discussing her own Eco-anxiety publicly. Greta is a famous young environmental activist and founded the fridays for future movement, which led many young students to demonstrate on the streets on fridays to change climate politics.

Even though there are many reasons to be worried about the future, people like Greta show that an individual is able to bring massive attention to a hot topic like this one.

It spreads hope and gives people, especially young people, the feeling of not being left alone.

So the importance to overcome Eco-anxiety is to look for others that are also fighting for a better planet and show that this struggle isn't ignored.