Eco-Anxiety anyone?

Posted in: Comment

Matthew Adams, a psychologist from the University of Brighton writes in The Conversation with tips for coping with eco-anxiety.  I don't actually know anyone who has it to the extent that it debilities them although I think I've come across such people on line and in print, but that not the same thing.  Youth, we're constantly told, is particularly susceptible.

I came across an opportunity sample of teens the other day.  So I asked them whether they suffered.  And far from suffering, they told me that they'd not even heard of eco-anxiety.  I was a bit taken aback so I explained what it was thinking it might have a trendier name on their social media of choice.  Nope.  Still not heard of it, and not something they had.

I was both relieved – who'd want anyone to be eco-anxious? – and puzzled.  I know the family; the youngsters come from a caring, literate, Guardian-reading, socially-connected, culturally Marxist, home, go to a city comprehensive school, and are nose-deep in social media.  Had their parents failed them in some way perhaps?  Should they have tried to make them care so much about the future that they became anxious?  Obviously not!

So I came away pleased; it is, after all, not a healthy condition and neither necessary nor helpful.  But there's plenty of time for anxiety to be acquired should they wish – or should others wish to persuade them it's a good idea.

Posted in: Comment


  • (we won't publish this)

Write a response

  • An interesting observation. Since fear is such a motivator for many 'green policies' I am surprised that eco-anxiety isn't more wide spread. I suspect now that research is showing it isn't elevated enough, it will propagate more 'educational' materials to ensure it does grow. I prefer hope, truth, innovations, and discussions as an antigen to many of our eco-problems, but eco-anxiety does allow policies that wouldn't pass muster in any usual state of affairs.