Stop telling children that they will die of climate change

Does climate change The biggest threat to mankind? Many people will say so. Young people are especially desperate.A sort of Recent survey 10,000 16-25 year olds in 10 countries were asked about their climate change. The result is damn. More than half of the people said that “humanity is destined to perish”; three-quarters said that the future is terrifying; 55% said that they have fewer opportunities than their parents; 52% said that their family safety would be threatened; 39 % Of people are therefore hesitant to have children. These attitudes are consistent in rich and poor countries, large and small: from the United States and the United Kingdom to Brazil, the Philippines, India, and Nigeria.

It is completely reasonable for young people to feel this way. I have been there. Today, most of my work is focused on research, writing and thinking about climate change. But this is an area that I almost stay away from. Having just graduated from university with a degree in environmental science and climate change, it is difficult to see that I can make any contribution. I switched back and forth between anger and despair. Any effort seemed to be in vain, and I almost gave up. Thankfully, my perspective has changed. I am glad it did. Not only do I continue to work on climate, but I am also convinced that if I stay in the previous way of thinking, the positive impact of my work will be many times the positive impact it produces. This is why I believe that if we are to make progress on the climate issue, we need to unmask our pessimism.

Let us be clear: climate change is one of the biggest problems we face. It comes with many risks—some are certain, some are uncertain—and we are not moving fast enough to reduce emissions. However, the communication about what we need in the future seems to be malfunctioning. None of the climate scientists I know and trust — they certainly understand risks better than almost anyone — are willing to accept a forgotten future. Most of them have children. In fact, they often have several. The same goes for young people. Now, giving birth is not an automatic qualification for rational decision-making. But it shows that those who study climate change day after day are optimistic that their children will have a life worth living.

That’s why I’m shocked that most young people today feel them no future. Many people may also give up childbearing. This mentality not only appears in the survey data, but also in line with my personal experience. I am in my twenties and always hear it from my friends. The predicament of whether to bring the child into a world that is heading for destruction is real.

One of the latest and shocking examples of this doomsday mentality comes from a group of young activists before the German election. This self-proclaimed “last generation” organization went on a hunger strike for nearly a month. Several people ended up admitted to the hospital. A man told his parents and friends that they might never see him again. Another reporter told reporters that hunger “is nothing compared to what we could expect when the climate crisis triggered famine in Europe 20 years later.” I don’t know where this statement came from. Not from a scientist. No credible person made this claim. Climate change will affect agriculture. In some regions—especially some of the poorest countries in the world—this is a major cause for concern. That’s why I spent so much time on it. But what about famine in temperate Europe? Within 20 years?

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