In this edition ‘The Big Collaboration’ has explored campus opinion on whether students experience climate anxiety. Our Editors collected these opinions both through a questionnaire and on campus- did you see us?
The results have shown that 78.5% of students who completed the survey said yes and 21.5% said no regarding the issue.
DO EXPERIENCE CLIMATE ANXIETY:
Toby Bliss, Ecology and Conservation
I do a lot of study and research in this field for my degree but I believe it is too late for any meaningful change and I don’t see a reality where such drastic change is implemented on the scale needed.
Alex Lewis, History and International Relations
In a world where leaders are ignoring the climate crisis for capitalist gain, it often feels like striving for climate justice is a losing battle. The biggest problem we as a human race have ever faced is not even at the top of most politician’s agendas. It is excruciating to listen to UK leaders debate about economic growth when we are faced with extinction and societal collapse. Understandably, the above is extremely anxiety producing and has led to increased mental health issues among myself and my peers, something which we tend to discuss regularly.
Millie Donald, Psychology
Sometimes get overwhelmed when visiting cities and seeing big factories/airports and plastics in oceans
Saff Leicester, Chemistry
Don’t know what the future will be like and I like to set goals and plan ahead. I try to take part in activities which have less of an impact on the environment but should look to do more
Daisy Roscoe, Film Studies
The changes in the weather patterns, the increase of natural disasters and the impending consequence of climate change are already noticeable and affecting large parts of the world with little to no change from those who are actively contributing (billionaires, oil companies, fast fashion brands) and so whilst we are actively recording data decades before people had predicted the situation would reach this point we are also making it worse. We are living in a time of total climate crisis and because it isn’t as explicitly impacting the uk does not mean I’m apathetic to the countries that have been severely impacted such as Puerto Rico.
Jade Hoppe, Biomedical Science
Growing up in the Caribbean I’ve witnessed beaches slowly disappearing due to rising sea levels and harsher hurricane seasons. Smaller islands are some of the most at risk areas and it’s extremely worrying to see climate change so blatantly obvious while powerful leaders deny its existence
Ross McNally, MSc Global Biodiversity Conservation
The increased risk of global food insecurity suggests a precarious future within a few decades. Heatwaves and droughts, such as in India early this year or to a lesser extent in the UK this summer, indicate a greater pace of change than expected.
Olly DeHerrera, Anthropology
Climate anxiety is not a new thing in my culture. Our ancestors have been warning about the consequences of European-style capitalist extraction of the land ever since the first settlers arrived. When I visit my homelands each year I see less and less water in our rivers and lakes; many of our plains are now covered in invasive plant species and wildfires rage. Many of the landscape features my elders describe from their childhood simple don’t exist anymore because of climate destruction.
Sam Palmer, English Literature
Feeling of impending helpless doom
Ali Arief, MA Social Anthropology
I do, but it isn’t intense. The extreme weather of the Summer was worrying, and affected my sleep patterns to a point where it was affecting my life. That caused a lot of anxiety, however News reports on the climate don’t affect me too much, even though I know it’s something to panic about. I think I worry when I feel the effects of it in my life.
Mo Riches, Philosophy
It seems as if the consequences of climate change will be irreversible and will greatly impact everyone’s health and quality of life. And that the people in power, mainly the government, are too driven by money to put in place the measure needed to minimise the impact.
Allie Dolen, Law
Because we are slowly killing all the things in the world that make it so precious
Ruby Elliott, International Development
Can feels as if the media, government and older generations blame young people and their actions for climate change rather than taking their responsibility. Combined with the late action taken by such organisations it almost feels as if the world is ending, with the record-breaking fires, floods and famines it now more than ever seems that no one in the powerful positions want to take serious action to mitigate the effects of climate change on those most vulnerable and shame those that do take the appropriate measures to will make change possible.
Freddie Price, International Relations
Disproportionate effects of global climate warming, particularly those regions who have not been core contributors. How can these nations adapt and develop in such a volatile and competitive world?
Just looking around the UK this past summer, everything was burned and dry to a crisp. The trees looked brittle and the grass would crunch beneath your feet. I can’t remember a summer like this.
How are global demands going to be able to cope with adverse and inconsistent meteorological patterns that have for so long been relied upon?
Resource scarcity – environmental migration
Hal Norman, Politics and International Relations
News reports/social media content regarding the climate emergency are overwhelming at times. Political leaders in the UK and Europe being ambiguous/uninterested on the issue adds to the crisis.
Rhys Mather, Psychology and Neuroscience
The world’s leading scientists have been telling us for decades we need to take action and we just haven’t. It’s too far gone now, Pakistan is underwater and we had wildfires in the UK. This is reality now and it’s terrifying. My brother is looking for mortgages and sea level is a major consideration.
Ziyang, Banking and Finance
Climate change affect the mental health
The way governments and corporations treat climate change as an obscure thing creates an idea that climate change is fake, which then contributes to the perpetuation that it’s nothing to worry about
Isla Thorpe, Ecology and Conservation
Concern/sadness about threatened survival of human and wildlife species
Lucy Jolly, English and Drama
The change of weather and the decline of wildlife, especially in insects such as bee’s
Jessi Kitchen, Zoology
I’ve been reading about the science for years and seeing the predictions, and now we’re seeing a lot of the predictions coming true such as the increasingly dangerous weather – which as well as seeing on the news (e.g. with the recent floods in Pakistan), I’ve experienced first hand through living in Australia and seeing my friends have to evacuate their homes because of bushfires and then the next year having my own home flooded. And this is just at 1.2 degrees of warming – how much worse is it going to get?
Mitchell Phillips White, Politics and International Relations
I experience it everyday. It’s a double edged sword, in being aware of the climate crisis, to take action but to also feel powerless against it. Hearing about Pakistan, hurricane Ian in Florida and this year’s heatwaves in the UK have filled me with rage and anxiety. However, taking action with Just Stop Oil has made me feel better as to actually doing something about it.
DO NOT EXPERIENCE CLIMATE ANXIETY:
Sophie McMahon, MA Contemporary History
While I definitely used to feel a lot of anxiety about the climate, this has definitely (and probably surprisingly) faded in recent years. I do my bit for the environment- recycle, reuse and reduce my consumption where possible- but beyond that I feel helpless. Any real and serious changes have to come from huge companies and corporations and although they seem to be making progress, I am in no doubt that the majority of this is greenwashing. It feels far too late anyway for us to reverse the inevitable. Therefore while it is always going to be a worry, I no longer feel persisting anxiety about it.
Stevie Palmer, Politics and International Relations
I used to experience a lot of climate anxiety, but when i realise how much of the damage was being done by big corporations, i realised it’s mainly out of my hands so gave up worrying
Ania Ostrowski, Law
Not enough education
Climate crisis is too far gone. What’s the point in being anxious about it? Also will be dead when it is a major problem
Toby Ward, Philosophy and English
I probably should, but I currently worry about other things that affect me more
Not something I think about on a regular basis
The Comment team are so grateful to everyone who submitted a response through our questionnaire or came up to us whilst we were on campus- every single person who did so made this edition possible, thank you!