BCAG has been thinking much about youth, young adults, and younger children lately. There is increasing evidence of mental health issues related to climate change. The term
is becoming a cultural meme. Gen Alpha kids (born since 2010) are asking questions; parents are expressing challenges as they seek to respond.
USA Today published an article titled “
The kids are all fight: How millennials, Gen Z are driving change on climate.”
It is wonderful that younger generations are engaged with their future and recognize that humanity must take urgent actions to mitigate climate change. They are seriously stepping up to the
challenge. Sadly, this engagement adds a cost to mental health, well-being, and the ability to focus on school, home, and work.
It Takes a Village
Another recent article in USA Today challenges those of older generations to stop being dependent on the youth to make the critical changes to address climate change:
Trying to save the world is leaving young climate change activists exhausted and frustrated
. While being engaged, determined and prepared to “fight,” activists of younger generations often feel immense pressure (and sometimes anger), while individuals of older generations
express how they are hopeful for the future due to these younger people fighting for our planet.
Younger generations do not want to be burdened with the responsibility of mitigating the crisis they have inherited. One youth said, “To wait for (young activists) feels like a
dismissal of the responsibility of adults, who could do something now.”
In the Ted Talk,
Gen Z’s mental health is a climate priority
, KD Hurlbutt, a Stanford environmental engineer and founder of Bask + Being, stated, “The earth is burning up and so are we. If we are serious about solving the climate crisis, we
have to address mental health and nobody knows this better than Gen Z.”