ECO-ANXIETY
WHO|October 18, 2021
How climate change is taking its toll on our mental health

Has the state of the environment got you feeling helpless? You’re not alone. In early August a report was released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), detailing the devastating impact humans have had on the planet.

It found global climate change is rapidly intensifying, along with its effects including floods, droughts, and cyclones. Some effects (such as rising sea levels) are irreversible, at least for the next few centuries.

“It has been clear for decades that the earth’s climate is changing, and the role of human influence on the climate system is undisputed,” said IPCC Working Group I co-chair Valérie Masson-Delmotte.

“Stabilising the climate will require strong, rapid and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and reaching net zero CO2 emissions,” her co-chair Panmao Zhai stated.

For many, this feels like another crushing blow in a year that has been defined by uncertainty, loss and despair. For others, it’s simply reinforced ever-present anxieties about the state of the environment. This state of worry has become so widespread there’s even a term for it: eco-anxiety.

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