No grandchildren? Climate change may be to blame

Source: katleho Seisa / E+ / Getty Images

(A native of England, veteran journalist Matthew Diebel has worked at NBC News, Time, USA Today and News Corp., among other organizations.)

My daughter is 23 and, as is often usual for a mother (or grandmother or aunt), my wife often asks about boyfriend prospects, wondering aloud about whether she’ll ever have grandchildren. “Oh, mom, give up,” Lydia says in frustration, usually dismissing the enquiries by saying most men she meets are “useless” or “boring.”

Last summer, however — during one of 2022’s scorching heat waves — she had another response. “Why would I want to bring children into the world when climate change and all the other craziness is around?” she asked.

She is not alone. In a recent survey by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), almost three-quarters (73%) of 16- to 24-year-olds reported that the climate crisis was having a negative effect on their mental health. The figure was from 61% in 2020, reports The Guardian, which highlighted the views of several teens and young adults.

One of them, a 24-year-old named Jem, 24, told the paper she has been losing sleep over global warming. “Over the last two years, I have felt growing anxiety at the state of the environment. It keeps me up at night,” said the nature conservation worker. “I worry about what future I should be planning for. … I know the science and the stark realities of it. There’s no fix to the anxiety because you know [the climate] is going to get worse.”…

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