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  #1  
Old 14th May 2019, 17:45
Moksha Moksha is offline
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Default Eco Anxiety

I was just listening to a show on Radio 4 about this new phenomena labelled 'eco anxiety'. As you can guess, it's people freaking out about climate change. They spoke to a psychiatrist who'd seen a massive increase in clients with anxiety/panic attacks induced by news reports and articles on global warming. Several even described plans to kill their children then take an overdose if law and order breaks down and we have food riots, etc. Presumably, people with SA are more vulnerable to these kinds of triggers than most. Do things like climate change affect your base level of anxiety?
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  #2  
Old 14th May 2019, 20:04
Mole58 Mole58 is offline
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Default Re: Eco Anxiety

I got in a right tizz recently when I realised the very first toothbrush I had is still somewhere in the environment. Probably in a landfill somewhere, but if it is floating in the sea and about to be swallowed by a lovely sea turtle ........... arghh!!!!
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  #3  
Old 15th May 2019, 08:53
Melangell Melangell is offline
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Default Re: Eco Anxiety

yes, massively

saw something yesterday that koala bears are now classed as 'functionally extinct' meaning there are some left, but not a sustainable population. The fact that the world we grew up in is disappearing in our life time is a bit too much to cope with.

This morning I woke up thinking, why are governments so short sighted and stupid that they are still pursuing 'economic growth' in the face of the end of the world, instead of planting a trillion trees.
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  #4  
Old 15th May 2019, 09:23
Marco Marco is offline
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Default Re: Eco Anxiety

Global warming and the catastrophic effects on ecosystems are a huge worry for me too. I think a major underlying problem is human overpopulation, which needs to be addressed in tandem with climate control.

I'm not sure whether SA sufferers are necessarily any more or less prone to added anxiety over global issues like climate than other people though. I see SA as an inward looking type of anxiety.
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  #5  
Old 15th May 2019, 13:39
Fungus Fungus is offline
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Default Re: Eco Anxiety

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marco
Global warming and the catastrophic effects on ecosystems are a huge worry for me too. I think a major underlying problem is human overpopulation, which needs to be addressed in tandem with climate control.
Yes, it always amazes me how this is almost totally ignored in favour of talking about climate change alone. 75 million new humans a year all wanting access to land, food and other resources is only going to make matters worse and push many more species to the brink of extinction.

In regards to worrying about climate change, not much now really, perhaps if I was younger. I did get worried about Yellowstone supervolcano blowing up a few years ago but thats what watching too much Youtube does to you! When people talk about the advancement of human kind as unstoppable they forget that we have natural and unavoidable ice ages, meteor strikes and supervolcanoes anyway which will basically annihilate much of civilisation.
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  #6  
Old 15th May 2019, 14:33
Moksha Moksha is offline
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Default Re: Eco Anxiety

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fungus
Yes, it always amazes me how this is almost totally ignored in favour of talking about climate change alone. .

.
The explanation is very simple - overpopulation is one of the few things you can't blame on white people. Africa has by far the highest birth rate in the world, while white Europeans are hardly reproducing (I think Germany is barely at replacement level).

Those who care most about the environment tend to be on the liberal-left. To people like that, all the world's problems begin and end with white Western men. Slowing the world's birth rate is the single best thing we could do. But self-hating Western liberals are NEVER going to tell black Africans not to have so many kids!! When climate change causes havoc in Africa, that booming young population is going to head north to Europe (and we will then be criticised for not letting them in). It's already happening , but you ain't seen nothing yet. In turn, that will cause enormous tensions within Europe and probably result in right-wing populist parties gaining power. Terrifying.

(btw, I'm not saying Westerners are blameless! Our greed and high consumption are also a massive problem)
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  #7  
Old 15th May 2019, 15:39
choirgirl choirgirl is offline
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Default Re: Eco Anxiety

It's hard to get people to have few children AND consume very little though, and we need both.
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  #8  
Old 15th May 2019, 15:51
Moksha Moksha is offline
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Default Re: Eco Anxiety

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Originally Posted by choirgirl
It's hard to get people to have few children AND consume very little though, and we need both.
Well, we need Africans to have fewer children and Westerners to stop consuming so much. White Westerners are barely reproducing, so they can't be blamed for that, and it's not the Africans who are flying everywhere and having fruit imported from the other side of the world.

This is the terrifying thing about climate change - it's a global problem. Some neurotic young mother in London, who is freaking out about her children's future, can do virtually nothing. She can give up meat, stop flying, recycle her yoghurt pots, etc. Great. But it isn't going to make much difference when Mrs Mumbezi from Nigeria has just had her tenth child and some fat hick in Texas is driving around in a gas-guzzling truck.
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  #9  
Old 15th May 2019, 16:22
Fungus Fungus is offline
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Default Re: Eco Anxiety

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moksha
The explanation is very simple - overpopulation is one of the few things you can't blame on white people. Africa has by far the highest birth rate in the world, while white Europeans are hardly reproducing (I think Germany is barely at replacement level).

Those who care most about the environment tend to be on the liberal-left. To people like that, all the world's problems begin and end with white Western men. Slowing the world's birth rate is the single best thing we could do. But self-hating Western liberals are NEVER going to tell black Africans not to have so many kids!! When climate change causes havoc in Africa, that booming young population is going to head north to Europe (and we will then be criticised for not letting them in). It's already happening , but you ain't seen nothing yet. In turn, that will cause enormous tensions within Europe and probably result in right-wing populist parties gaining power. Terrifying.

(btw, I'm not saying Westerners are blameless! Our greed and high consumption are also a massive problem)
Yes, thats very true and of course the BBC and universities have also been taken over by liberal left fanatics who push this narrative at every opportunity. Its also why they love attacking Trump, Israel and UK but ignore homophobia, sexism and vast array of atrocities on minorities across Africa, Asia and the middle east.

But they also claim that when third world countries get richer they will also have less kids so population will naturally level out and then there will be no problem(usually quoting the late Hans Rosling and ignoring the only way to do this is to industrialise and actually increase pollution). Yet if this is true then why do all western countries still need massive levels of immigration for our economies to continue to grow as if we do then so will all third world countries.
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  #10  
Old 16th May 2019, 15:25
Jimmy77 Jimmy77 is offline
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Default Re: Eco Anxiety

True- the greens/liberals hardly ever mention overpopulation, yet that is clearly the root of the problem. And as has been pointed out, the reason it never gets mentioned is simple - you cant blame it on white people. David Wallace just published a terrifying new book on climate change. His vision of the near future (I mean the next few decades) is terrifying, ****ing apocalyptic in fact! Among other things, he quotes the UN prediction that Europe will contain at least 200 million climate refugees, mostly African and Muslim (more than the population of Germany and France combined).

Sometimes, I feel depressed and frightened that I am a single 40-something with no kids. But when you look at where we are headed (mass migration, water and food shortages, flooded cities, etc) it is a relief. Wells book, The Uninhabitable Earth, has been a bestseller in the States and was given a frighteningly long review in the Sunday Telegraph (it had clearly freaked out the reviewer). If I had just had a baby then read that review, l would not sleep for a week.
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  #11  
Old 16th May 2019, 17:21
gregarious_introvert gregarious_introvert is offline
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Default Re: Eco Anxiety

No, I don't suffer with eco anxiety; it is true that the world faces (and has faced, since the industrial revolution, even if people weren't aware of it) challenges, but catastrophising won't change anything. I do believe that we are still a long enough way from the tipping point that it will be several generations before these issues become unavoidable; of course, that isn't to say that we shouldn't be doing what we can to slow down or reverse the damage we are doing, but Armageddon is not as imminent as some would have us believe.

I don't believe that the African birth rate is the greatest threat; far more imminent is the worldwide carbon footprint and the resultant acceleration in climate change (let's not forget that climate change is cyclical, so all we are doing is making it happen faster) which threatens to make some parts of the world uninhabitable, either through rising sea levels, weather changes making farming unsustainable or increased frequency of natural disasters. Now, of course, fleeing a natural disaster or uninhabitable territory does not make someone a refugee under the UNHCR convention, but for most countries (although not the United Kingdom after some draconian changes to the Immigration Act over the past thirty years) it would make them worthy of special consideration - so if there is to be mass migration, it is more likely - in the short term - to come from Asia than Africa.

I would be a hypocrite if I were to claim that I am doing all I can to avert any future crisis: I took 30 flights last year and have taken 15 more so far this year (although, in my defence, all those flights were scheduled and would have happened with or without my presence), I do eat meat occasionally (I am lacto-vegetarian at home, but an omnivore when eating out) and I own a car (although I use public transport or walk unless absolutely necessary), but in all other areas I am about as green as I possibly can be. Consumerism fuelled by capitalism remains the greatest threat to the planet, but even if the crisis manifests sooner than I would have predicted, I do have more immediate and personal focus for my anxiety, rather than worrying about something I can't prevent. In the same way, I don't worry about nuclear war between India and Pakistan (although I was reminded of the possibility by recent events in Kashmir), or the fact that Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump both have access to "big red buttons" - if the world ends tomorrow, I'd rather be obliterated with a smile on my face than a frown.
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  #12  
Old 16th May 2019, 19:17
limey123 limey123 is offline
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Default Re: Eco Anxiety

When I saw the recent reports that XYZ many animal species are going extinct every year due to human behaviour, I know we are screwed. It's just a matter of time anyway. From that point of view, anyway, it seems mainly futile to worry about what will happen in the world in the future in political terms.
Not sure what I can personally do about this state of affairs - nothing, most likely. But it is depressing to think that we are being undone by our own success!
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  #13  
Old 16th May 2019, 21:35
BritishPeace BritishPeace is offline
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Default Re: Eco Anxiety

Not for me, I don't recycle or anything, I even throw my trash on the floor. The world will end no matter what I do (most scientists think in a few billion years earth will be engulfed by the sun when it expires its energy and grows to a red giant), so I don't see any point. And I'm going to die before that too, and I have no children, and I don't like people telling me what to do.
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  #14  
Old 17th May 2019, 09:41
Marco Marco is offline
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Default Re: Eco Anxiety

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregarious_introvert
No, I don't suffer with eco anxiety; it is true that the world faces (and has faced, since the industrial revolution, even if people weren't aware of it) challenges, but catastrophising won't change anything. I do believe that we are still a long enough way from the tipping point that it will be several generations before these issues become unavoidable; of course, that isn't to say that we shouldn't be doing what we can to slow down or reverse the damage we are doing, but Armageddon is not as imminent as some would have us believe.
I agree with most of what you say, GI, except that I don't share your optimism about the timescale - I think we're talking decades rather than generations if we don't act now.
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  #15  
Old 17th May 2019, 11:08
Copernicium Copernicium is offline
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Default Re: Eco Anxiety

Quote:
Originally Posted by BritishPeace
Not for me, I don't recycle or anything, I even throw my trash on the floor.
That's just being a slob, which is a personal problem rather than a global warming issue.
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  #16  
Old 17th May 2019, 15:31
Melangell Melangell is offline
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Default Re: Eco Anxiety

Yes, except that itís the attitude that Ďitís not my problemí that is the problem, people are too lazy and selfish to have concern for the environment or other inhabitants of the world. Even if the world is going to end anyway, doesnít mean we should be filling it up with our rubbish now, with no thought to how to manage all that waste. I have just seen a post on Facebook showing a catalogue of animals who have died because they have got tangled in our rubbish, because humans are gross and self serving.
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  #17  
Old 17th May 2019, 21:39
Moksha Moksha is offline
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Default Re: Eco Anxiety

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy77

Sometimes, I feel depressed and frightened that I am a single 40-something with no kids. But when you look at where we are headed (mass migration, water and food shortages, flooded cities, etc) it is a relief. Wells book, The Uninhabitable Earth, has been a bestseller in the States and was given a frighteningly long review in the Sunday Telegraph (it had clearly freaked out the reviewer). If I had just had a baby then read that review, l would not sleep for a week.
I often used to feel this way as well. I am 42, with no kids and no partner. Sometimes, I look at the future and think "***t, I'm gonna die alone...I'm going to have no one there for me when I get sick, when I'm scared, etc." But now I take obsessive care of my health, so, hopefully, I should live another 40 years. My uncle is 83. If I make it to 83, that will be 2060. By 2060, one of two things will have happened. Either we'll have wrecked our civilization through climate change, nuclear war, overpopulation, mass migration, etc etc, or we won't.

If we do wreck it, I'll be glad not to have kids. I have zero faith in human nature (I have faith in good individuals, but not in humans en mass). My greatest fear is a collapse in law and order. I've seen enough to know how selfish, vicious and generally vile a lot of people truly are. If there was some kind of major collapse in civilization and order, I'd just take an overdose and end it all.

If we don't ***k everything up, if we manage to avert climate catastrophe, bring the birth rate under control, prevent nuclear proliferation, etc, then who knows what life in 2060 will be like? By then, we will certainly have ways of slowing and even reversing physical ageing. There are already pills under development that are believed to slow the ageing of the body, so god knows what we'll have in another 40 years. Plus there will be all kinds of other changes and advances. I'm curious to see what happens.
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  #18  
Old 18th May 2019, 21:35
HaveANiceDay HaveANiceDay is offline
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Default Re: Eco Anxiety

Good if time-consuming defences against eco-anxiety are critical thinking (don't just take what the BBC says as automatically true) and looking at what the scientists are actually saying rather than what campaigners and journalists, including science journalists, say they are saying. The problem being that there's a heavy layer of editorial by non-climate-scientists between the science and the general public. To give a quick example from a large field, you wouldn't know it from all the press releases from pressure groups that came out at the time, but the IPCC's report on extreme weather a few years back found very little evidence that most kinds of extreme weather were increasing. Likewise the IPCC's most recent general report, AR5, found very little evidence of species extinctions due to climate change, and attributed almost all species extinctions to other factors.
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