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Youth Anxiety On Rise Due To Climate Fear Mongers

From Canada’s Globe and Mail:

Youth anxiety on the rise amid changing climate

By GAYLE MacDONALD | May 1, 2014

(This is part of a series examining the health repercussions for Canadians of a changing climate.)

So the reader knows he is in for it, right from the start.

Sammy McLean, 14, felt overwhelming helplessness as she stood with her family and watched two angry rivers – the Bow and the Elbow – surge through their home, cutting a path of destruction across the downtown Calgary neighbourhood. Furniture flew through the front windows, and the basement and first floor were washed out and filled with mud. McLean remembers thinking that her once calm, picturesque street resembled a war zone.

A confident, athletic girl, McLean says the flood left her vulnerable, scared and hating the rivers that encircled her home. “They wouldn’t let us in for several days after we were evacuated,” says McLean, who now lives in a downtown condo with her parents and three siblings while the house is being extensively renovated. “I used to think the rivers were so pretty. It made me not like them any more…."

While the Alberta floods haven’t been directly linked to climate change, destructive weather events are expected to increase in Canada in the future. McLean, a normally upbeat youth, is painfully aware of the sheer power of Mother Nature and the carnage its fury can wreak. She’s now anxious about what we’re doing to our environment. “I volunteered to take an active role in my school’s Model United Nations, which is studying the impact climate change is having on our planet,” she said…

Child psychiatrists, psychologists and educators say they’ve seen an escalation in the anxiety levels of today’s youth, who are constantly exposed to doomsday talk about the destruction of our planet. But despite the fact that we live in a world with more volatility and fear, experts say there is hope. And to stay mentally strong, they all advocate not just calling for change, but acting for it.

Dr. Anthony Levitt, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre’s director of research in the department of psychiatry, agrees climate-change anxiety increasingly enters into the discussions he has with many of the young people who come to see him… “For most people who are anxious about climate change, the anxiety is escalated by the fact they do not see an answer or a way to make a change. Worry plus powerlessness leads to distress,” says Levitt, who is also a professor in the psychiatry department at the University of Toronto.

“The answer, on a personal basis, to this kind of helpless distress is ‘mastery’: that is, helping people to master small tasks that reduce their carbon footprint can lead to a greater sense of control and efficacy for that person – and with that a reduction in anxiety. Can one person taking action to reduce their carbon footprint change global warming? Who knows. But it can relieve the distress that comes from anxiety mixed with impotence that affects a growing number of people in our society,” he said.

North Carolina-based psychotherapist Chris Saade, co-director of the Olive Branch Center, a grief/wellness counselling firm, says he’s seen a huge jump in the number of patients under 18 who come to him with concerns about the environmental crisis.

“Unlike adults who can put their heads in the sand about what we have been doing to our planet, these kids are very aware of what’s going on,” adds Saade, who has led more than 200 psychological retreats in the United States and has offered grief counselling through his private practice for more than 20 years. “Because of the Web, it’s not hidden any more. Children often ask me questions that we, as adults, try to evade: What is going to happen to the human race?”

Environmental activist and author Kenneth Worthy is quick to point out that kids aren’t the only ones trying to cope with the anxiety and fear that goes hand-in-hand with climate change. Worthy… quit a lucrative job as a software developer in Silicon Valley more than a decade ago to do a graduate degree in environmental studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

To cope with volatility, Worthy, 52, advises that we realize every generation has had great challenges. “Our forebears had the First World War and the Second World War. Another generation dealt with the Cold War and the threat of nuclear war. Now the greatest threat to this generation – young and old – is the climate problem, which involves a lot of volatility, and a lot of change.”

He hopes we can face it as a generation, together. “We have to find the flexibility, the courage and the determination to stand up to that crisis – collectively, not just as individuals. Like our parents did before us.”

Let’s see: WWI, WWII, the Cold War, the threat of nuclear war — and now ‘climate change.’ One of those doesn’t seem to belong.

At the Olive Branch, Saade says counsellors acknowledge youths’ grief about the changing planet, and try to show them how to translate that into hope and action. “We tell them grief is a normal response of the human psyche when a loss is happening, whether it’s personal or, in this case, a global loss in terms of the environment. If we don’t feel grief, at the end of the day, we won’t do anything.” …

In other words, the advice from these experts on how to keep from being driven crazy by climate change hysteria is to get involved in climate change activism.

What sound advice, huh?

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Tuesday, May 6th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Youth Anxiety On Rise Due To Climate Fear Mongers”

  1. Right of the People

    Boo effin’ Hoo!

    My parents were the greatest generation, today’s utes are the whiniest, wimpiest generation.

    OMG (to use one of their sayings since they must have everything instantly) the rivers have flooded! What are we going to do???? It’s all because of GLOBAL WARMING!!!!!!!!!! Mommy!

    Sorry kiddies, there have been floods and tornadoes and blizzards and all kinds of other severe weather for time immemorial, deal with it you pussies.

  2. canary

    “Sammy McLean, 14, felt overwhelming helplessness as she stood with her family and watched two angry rivers – the Bow and the Elbow – surge through their home, cutting a path of destruction across the downtown Calgary neighbourhood.

    “They wouldn’t let us in for several days after we were evacuated,” says McLean, who now lives in a downtown condo with her parents and three siblings while the house is being extensively renovated.”

    Maybe little Sammy’s parents should listen to her. They will rebuild the home, not understanding their Canadian government started their “watershed” program in 1992 looking for puddles that hold water a few months of the years.

    “Hotdog” says the Canadian government. We now see a perfect spot to make a large body of water.

    Canada started their “Water Shed” search program in 1992 looking for puddles that hold water a few months a year.

    We are a little behind, probably because Obama gives money to every country he visits to improve their environments.

    I recently had a democrat tell me that “water is the new oil”.

    Maybe the water rationing California enforces that kills crops and farmers livelihoods is to force people to move so the government can do what they want with the land.

    I just leave it at we are more likely to get blown up by war then catching on fire from from the Sun.

    They have some chemical they can put in the clouds to make it rain, chemicals to make it snow, so that would mean the government could cause natural disasters.

    The government, global warmer terrorists want our children afraid.
    And the media and reporters loves to aid the global warmer terrorists for their own job security.




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