Climate Change Bringing Anxiety & Apathy

Climate Change Bringing Anxiety & Apathy

The tall, sharply dressed man said humans were a cancer on the Earth. He said that he resented his parents for raising him to be “super hedonistic, just monstrously gaining things.” He said he had grown nihilistic, that he wanted to take up chain smoking and die a slow death. When Schapira asked if he was angry at his family, the young man replied, “I love my family. It’s so hard to know that you only have five years left to love people.”

The man was undoubtedly troubled, his vision of the future decidedly more apocalyptic than the one offered by science. But, his anxieties were real and, perhaps, understandable given the dire predictions of climatologists. While none believes human civilization will crumble in the next five years, the forecasts get hazier 30, 40 or 50 years down the road.

If we continue pumping out heat-trapping carbon pollution at the current rate, temperatures will rise by 4 degrees C by 2100, a level of warming climate scientist Kevin Anderson has called “incompatible with an organized global community.” As David Wallace-Wells explained in his bracing account of the terrors of climate change for New York magazine, “Indeed, absent a significant adjustment to how billions of humans conduct their lives, parts of the Earth will likely become close to uninhabitable, and other parts horrifically inhospitable, as soon as the end of this century.”

Climate change promises to take a massive toll, not just on nature or human society, but on our minds. Shapira’s conversation with that distraught young man offers as terrifying a glimpse of our future as any hurricane, heat wave or flood. In the years to come, the carbon crisis will work its way into our brains, sewing the seeds of fatalism, pessimism and despair.

Source: The Threat Of Climate Change Brings Both Anxiety & Apathy | CleanTechnica


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