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Climate change anxiety: Young people ‘feel hopeless’

June 24, 2021

By Paul Homewood

h/t Paul R



Young people who feel "hopeless and paralysed" by fears about climate change need help and support, mental health experts have said.

Place2Be – a charity offering counselling in schools – said the issue was becoming "more and more prominent".

Plaid Cymru said it wanted new guidance for teachers and funding for eco projects focused on pupils’ wellbeing.

The Welsh government said changes it had made to the curriculum would help.

While the physical dangers posed by climate change are now widely-reported, the potential impact on people’s mental health has not had as much attention.

But Cliona Vaughan, a counsellor who works as school project manager for Place2Be in south Wales, said children’s climate anxiety was brought about by a sense that politicians and big business were not acting quickly enough.

She said one child told her: "We need to find another planet."

She added: "They’re feeling worried, trying to find ways to help sort it out at a young age."

Ms Vaughan said it got more problematic when children got older as "they can feel, at times, the future is hopeless".

"Children shouldn’t have to have this worry – they have their hopes and dreams, they want to look forward to a bright future but what’s coming at them is about how there isn’t much time left."

She said children needed empowering support in schools to help them deal with climate anxiety.


If kids really are suffering from anxiety, the wretched BBC has to shoulder for much of the blame for their relentless, alarmist propaganda.

Schools too share much of the blame for failing to give pupils the actual facts regarding the climate.

As for the dopey Cliona Vaughan, the last thing children need is “empowering support”, whatever that is.

  1. Dick Goodwin permalink
    June 24, 2021 10:17 am

    Surely if they sat at school / college with all the lights and heating off, didn’t let their parents drive them there, or to a takeaway or a concert they would start to feel better in no time at all?

    • Robert Christopher permalink
      June 24, 2021 10:49 am

      And if they sat in a bomb shelter as well, for classes, they would be reenacting what my Mum did during the Blitz. And then there were the food rations.

      And she survived!

  2. Peter Green permalink
    June 24, 2021 10:19 am

    This is exactly what those lefty marxist people in politics and the Beeb want…. they know , just as Hitler knew, that instilling a deep sense of fear is the way you control and manipulate the population. It makes them out to be the saviors and follow any agenda they care to promote…. even genocide in extremis!!!!

    • June 24, 2021 12:09 pm

      Well stated. You saved me the effort of saying the same thing.

    • Jack Broughton permalink
      June 24, 2021 1:51 pm

      Oh, I thought that we had a right wing Tory government (almost permanently) in the UK: must be reading the wrong papers.
      Who owns all the media outlets: certainly not marxists and leninists.

      • Robert Jones permalink
        June 24, 2021 2:48 pm

        Judging by the way that the ‘marxists and leninists’ piled in on the opening broadcasts of Andrew Neil’s GBNews it is precisely the hard-left media outlets seeking to make GBN stillborn!

  3. June 24, 2021 10:26 am

    I went to school through the 1950s snd 60s when we were under threat of atomic war, 3 minute warning, Cuban missile crisis, cold War etc. It drove the culture changes of the times, we did not expect to grow old (although some if us did) so we revelled in the times and made the best of it.
    What wimps have we bred To be afraid of a non existent possible threat in 100 years time ?
    BBC and the media should also be ashamed.

    • Colin MacDonald permalink
      June 24, 2021 10:45 am

      I grew up a bit later but not only had to contend with the atomic threat but also the impending Ice Age!

    • June 24, 2021 11:38 am

      Me too, and we also had to put up with cold houses and food rationing.

      • June 24, 2021 11:45 am

        Which were much more immediate concerns!
        We also didn’t have rolling 24 hr news slots and always on social media needing to be fed with garbage, such as climate and covid hysteria. No TV, no mobile phones, no satellite TV & streaming etc. etc……
        It’s a surprise that so many baby boomers survived!

    • saveenergy permalink
      June 26, 2021 12:13 am

      “I went to school through the 1950s snd 60s when we were under threat of atomic war, 3 minute warning, Cuban missile crisis, cold War etc. It drove the culture changes of the times, we did not expect to grow old (although some if us did)

      so we revelled in the times and made the best of it.”

      And me … so many girls (on the pill ) – so little time !! (:-))

  4. June 24, 2021 10:26 am

    Teaching is no longer a vocation for those individuals who have an altruistic desire to educate children to learn and grow to be the very best they can be; whether that’s academic, vocational or sporting. Maybe this stopped years ago, but this arrant nonsense tops the lot. Ignorant teachers, believing all the climate change hysteria without a shred of evidence and passing it on to their pupils as fact. Apparently 50% of teachers believe children should take ‘direct action’ (aka stop going to school) in support of these extreme views. No wonder kids are confused & upset.

  5. Douglas Dragonfly permalink
    June 24, 2021 10:32 am

    Yes Peter. Adults need to help the young understand the government is their enemy.
    Armed with such knowledge they will grow and learn to cope.
    Another life lesson – get out and into nature, marvel at its beauty and strength to survive – no matter what.
    Learn it can be cruel but humans have brains and use them to adapt and thrive.

  6. Joe Public permalink
    June 24, 2021 11:12 am

    Help is at hand. Profitable franchises are available:

    • Up2snuff permalink
      June 24, 2021 11:30 am

      Something right out of Charles M. Schultz come to life in our world.

  7. Mike Jackson permalink
    June 24, 2021 11:25 am

    I was a teenager in the 50s and I have no idea what you are talking about! The only scare that I recall was the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 and a college debate in which the highlight was a damning attack on two high-profile CND members who suddenly discovered an urgent need to take a holiday in the west of Ireland!

    I know the more paranoid Americans (supposedly) had nuclear safety exercises in schools but I’m not aware of anything of the sort in Britain. Since my mother and one of my aunts were both teachers, one of them throughout WW2 and the other from 1946 I think I might have known. Certainly no-one I knew was expecting to die young because of nuclear weapons.

    There is something very frightening in the way that modern youngsters are being (ab)used in this way. Whatever is happening to the climate, the genuine experts are not claiming anything approaching what the activists are portraying as fact. What is unfortunate is that those experts, the real scientists, are not shouting “stop; this is not what we are saying”. As one prime example, RCP8.5 should never have been given any credence in the first place. It was not and never could have been realistic. It was not then and is still less now the ‘business as usual’ scenario. And the IPCC and any scientist who understands climate knows that to be the case but still science is being subordinated (perhaps ‘suborned’ would be a better word) in the interests of politics. Lysenkoism rules. Eisenhower warned us and how prescient was that!

    • AC Osborn permalink
      June 24, 2021 12:01 pm

      Well, I distinctly remember it.
      Maybe you didn’t bother watching or reading the news back in the day.

    • Thomas Carr permalink
      June 25, 2021 12:33 am

      The government took the threat of the use of nuclear weapons seriuosly enough to encourage the construction of regional centres of government/administration underground. They were communication centres with coordination of emeergency service response as their main purpose. The one outside Norwich was offered for sale recently. The former chief executive of South Norfolk District Council told me where theirs was located.

      • June 25, 2021 10:51 am

        And when the Wall came down and our military attaches could look into the Soviet threat, it turned out to be a paper tiger

  8. June 24, 2021 11:40 am

    I remember David Bellamy a true and honest man but was frozen out of the BBC because he tried to tell the truth about so called “Climate change” Here is his quote as he was forced to leave.
    “I’m sceptical about man-made climate change. There’s absolutely no proof that carbon dioxide will kill us all. It’s not a poison, it’s the most important gas in the world. Carbon dioxide is an airborne fertiliser. How can farmers grow increasing amounts of food without a rise in CO2?”
    “The 80-year old environmentalist and former broadcaster, admitted that his scepticism signalled the end of his career as he had known it.
    “From that moment, I really wasn’t welcome at the BBC,” he said.
    “They froze me out, because I don’t believe in global warming. My career dried up. I was thrown out of my own conservation groups and I got spat at in London.”
    Mr Bellamy said things first began to change in 1996 when he spoke out against wind farms during one of his regular appearances on Blue Peter.
    “That was the beginning really,” he told the Daily Mail. “From that moment, I was not welcome at the BBC.”
    “I worked with the Wildlife Trusts for 52 years,” he said “And when they dropped me, they didn’t even tell me. They didn’t have the guts.
    “I read about it in the newspapers. Can you believe it?
    “Now they don’t want to be anywhere near me. But what are they doing? The WWF might have saved a few pandas, but what about the forests?
    “What have Greenpeace done?”
    Mr Bellamy’s wife Rosemary admitted that they had both been devastated by the developments.
    “It did upset us terribly,” she said. “But we pretended not to be upset, didn’t we David? The best thing to do was not to talk about it. So we didn’t.
    It’s been very difficult, because he does feel strongly about things.”
    Mr Bellamy insisted that he had no regrets about being so outspoken and had not changed his opinions about global warming.
    “I still say it’s poppycock,” he said. “For the last 16 years, temperatures have been going down and the carbon dioxide has been going up and the crops have got greener and grow quicker.
    “We’ve done plenty to smash up the planet, but there’s been no global warming caused by man.
    “If you believe it, fine. But I don’t and there’s thousands like me.”
    He added: “Who cares if they’ve put me on the back burner? I can still talk to my flowers, which are all fine and growing amazingly and say, “Thank you very much, David!”
    David J. Bellamy OBE (born 1933) is an English professor, botanist, author, broadcaster and environmental campaigner.
    Honorary Dr. of Science, Bournemouth University (1999)

  9. June 24, 2021 11:40 am

    Children should be given a proper education based on facts and evidence; and they should be taught how to think.

  10. June 24, 2021 11:47 am

    Best we ask the teaching unions if they approve of that

  11. Barbara permalink
    June 24, 2021 11:48 am

    ‘Cliona Vaughan, a counsellor who works as school project manager for Place2Be in south Wales, said children’s climate anxiety was brought about by a sense that politicians and big business were not acting quickly enough.’
    So the anxiety is based on the fact the government etc not acting quickly enough Really? can it be that defined? So if some sort of reassurance that the government was acting quickly enough be put out there would all the anxiety go away? No of course it wouldn’t the mental health of these poor kids is being used – despicable.

    • Captain Flint permalink
      June 25, 2021 10:29 am

      “..counsellor and school project manager…” – with all due respect, this isn’t the type of individual who should be quoted in a national news article.

  12. GeoffB permalink
    June 24, 2021 12:07 pm

    What about my anxiety for the well being of my children and grandchildren, In 20 or so years when all our domestic energy is coming from electricity provided by intermittent sources without adequate back up, how do we keep warm and feed ourselves when the lights go out? We are also going to be relying on unproven technologies such as hydrogen by electrolysis, nuclear fusion and carbon dioxide capture. We are building just one nuclear fission reactor (Hinckley) to a design that has never worked in the west and is 30% owned by the Chinese. We are relying on interconnectors from Europe over which we have no control, Macron has threatened to cut us off recently, What do you think is going to happen when France, Holland etc have a power shortage, we will be the first to be cut off. The kids should be anxious about the future, but not because of climate change but because of the actions being taken to mitigate a false crisis.

    • Broadlands permalink
      June 24, 2021 1:09 pm

      Geoff is right: “…but not because of climate change but because of the actions being taken to mitigate a false crisis.”

      This would be true even if the crisis was real. There are no meaningful actions that can be taken quickly that could possibly affect the climate. Attempting to quickly reach a zero or Net-zero emissions goal is cosmetic “window dressing”. The social and economic lessons of the rapid reduction of fuel emissions created by the pandemic travel lockdowns appear to have been lost on those who demand that same quick action by 2050. They actually believe that lowering emissions reduces the CO2 we have already added and therefore the global temperature. A number that is a small fractional amount anyhow. Back to 350 ppm is the climate of 1978. Is that the goal?

  13. Douglas Dragonfly permalink
    June 24, 2021 12:43 pm

    You couldn’t make it up ! Children from South Wales panic over CC.
    1) S.Wales has a proud history of contributing to the quality of people’s lives across the world, due to their coal and steel industries.
    2) Yes there was much terrible suffering. Children as young as 5 down mines. Children working 12-14 hours a day, in the dark as trappers, pulley operators and harnessed to trolleys like dogs.

    But of course Cliona Vaughan is not going to teach their proud history or how fortunate they are.
    She’s a counsellor who earns her crust keeping the youngsters in a permanent state of anxiety.
    Take them camping. No electric other than a touch …

  14. Messenger permalink
    June 24, 2021 12:50 pm

    It doesn’t stop there, but continues the brainwashing into much of higher education. Universities and colleges with departments with titles such as Centres for Ethical Energy, Environmental Sustainability Strategy Boards and statements on implementation plans in order to achieve Net Zero ten years before everyone else. Insisting we all make radical changes to our way of life whether we like it or not (which in my case is “not”)

  15. arfurbryant permalink
    June 24, 2021 1:19 pm

    They feel hopeless because their teachers, the mainstream media, activists and irresponsible politicians tell them WHAT to think instead of HOW to think.

  16. keen birder permalink
    June 24, 2021 1:20 pm

    If there wasnt so many humans in the World this climate change thing wouldnt be an issue. Leaders should be mentioning population control

    • Broadlands permalink
      June 24, 2021 2:10 pm

      That has always been a “third-rail” type topic, caught in between religion and politics. The problem, of course, how to implement the control and who would be in charge. Nature may step in with a pandemic but the Chinese have already entered in.

      • chriskshaw permalink
        June 24, 2021 8:09 pm

        No need. Today’s marriage age youngsters are so traumatized that they are not reproducing. Job done. Malthus and protege Erhlich would be proud

  17. June 24, 2021 1:20 pm

    “Young people who feel “hopeless and paralysed” by fears about climate change need help and support, mental health experts have said”

    Somewhere down the line there’s going to be lawsuits. This thing is not going to end well for the climate people.

  18. Robert Jones permalink
    June 24, 2021 3:03 pm

    We need look no further than the activist teaching unions for the ludicrous and damaging
    thought processes being presently aired in schools. Teachers are ‘dedicated followers
    of fashion’ and those that appeal presently seem to involve gender fluidity, Extortion
    Rebellion, protesting about something/bunking off school and the systematic abuse of the

    Head teachers offer no solutions and cave in at the slightest whiff of gunpowder; the Batley
    Head threw in the towel to the Muslim parents with impressive speed.

  19. terence carlin permalink
    June 24, 2021 4:09 pm

    The XR and the Climate change alarmists movements have all the characteristics of an end of days religious cult . It’s no wonder that children are getting anxious as the media and their schools are promoting the religions dooms day scenarios, there must be something deep in human psychology that makes some people susceptible to this kind of manipulation and others to the priesthood that promote this ideology

    • June 24, 2021 5:50 pm

      Evolutionary Psychology teaches us, among many other things, that human beings are hardwired to use emotions as the first filter for all information received. The implication of this is that people hear the bad news first and loudest; even if the majority of the news is good.
      Our physiology is fundamentally the same as our ancestors of 150,000 years ago; who were living on the African savannah. Our lifestyles have changed massively, but our physiology has not evolved to the same extent
      “You can take the person out of the Stone Age, but you cannot take the Stone Age out of the person” is an apt quotation from Nigel Nicholson, Emeritus Professor of Organisational Behaviour at London Business School.

  20. Peter S permalink
    June 24, 2021 7:28 pm

    Young people are depressed because their school teachers make sure that they fear global warming and the fact that mankind is to blame. Left wing teachers will go to another level of detail.

    Young people do not hear an alternative argument. The BBC bans criticism of the science. The MSM does not have the skills or resources to counteract the hype. Global warming has never been an issue for political debate and all political parties think it is a political priority.

    At the end of the day, that is our fault.If we believe that the science is flawed, the models are wrong and the planet is not going to warm too much, then we must make our voices heard.

    The alternative is to destroy our way of life for misguided left wing dogma.

  21. Aslangeo permalink
    June 24, 2021 10:24 pm

    I am not surprised, sadly, young people like the rest of have been bombarded with green doomsday propaganda, unfortunately they are too young to know the difference between rhetoric and reality. If you are a teenager and have been told that the world will end in a decade and that you have no future you too will be depressed. Some young people are more nervous and vulnerable in mental health terms and thus more prone to anxiety

    The propaganda merchants have a lot to answer for

  22. Ulric Lyons permalink
    June 25, 2021 1:59 am

    Place2Be are teemed up with the WWF pushing the climate crisis agenda.

  23. M. Fraser permalink
    June 25, 2021 7:17 am

    I’m still amazed every day that the planet turns regularly on its axis and it orbits the Sun on a regular track and the moon orbits the Earth and the tides are predictable and funnily us humans can’t do anything to alter that! Before furlough I worked in Outdoor Education, by chance by the sea, have a guess how many teachers and pupils knew why we have two high and low tides per day here in the UK? Net zero. Therefore we shouldn’t be surprised the Education establishment doesn’t question the pseudo science etc, the basics are beyond them, very sad.

    • dave permalink
      June 25, 2021 9:28 am

      The basics are beyond just about everybody!

      Remember those interviews with newly-minted Harvard Graduates? Most of them thought winter was caused by the earth receding from the Sun and summer by approaching it. They did not seem to know that different parts of the world have their seasons reversed from Massachusetts.

      The first truth is that the basics are often hard to understand. The second truth is that most people are afraid to try real thinking about the world. It involves such a difficult balancing act of the abstract and the common-sensical.

      I liken thinking to swimming down from the surface to the bottom of a swimming pool. You know you can do it, but only with convulsive movements; and nothing about it ‘feels right.’ You start to worry about your next breath, kick your legs and, after a slow start, you pop up like a cork, happy to forget that slightly mysterious world so close and yet so far.

      If you can swim well on the surface but are afraid to swim down, are you truly fitted for the water?

  24. June 25, 2021 8:21 am

    Did the High Court not say, after the Al Gore scare film, that both sides of the climate argument must be shown to school children?

  25. June 25, 2021 9:39 am

    She said one child told her: “We need to find another planet.”

    And send the climate alarmists there, leaving the rest of us to carry on without all the pointless hysteria.

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