The acceleration of climate-fueled destruction combined with the insufficiency of action to address the crisis is creating a self-fulfilling, vicious cycle of climate doom that threatens climate action, the Washington Post reports. Unlike climate deniers, a growing number of people, especially youth and young adults, believe climate change is very real — and if anything, climate scientists are downplaying the threat.
The phenomenon, in addition to its obviously brutal toll on people’s mental and emotional health, also threatens climate action because it can lead to feelings of paralysis. Scientists and psychologists stress the importance of clear and accurate communication of climate science — that climate action is not a binary pass or fail, every hundredth of a degree of warming avoided is key — as well as the possibility of success. For those who are struggling with fatalism and doom, Sean Youra, a former self-described climate “doomer,” has some advice: “Stop engaging excessively with negative climate change content online and start engaging in your community.… You can be one of those voices showing there is support for the solutions.” (Washington Post $)