climate change canada

Nearly half of young Canadians think humanity is totally doomed

An article published by researchers at Lakehead University highlights the anxiety young Canadians experience due to climate change, and nearly half of the respondents said they think humanity is doomed. 

The survey asked 1,000 Canadians between the ages of 16 to 25 a series of questions based on the threat of climate change and mental health. 

The survey was led by Dr. Lindsay Galway, an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Sciences at Lakehead Thunder Bay, and Dr. Ellen Field, an Assistant Professor in Education at Lakehead Orillia. 

Nearly half, or 48 per cent of the respondents said they think humanity is "doomed," while 73 per cent think the future is frightening. 

"Young people have a unique positionality in relation to the mental and emotional dimensions of climate change," the article reads.

"They have contributed the least to the crisis, they are and will be disproportionately impacted, and they have limited opportunities and invaluable perspectives for influencing action." 

Just over half surveyed, at 56 per cent of respondents, said they feel afraid, sad, anxious, and powerless, while 78 per cent said climate change impacts their overall mental health. 

According to the article, evidence shows that young Canadians are particularly vulnerable when it comes to climate distress and anxiety. 

When asked whether their feelings about climate change negatively impact their daily functioning, 37 per cent of respondents said yes, while another 39 per cent reported hesitation about having children due to climate change. 

Over three quarters polled, at 76 per cent, said that people have failed to take care of the planet, and 52 per cent think they will not have access to the same opportunities that their parents had. 

"A majority of young Canadians surveyed reported feeling afraid, sad, anxious, helpless, powerless, and angry while a minority reported feeling optimistic in relation to climate change," the article reads. 

"However, it is essential to recognize that young Canadians are experiencing distress and mental health consequences because of the failure of adults, decision-makers, and governments to adequately address the climate crisis." 

The survey's data collection took place between February and March of 2022. 

Lead photo by

JamesAnok || ThetaState

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