Why does climate change scare us so much?

Why does climate change scare us so much?

Our eco-anxiety is rising along with global warming, and it looks set to stay.

Storms, floods, climate change… No need to be called Greta Thunberg to see that the world is going badly. Faced with the inaction of leaders and the recklessness of large companies, our planet seems to be running straight towards its destruction. The recent report by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) does nothing to improve the situation: if we do not take concrete measures very quickly to save the climate, according to several important criteria, the Earth will have reached its point of no return within three years.

Faced with the climate emergency, more and more French women and men are developing – sometimes without even being fervent ecologists who believe in zero waste and the circular economy – solastalgia, also known as eco-anxiety. Faced with the waves of bad scientific news sweeping the world, the phenomenon takes the form of a diffuse but constant malaise, a kind of guilt with which we now have to live on a daily basis.

Pay your green guilt

Like the men and women of Erasmus and Simone Veil, we are not born eco-anxious, we become one. But once the diagnosis is made, it seems to be for life. Helpless witnesses to a climate change that threatens us all, the anxious about the environment are everywhere. And if we now know that small daily gestures also have their role to play in the fight on a global scale, it is difficult to move the lines in front of the multinationals which gargle with greenwashing.

Constantly confronted with images of a dying world, and hammered with statistics that explain to us how much of a disaster our way of life is for the survival of polar bears, eco-anxiety is ultimately a coherent reaction to the ecological drama that is being played out around us. And rather than trying to silence the sorcerer of shame that harasses us, perhaps the most sensible solution (but not the easiest, we agree) would be to attack the root of the problem.

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