Climate Anxiety + Covid 9teen – a young Noosa perspective

Feeling isolated, anxious, confused? Covid has most of us suffering at least one of these, maybe all. For young people like me this is nothing new.  A deep anxiety over Climate Change has been hanging over us, leaking into our everyday lives, long before we ever heard of Covid-19. 

A survey from the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and the Climate Psychiatry Alliance found that: “More than 3 in 4 young Australians described being frightened for the future and believe people have failed to care for the planet.

Around 1 in 2 believe they will have fewer opportunities than their parents and that climate change would destroy things they most value and threaten family security.”

“More than 40% of Australians said they were hesitant to have children due to climate change.”

I and many of my closest friends are part of those overwhelming majority of young people feeling the enormity of this crisis. 

Grief is what we are feeling. For animals, plants and ecosystems lost, and possible futures too. 

The recent film “Don’t look up” demonstrates how it feels when no one cares, no one listens to science and no one is seemingly doing anything substantial; the feeling of helplessness and rage. 

However, in my circumstance I am hoping I can turn well-deserved anger (re: fossil fuel companies lying about climate change since the 80s etc…) into a productive force.  Endless raging or sticking one’s head in the sand does not achieve anything. 

To actually combat climate anxiety I attempt  to understand the larger structural issues that have created this crisis, but I also try to make a change on a smaller level. For me, this means taking part in environmental education and advocacy groups. I also have my say in the Noosa Council climate change community reference group – which gives the council recommendations on actions to take. 

Mads Cleland (L), Jenna Riddiford (R) and climate champion Prof. Ian Lowe

Additionally I’m taking it upon myself to learn about sustainable living and implementing it into my life and encouraging others to do so too! These are things like growing food, diverting and repurposing waste and using alternate transport! 

Without going into the nuanced conversation around sustainability, (a discussion for another time) I believe that one of the core principles global society needs to immediately work towards is localism. 

Hence, a source of information and debate untouched by corporations that shares stories at a village level is a part of making that future.

I look forward to contributing a youth perspective to the going-ons of our beautiful Noosa, and talking about what really matters.  


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