Youth Climate Anxiety

Diahann Hughes Hawkins
6 min readNov 10, 2021

No more ignoring the ‘stress cracks’ shifting the foundations of children’s wellbeing.

Image by Zara Hawkins 2021

Most parents and grandparents should be able to remember the backdrop of ‘doomsday’ in our childhood — the threat of nuclear annihilation. Some can even remember nuclear war drills at school, anti-nuke demonstrations and WWII history lessons teaching the game theory strategy of MAD (mutual assured destruction) during the Cold War years. Thankfully we can look back now to those decades in great relief that we’re still here. We can also acknowledge that compartmentalising the potential for instantaneous death at the push of a button was essential to living out an otherwise happy childhood. That was our coping mechanism for a reality that was out of our control.

While the world has changed greatly since then, it’s not been for the better in many ways. There are far more complex issues that are causing even greater stress in our children’s generation. The intensity is amplified by terrifying dialogues they are hearing from every turn about rising sea levels, pandemics, wildfires, floods, deforestation, animal extinction, and even possibly human extinction if we don’t change course off this destructive path by 2050. It’s impossible to escape the ‘bad news’ on television or read a magazine without coming across the planet’s trajectory of peril. It seems so relentless that even our youth feel…

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Diahann Hughes Hawkins

Researcher, reformer and home educating mother with a passion for discovering the best solutions to 21st century learning. connectivelearning.net