Help keep One Green Planet free and independent! Together we can ensure our platform remains a hub for empowering ideas committed to fighting for a sustainable, healthy, and compassionate world. Please support us in keeping our mission strong.
Climate change is a global problem that has been the focus of attention for decades. While some people deny the existence of Climate change, others have become what is known as “climate doomers.” These people are convinced that Climate change cannot be stopped, leading to the collapse of human society. However, their defeatist attitude can be as dangerous as climate denial. In this article, we explore the reasons behind the rise of climate doomism and how we can avoid falling into a spiral of despair.
Sean Youra is a prime example of someone who became a climate “doomer.” After watching documentaries about climate change, he became convinced that the world was doomed. He felt detached and considered giving up on everything. Unfortunately, his grim outlook is becoming more common. Many people, influenced by negative headlines and grim U.N. reports, believe that Climate change cannot be solved in time to prevent societal collapse.
Climate doomism takes different forms. Some middle-aged people have been influenced by retired ecologist Guy McPherson, who claims that human extinction is imminent. Some young people, active on social media, have become demoralized by years of negative headlines. While the origins of doomism stretch back far, it has become markedly more mainstream in the past five years. Climate protests across the globe, including Greta Thunberg’s School Strike and the U.K.-based protest group Extinction Rebellion, have added fuel to the fire.
In 2018, the United Nations issued a special report on 1.5 degrees Celsius of Global warming. The report included grim predictions like the death of the world’s coral reefs and ice-free summers in the Arctic. However, a central message many took from the report — that there were only 12 years left to save the planet — wasn’t even in the report. It came from a Guardian headline. Hausfather, a contributing author to the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, explained that the phrase soon became an activist rallying cry. Still, scientists who try to clarify those nuances sometimes encounter hostility, particularly online.
The problem with climate doomism is that it can cause paralysis. Psychologists believe that some amount of hope, combined with a belief that personal actions can make a difference, can keep people engaged on Climate change. The key is to find a balance between constructive worry and fatalistic doom. Climate scientists emphasize that Climate change isn’t a pass/fail test: Every tenth and hundredth of a degree of warming avoided matters.
Youra has advice for those who are suffering from the same sort of fatalism that he once felt. He recommends that people stop engaging excessively with negative Climate change content online and start engaging in their community. Everyone can be one of those voices showing Support for solutions. Youra has become the climate action coordinator for the California towns of San Anselmo and Fairfax. His story is a reminder that even in the face of an overwhelming problem, we can still take action and make a difference.
Climate doomism is a rising problem that threatens to undermine efforts to combat Climate change. While it is natural to worry about the future of our planet, we need to avoid falling into a spiral of despair. By finding a balance between constructive worry and fatalistic doom, we can keep ourselves engaged and motivated to take action. Whether it’s through personal actions or engaging in our community, we can all be part of the solution. So let’s stop engaging excessively with negative Climate change content online and start taking action.
- 100 Seconds to Midnight: Doomsday Clock Points to ‘Extremely Dangerous’ Moment the World is Stuck In
- Trump Calls Climate Activists ‘Perennial Prophets of Doom‘
- How We Talk About Climate Change Needs to Be Less About Doom, and More About Hope
- Montana Youths Take on Climate Change in Landmark Lawsuit: Fighting for a Clean and Healthy Future
- Senior Activists in Rocking Chairs Block Entrances to Four Largest US Banks to Fight Climate Change
Easy Ways to Help the Planet:
- Eat Less Meat: Download Food Monster, the largest plant-based Recipe app on the App Store, to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy. You can also buy a hard or soft copy of our favorite vegan cookbooks.
- Reduce Your Fast Fashion Footprint: Take initiative by standing up against fast fashion Pollution and supporting sustainable and circular brands like Tiny Rescue that raise awareness around important issues through recycled zero-waste clothing designed to be returned and remade over and over again.
- Support Independent Media: Being publicly funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!
- Sign a Petition: Your voice matters! Help turn petitions into victories by signing the latest list of must-sign petitions to help people, animals, and the planet.
- Stay Informed: Keep up with the latest news and important stories involving animals, the environment, sustainable living, food, health, and human interest topics by subscribing to our newsletter!
- Do What You Can: Reduce waste, plant trees, eat local, travel responsibly, reuse stuff, say no to single-use plastics, recycle, vote smart, switch to cold water laundry, divest from fossil fuels, save water, shop wisely, Donate if you can, grow your food, volunteer, conserve energy, compost, and don’t forget about the microplastics and microbeads lurking in common household and personal care products!