‘Overwhelming and terrifying’: the rise of climate anxiety
"Over the past few weeks Clover Hogan has found herself crying during the day and waking up at night gripped by panic. The 20-year-old, who now lives in London, grew up in Queensland, Australia, cheekbyjowl with the country’s wildlife, fishing frogs out of the toilet and dodging snakes hanging from the ceiling.
The bushfires ravaging her homeland over the past few weeks have taken their toll. “I’ve found myself bursting into tears … just seeing the absolutely harrowing images of what’s happening in Australia – it is overwhelming and terrifying.”
Hogan said her lowest point came when she heard about the death of half a billion animals incinerated as the fires swept through the bush. “That was the moment where I felt my heart cleave into two pieces. I felt absolutely distraught.”
The physical impact of the climate crisis is impossible to ignore, but experts are becoming increasingly concerned about another, less obvious consequence of the escalating emergency – the strain it is putting on people’s mental wellbeing, especially the young."