Fear of the future: A public health risk
We are living through difficult times: the pandemic and threats of more to come, ongoing conflicts and wars, in Europe and around the world, soaring inflation and growing poverty … The news headlines make grim reading. And to our always-connected younger generation, they are inescapable.
The threat of climate disaster and global warming is arguably the most frightening issue when young people think about the future. It may have been less present in the media of late, overshadowed by what may have felt like closer and more immediate threats, but the issue has become very real for many teenagers over the summer with the heat waves and droughts on their doorsteps.
Global warming will lead to increasingly unpredictable weather patterns and events, resulting in problems such as water scarcity, catastrophic floodings, food shortages and famine, ill health and conflicts. The threats are no longer just localised tragic events, they have become global and existential. And these issues will undoubtedly lead to further conflict and war.
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