For some reason April is Earth Month and April 22 is Earth Day, almost as though the return of warmer weather was good. Or environmentalists needed their own version of Easter. But we digress. National Geographic concedes that it was kind of mean to traumatize kids with the doom narrative:“ Negative climate news can bring children down”. Indeed, since as someone said “Climate change’s hidden threat: grief and trauma/ As natural disasters grow worse and more frequent, fear about what the future holds is increasingly entering the therapy room.” Someone being, um, National Geographic. So it urges us to “cheer them up with these animal success stories about comeback critters like gray wolves, giant pandas, golden lion tamarins, Florida manatees, and southern white rhinos.” Not one of which is climate-related as far as we can see but hey kids never mind that we told you the world is ending, just cuddle your doomed panda and think happy thoughts in the brief time you have left.
To help perk them up, here comes some outfit called “Espresso”, whose article was improbably reprinted in the “Wellness” section of MSN, offering “20 good reasons not to have children” which in addition to such deep metaphysical considerations as “Kids ruin your clothes” with everything “sticky fingers covered in chocolate and accidental vomiting to snotty noses”, plus the bit where they prevent you from indulging in narrow self-absorption (“Kids kill your ‘me time’” and “you can’t afford to have a hangover”), thunders that “Kids contribute to climate change” as well as “Babies make a lot of trash” and “Kids are terrible for the environment”. So there, you miserable brats, you’re causing the problem.
Oh, the piece also says “Kids are bad for your health” and “Kids are bad for your mental health”. Just what they want to hear the adults saying. We couldn’t actually find an online bio for that author but we’re almost sure she used to be a kid. And she’s certainly doing her best to be bad for people’s mental health.
Even the insufferably perky U.S. Vice-President Kamala Harris had some earnest young person “unpack” the phenomenon of “climate mental health” for her (it’s where endless fearmongering about climate harms mental health, of all things) and reported that “her peers are thinking about it, one example is you know whether, when they’re ready, could they start a family, worried about what that mean” plus the horror when you “have to get a job” on, presumably, a scorched planet where the catatonic roam.
Feeling better, you messy annoying expensive brats? Well, you shouldn’t be, because the NG trauma piece hollers “Climate change is drying out rivers, supercharging wildfires, raising seas, and altering the seasons as we know them. These disastrous changes to the environments we depend on for food and shelter are also harming our mental health.” Gosh. We wonder why.
As usual, the disaster has both struck already and looms in the future:
“A recently published UN report noted that mental health cases are resulting from extreme weather and rising temperatures. It also warned that these extreme conditions are only going to worsen.”
And while it is generally not a good idea to ask your barber if you need a haircut:
“In 2017 the American Psychological Association argued that trauma experts and therapists will be almost as essential as cooling centers and raised homes to help people cope with a changing planet.”
So about that wolf… maybe it will eat a moose threatening to eat a tree and doom the peat or something. No really, kiddies. Perk up. Why the long face? Oh right. “Following a record breaking heat wave in 2021, people in British Columbia were up to 40 percent more likely to report feeling climate anxiety.” Plus the bit where “High temperatures have been associated with violence, alcohol abuse, and suicide…. One 2018 study published in the journal Nature Climate Change projected that future increases in hot weather could contribute to more than 20,000 excess suicides in the U.S. and Mexico over the next 30 years.”
Still, on the plus side, it means 20,000 fewer people spewing CO2 and stressing out overburdened psychiatrists. See? It’s not all depressing in ClimateWorld.