Climate anxiety is never far from the news these days. It is on its face absurd, and wicked too. Those who foster these feelings in our young folk have a lot to answer for. That includes anyone who uses the term “climate crisis” in public without irony. To such people: you are more of a problem for our young people than climate change is. Shut the front door, would you?

As pointed out by Mark in Open Mic, the university which I once attended has instated a course intended to address this “climate anxiety” in its students. [Reported in the Telegraph, and in the Eastern Evening News (both on Halloween).] This is not a useless endeavour, since “climate anxiety” is a real phenomenon, fed by those babbling fools who promote the “climate crisis.” Nevertheless, the approach they take to answering the anxiety is wrong, because it accepts that the anxiety has a real grounding.

UEA post-graduate student Azza Dirar, who helped design the mindfulness and active hope course, said: “The focus is not on the overwhelming bleak evidence of climate change and environmental degradation, but rather on how we can act with courage and wisdom during a time of looming ecological and societal collapse.”

A better approach would be to lay off the “looming collapse” sauce and actually try to put today’s environmental changes into some sort of perspective.

Ruth Taylor, social development manager at Norfolk and Waveney Mind, said: “It’s totally normal to feel worried, upset, overwhelmed, ashamed or angry about the climate emergency.”

No, it really isn’t normal. That’s because there’s no emergency. In fact, you saying it’s normal is about the most counterproductive thing you could have done. THERE IS NO EMERGENCY. STOP TELLING PEOPLE THERE IS AN EMERGENCY AND THEY WILL STOP WORRYING ABOUT IT.

Sorry for the shouty ALL CAPS there, but this dross makes me angry.

This course, however, does not have its incept date this Halloween. The BBC reported it on 28 April.

Climate change: Don’t let doom win, project tells worriers

On Thursday a new survey found that 45% of UK students worry about climate change once a week or more.


Common worries were about food security and whether or not to have children, explained Ruth Taylor from Mind. “Young people are trying to get ready for what is coming,” she suggests.

There she is again! Or before! Or something! NOTHING IS COMING. The only thing that might be coming is the destruction of civilisation by Net Zero policies, but I bet UEA aren’t offering a course addressing worries about that. Or anger, frustration, whatever else the wise mind from Mind blathered about.

“I have phases – sometimes I feel like it’s not my fault, it’s down to people-in-power. Then I read something else that says if we are not taking action, we are like climate deniers,” said one participant.

PLEASE. IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT. Let me take a deep breath, and try to explain. (I’m going to try very hard to ignore you “othering” me.) This note is directed at you, climate-anxious student, although, it must be admitted, you will never read it. Nevertheless, it comes from the heart.


You will probably never read this, but if you do, I want you to know right up front that this is honest advice that is well meant.

Climate deniers sceptics can be as obsessive and obnoxious as climate activists. The climate anxious appear to take things a third way. The climate sceptic sees data on climate change and rejects the notion of “climate catastrophe.” (Some, it has to be admitted, reject the notion outright without troubling to educate themselves on the matter.) The climate activist sees data on climate change, realises that it points to imminent climate catastrophe, and resolves to change the world. The climate worrier sees data on climate change, realises that it points to imminent climate catastrophe, and understands that nothing can be done to halt it.

Despair seems to be a legitimate response for the climate worrier having reached the conclusion they (you) have. Not just despair, but guilt too, for we are all part of the problem.

Let’s put the instinctive rejecters of climate catastrophe to one side and consider the three other groups: climate sceptic, climate activist, climate worrier. (There are others too. In fact from my limited survey, 95% of humanity are still in the rump of “Huh?”) On the face of it, all three groups have seen the same evidence. They have come to three different conclusions, to wit:




Three different conclusions from the same data.

Or is it the same data?

Let’s be nice for a minute and accept that no groups are engaging in motivated reasoning. Let’s also assume that nobody believes what they do because they have been infected by an idea virus, or thoughtlessly mirrored what those around them believe for so long they believe it themselves without ever having really thought about it. Let’s assume each group is formed of cool rational beings, and fed the same data, they arrive at two polarised positions about the future, and three polarised positions about what to do about it (FIGHT/DO NOTHING/GIVE UP). This seems like an odd result. And it is.

Each group is no doubt surprised to see the conclusions drawn by the others. This surprise is quick to become disbelief in some. So sceptics consider the activists to be brainwashed cultists. Activists consider the sceptics to be in the employ of big oil, or engaged in the act of hiding the cheese. (This expression relates to resistance to change in organisations.)

Let’s assume for a moment that we’re doomed, just for the sake of argument. We now have a choice of FIGHT or GIVE UP. Personally I would far rather see you fight than give up. Even if that means you glued yourself to the road in front of my car. Hope dies last. Which means, until we give up, we can win. When we give up, we cannot win. If what I say next can’t convince you that we’re not doomed, please don’t give up. Do something, if only a small something. I would prefer you to do something useful, something that will have a good effect on your local environment, rather than doing a stunt like gluing yourself to a petrol pump that will only have the effect of annoying your fellow humans. And don’t ever feel guilty about being alive. Nothing beats what you can bring to the party.

Now let’s swim back up to the next fork: WE’RE DOOMED or WE’RE NOT DOOMED. This seems to be a fairly dichotomous split – no middle way. All the data I have seen tells me we’re not doomed. The data says things are actually getting better for people. The number of people dying from weather-related causes is a tiny and declining fraction of all mortality – which in itself, regardless of whether the globe is a degree warmer than before, or the sea a foot higher than before, tells me that we’re not doomed. The data shows slow, incremental warming, slow, incremental sea level rise, slow, incremental increases in life expectancy, slow, incremental increases in crop yields, slow, incremental increases in wealth and health…

…in short, nothing bad has happened so far. It doesn’t matter which weather disaster you point to, it has happened before, and worse. Because of the increasing population of the globe, the casualty rate from these disasters should be going up, year on year, even if the weather was no worse. It isn’t. It’s going down, year on year. If that is true, where does WE’RE DOOMED come from?

Not from data. From speculative models about what the future might hold. Which typically ignore the fact that people are getting wealthier. If we are wealthy, we can cope with whatever the weather or climate throws at us. If we are poor, we are vulnerable to every whim of Nature.

My advice therefore is: look at what has happened over the last hundred years of human progress, and let that be your guide to our future. There will be wars. There will be pandemics. But the weather will not daunt us. Not unless we let it. Those stories about what will happen by 2035, 2050? They are selling you dystopia, because dystopia sells. No-one buys utopia. It’s so boring there. (Everyone wants to live there, but no-one wants to read about it.)

Why the instinct to claim a fire and brimstone apocalypse? Easily answered. Because humanity ignored all the mild warnings, they became moderate warnings. We ignored those too, so they became severe warnings. Guess what happened? Most of our species carried on as before, more worried about next month’s bills than global warming. So the severe warnings became apocalyptic warnings. Then some people glued themselves to petrol pumps, and others despaired, and tore at themselves with guilt, and swore never to have children. But the guilty are the doom-pushers, not the rest of us, not the ones who are just trying to get along, not you. And even with apocalyptic warnings ringing in our ears, most of us instinctively know that everything will be ok. And it will.

At a meeting of bankers a few months ago, a speaker told the audience that they would all be dead from climate catastrophe in a couple of decades.

No-one looked up from their phone; they believed it, but in a very superficial way, a skin-deep way you might say. Deep down, they knew it was BS. And it was.

The main reason that human life will get worse in the future is not due to a worsening climate. It is due to the punishments inflicted on people like us by governments – and demanded by the petrol pump self-gluers – in the name of protecting the climate. To me, this is exactly 180 degrees wrong: we should protect people from the climate, not climate from the people.

A long long time ago, some guy said this:

On what principle is it, that when we see nothing but improvement behind us, we are to expect nothing but deterioration before us?

Every generation thinks humanity is going to fall off a cliff. So far, it hasn’t. Apocalyptic ideas are entrancing. Reality is more prosaic. We are safe and you are safe and your children, if you decide to have some, will be safe too.

You are at the stage of your life when almost anything is possible. Please, don’t curl up into a ball and worry about climate change. Life’s a beach, as they say: surf it.


  1. Find a weather event that caused terrible carnage before there was such a thing as climate change.
  2. Find an exaggerated claim about climate change in the mainstream media.
  3. Go to a party. You may not want to go now, but trust me: you’ll enjoy it when you get there.


  1. JIT may I congratulate you upon a superb essay, one that I feel I could (and perhaps should) have written but didn’t. I sums up many of my feelings about the topic. I probably would have been more lenient on the climate worrier and it’s extreme – the activist because they believe in something and are prepared to do something about their perceived problem. Not many are prepared to risk their freedom for causes anymore. What a pity it is for a cause which you and I believe is misguided.


  2. Jit, beautifully done. It ought to be prescribed reading at universities and schools (but doesn’t stand a chance of being read there, since it would probably be labelled dangerous misinformation….).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There’s a huge irony that those attending the course at the University of East Anglia (UEA) enjoy the thermal comfort at the facility courtesy of its natural gas fired boilers.

    The irony is enhanced by the fact that the boiler house is sited directly opposite the CRU building, so its occupants cannot fail to be reminded daily that they themselves are directly contributing to global warming.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well said JIT, couldn’t agree more. There’s a C S Lewis quote I like, you probably know the one….

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth.
    This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I think this one needs to take Kit’s advice:

    “‘Instead of living in fear of climate catastrophe, I’ll do something about it’: the thing I’ll do differently in 2023”

    …It is real, though: 40C summers, a third of Pakistan flooded, mass extinction and ecological collapse, the news that we’re teetering on the brink of irreversible climate breakdown: it’s all there when I wake at 3am and can’t breathe. I’m not enjoying writing this (I typed that last sentence fast with my eyes half-closed) and I feel bad, because I know others share my anxiety. I’m sorry if I’m giving you scrolling finger cramp, trying to get past the unpalatable, awful truth.

    But the truth is, denial doesn’t work and I can’t go on like this. Feeling terrified and powerless, then angry and powerless, then terrified again on an infernal loop isn’t helping anyone. And I’m increasingly conscious that actually, perhaps, I could help a tiny bit? So that’s what I plan to change next year….

    By the way, a good starting point might be not to believe everything you read – especially in the Guardian. It is simply not true that a "third of Pakistan flooded" and much of the rest of the Guardian's output is extreme hype bearing precious little relation to reality.


  6. looking back at 1 online BBC report on “third of Pakistan flooded” –

    I now notice, it is careful to say this statement came from Sherry Rehman, Pakistan’s climate minister.
    partial quote from above link –

    “One-third of Pakistan has been completely submerged by historic flooding, its climate minister says.
    Devastating flash floods have washed away roads, homes and crops – leaving a trail of deadly havoc across Pakistan.
    “It’s all one big ocean, there’s no dry land to pump the water out,” Sherry Rehman said, calling it a “crisis of unimaginable proportions.”
    At least 1,136 people have died since the monsoon season began in June, according to officials.
    The summer rain is the heaviest recorded in a decade and is blamed by the government on climate change.

    “Literally, one-third of Pakistan is underwater right now, which has exceeded every boundary, every norm we’ve seen in the past,” Ms Rehman told AFP news agency.
    “We’ve never seen anything like this,” the minister added.”

    BBC fact check team not needed it seems, to check if Sherry Rehman was quoted out of context or wrong.

    ps – comment maybe better on the “A Closer Look at Pakistan’s Floods” post?


  7. “It’s those who are most vulnerable or part of marginalised communities that tend to be hit worst by these impacts. Here in the UK, it’s those who can’t afford to go out and buy air conditioning during the heatwaves and heat their homes for the cold snaps in the winter that are most affected.”

    Obviously the weather will be perfect once we’ve mended our evil ways.

    Completely brainwashed. Rather disturbing.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The Guardian isn’t helping:

    “Young people: are you living with eco-anxiety in the UK?
    We would like to speak with young people aged 18 to 25 about dealing with eco-anxiety, as well as to parents and health practitioners of children experiencing it”

    Eco-anxiety – the chronic fear of environmental catastrophe – is affecting many young people’s daily lives, with six in 10 feeling very worried about the climate crisis, according to a global survey of youth last year.

    We would like to speak with people aged 18 to 25 in the UK about their experience of eco-anxiety. Is worrying about the climate emergency having an impact on your everyday life? If so, how? What symptoms are you experiencing? When did it start and how are you coping with it?

    We are also interested in hearing from parents and health practitioners of children and teenagers with eco-anxiety. When did your child starting experiencing this and how is it affecting them? Health practitioners, have you seen a rise among young people?


  9. Thanks Mark. A spectacular lack of self-awareness from them.

    GUARDIAN: We’re all doomed! Life on Earth is going to be wiped out! There’s no hope! It’s all our fault! If only all humans weren’t so terrible! Everything started to go wrong as soon as the Industrial Revolution got going! Climate catastrophe! Earthquakes! Hurricanes! Floods! Pestilence! Power cuts! Putin! Cuddly things wiped out! Horrible things multiplying! Plague! Carbon dioxide! Stop breathing, you blight on the planet!


    GUARDIAN: Is worrying about the climate emergency having an impact on your everyday life?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. “Climate anxiety linked to lack of access to green space”

    Climate anxiety among young people has been linked to a lack of access green space, a conservation charity says.

    In a poll commissioned by the Woodland Trust, seven out of 10 young people said they were worried about the the environment.

    The YouGov poll also found 86% of those surveyed felt being around nature had a positive effect on their mental health.

    The trust, which runs a 400-acre Young People’s Forest at Mead in Derbyshire, said the results were alarming.

    The trust’s chief executive Dr Darren Moorcroft said access to woodland was declining and tree cover in the UK was one of the lowest in Europe.

    He said: “Young people are experiencing an epidemic of climate anxiety and are increasingly worried about the health of the planet….

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Mark, this is something I instinctively think is key to the problem. Because we are so well protected from Nature, we become more fearful of it. Access to green space is a step in the right direction, but I would suggest that the kind of green space with billiard-table grass and lollipop trees ain’t it. The Woodland Trust should be organising school trips where the children are split into very small groups and sent orienteering with a compass and a map and no phones. No doubt health and safety would refuse.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. So, another bunch of rent seekers (in addition to the psychologists) hop aboard the manufactured climate anxiety crisis. This time it’s the obsessive re-wilders and the 15 minute city advocates:

    “We know that being outdoors and among nature has a positive effect on mental health – but the level of access to green space in the UK is simply not good enough.

    “Woodland cover in the UK is desperately low and we want to see it increased.

    “Trees and woods are integral to tackling both the nature and climate crises, but many young people miss out on both the physical and mental health benefits of being among nature.”

    He called on the government to give everyone access to green space within 15 minutes’ walk of their home by 2030.”

    Got to have your nice little piece of sanitised Nature within 15 minutes walk of your urban prison in order to calm your mind. The climate shrinks are making a killing, so the Green town planners and woodland charities should too.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I drew attention a few comments back to the Guardian’s request “…to speak with young people aged 18 to 25 about dealing with eco-anxiety, as well as to parents and health practitioners of children experiencing it” It seems the results are now in. Needless to say they represent a self-selecting sub-set of society:

    “‘Terrified for my future’: climate crisis takes heavy toll on young people’s mental health
    Young people in the UK tell how the emergency is affecting their psychological wellbeing and how they are coping”

    Jem, 24, has started losing sleep over the climate emergency. “Over the last two years, I have felt growing anxiety at the state of the environment. It keeps me up at night,” Jem, who works in nature conservation in Somerset, says. “I worry about what future I should be planning for.”

    Jem says it has contributed to them taking medication for their mental health. “I am on antidepressants but I don’t think this is a solution. Things like antidepressants can’t fix things when it’s an external problem. It’s the world we have created that is causing these issues.

    “Our mental health is so intrinsically tied to everything around us that we constantly see on the news. Even if you try and tune it out, you’re not going to be able to. It’s so out of our control. I know the science and the stark realities of it. There’s no fix to the anxiety because you know [the climate] is going to get worse.”

    Jem is one of scores of young people who shared their distress over the climate emergency with the Guardian. In a recent survey by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), almost three-quarters (73%) of 16- to 24-year-olds reported that the climate crisis was having a negative effect on their mental health, compared with 61% of all people in the UK. The figures were up from 61% and 55% respectively in 2020…

    On and on it goes…


  14. Needless to say they represent a self-selecting sub-set of society

    Indeed Mark. Ian Woolley has been bending my ear about some really hopeful signs from the same 18-25 age group and perhaps the next one up. He might just do a post about it in the near future.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. “I know the science and the stark realities of it. There’s no fix to the anxiety because you know [the climate] is going to get worse.”

    said one Dinosaur to another bird like Dinosaur.


  16. dfhunter

    Translation: “Repent all ye carbon sinners. I have seen the climate tea-leaves!”

    There’s something subtle they’re pushing here, which can be easily missed. Climate worriers are sane, rational people apparently, responding to the inevitability of a catastrophe which has been hard-wired by empirical science.

    “It’s hard, because her fears are founded in reality. It’s not like the monsters-under-the-bed fears of small children. These are real concerns that I can’t just magic away.”

    “Dr Gareth Morgan, a clinical psychologist and co-chair of the Association of Clinical Psychologists’ climate action network, acknowledges that terms such as “climate anxiety” or “eco-distress” can be helpful for some people, but cautions against pathologising distress over the climate crisis.

    “These terms risk locating the problem within the person – that they’re too sensitive or having irrational thoughts. When we regard climate anxiety as an individual problem, it positions not being concerned about the climate crisis as the healthy norm. And this supports the continued societal silence on discussing the emotional impact of climate breakdown.”

    The shrinks find there to be no evidence of clinical pathology in the climate worriers; indeed by suggesting that they are suffering mental ill health, this “positions not being concerned about the climate crisis as the healthy norm”. Thus those climate UNconcerned must per se be mentally ill, because they are pathologically ignoring The Science. The good doctor is insinuating that the real nutters are the climate change deniers. In fact, they may be dangerous, because they are attempting to derail efforts to achieve a ‘healthy climate for all’. So they should be confined to secure mental institutions for their own good and for the good of society.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Jit,

    I’m afraid Guardian letter-writers think you have this all wrong:

    “Help young people lead action to tackle climate crisis
    Rachael Orr says young adults must be empowered with advice, education and opportunities regarding the climate crisis”

    Re your article (‘Terrified for my future’: climate crisis takes heavy toll on young people’s mental health, 30 March), it is no wonder that young people are overwhelmed by the climate crisis.

    In our recent research with concerned young adults in nine European countries, people used terms such as “catastrophe”, “apocalypse” and “the end” to express how they felt. They also told us they felt powerless to help create change and were sceptical about government promises to tackle the climate crisis.

    This “climate generation” deserves to play a key role in developing and delivering the solutions to climate change. They are desperately seeking support, information and ideas about how they can help lead the changes in our lives and communities in the coming years.

    We must provide them with advice, education and, crucially, opportunities for their ideas and action – rather than just more and more terrifying information.
    Rachael Orr
    CEO, Climate Outreach


  18. We must provide them with advice, education and, crucially, opportunities for their ideas and action – rather than just more and more terrifying information

    I think we agree on this part at least.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I read this very sad comment in Portishead this morning, where I also came across this flyer:

    I too don’t know what to say. An international mental health expert no less.

    Good luck to them as independents. But may some intelligent caring please break out.


  20. When even independent candidates bang on about climate change in a flyer for local elections, where clearly nothing can be done about climate change, it’s pretty grim. It’s bad enough that the main political parties are fully signed up to it, but one might have hoped that independents would show some independent thinking.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. It set me back in two ways Mark. Reading it within minutes of Jit’s comment seemed Kafkaesque in the original horrifying sense of the nightmare-prone writer from Prague. Then, as you say, apart from the mental health part, this is now what is meant in the UK by Independent?

    Deaths from extreme events, my dear boy. To save our teenagers from such misdirected despair. Not Robin’s uber-pragmatic take (quite rightly) to his MP from the ruling party.

    Meaning I’m thinking about it. Interpret with empathy.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Ah yes, Professor David Gunnell, epidemiologist and expert in suicide prevention, of Bristol University, who volunteered to jab all and sundry, minus full and informed consent, during the pandemic, and who, when questioned by the Times in 2018 about the unusual spate of suicides at his university, said that they were just a ‘cluster effect’ and not due to any systemic failings. I can think of a more apt description which starts with the word cluster, I must admit. He got very shitty when the Times misquoted him as saying the 11 suicides in 18 months were ‘bad luck’, even though he responded affirmatively to a reporter who asked if they were just bad luck. Complained to IPSO. Bristol University was subsequently found guilty of discriminating against a physics student for requiring her to take part in an oral presentation in front of a crowd of people, which would have terrified her. Because obviously, if you want to study physics then you have to be an accomplished public speaker. Stephan Lewandowsky is also a professor at Bristol University, just by coincidence.


  23. First comment on the Times article Jaime refers to:

    I work in mental health research. There is a great body of evidence that suicide has a “contagion effect”. This means that where a suicide occurs you often see “clustering” of suicides, sometimes following similar patterns. This is what Professor Gunnell is referring to when he mentions “clusters”. This means that unfortunately where there is a death – and particularly one where there has been a lot of media attention (such as at Bristol) you often will see an increase in numbers of deaths by suicide. In this respect the media have an enormous responsibility on reporting on these issues responsibly, as reporting can have an impact on “cluster” or “contagion” effects.

    First part of the first comment, as ordered by ‘Recommended’, as I found it just now, to be utterly precise. Link: Bristol University suicides were not a failure in care, says academic dated 22nd June 2018

    I think we can also count ourselves as media. We too should watch our step. As Jit did.

    There again, the ‘climate crisis’ is totally avoidable despair for young people.


  24. Jaime universities are not just places to become conversant with subjects that are likely to important in your subsequent career. Good universities bring out all parts of a personality and improve personal skills. I have spent many many hours with students encouraging them to perform to their real abilities – speaking before others, critically judging others, improving their own written and spoken English. And been intellectually rewarded for doing so. I suppose it is possible to make matters worse, as may have happened at Bristol. Those involved there should perhaps have taken specialist advice, or passed the student on to someone more sympathetic.

    If I were to criticise it would be that no one in the universities I taught at or know about gives advise or training in giving pastoral care, you just do your best, seek advice from more experienced colleagues, and muddle through.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Talking of academics helping, I was very impressed by this grieving mother:

    Robert and Margaret Abrahart, whose daughter Natasha, 20, died in April, in the second year of a physics degree, disagreed with the suggestion that wellbeing provision was adequate. “We’re very unhappy,” Mr Abrahart said. “We suspect that there have been a number of failures.”

    Mrs Abrahart said that she wanted to see a report by Avon and Wiltshire NHS mental health services before she made up her mind. “I think there’s sufficient [concerns] there to warrant an investigation. It could be random. It also may not be. Unless you investigate, you can’t tell.”

    As reported by the Times. I’d gathered from the Guardian that she’s a ‘retired psychological wellbeing practitioner’. Facts before feelings – even when they hurt the most.


  26. Of course Alan, but their principle function is to provide a sound higher education. Bristol University were successfully sued under the Disability Discrimination Act for failing to recognise and take account of Natasha’s phobia about speaking in public, even though they were aware of it. She was a good student in all other respects, it seems. Another student, who was not so diligent, also committed suicide after he was summarily dismissed from his course via letter. The University authorities failed to engage with him personally prior to the dismissal. These are failings in pastoral care.
    So in respect of Richard’s last comment, I say one may attribute a statistical ‘cluster’ anomaly to increased media reporting and/or social media, but the fact is, people commit suicide for very specific reasons and if the ground is fertile when the seeds of ‘clustering’ are sown, those suicides will occur. Bristol University still refuses to investigate thoroughly every student death (14 more occurred 2018-2022). Are they afraid of what they might find?
    There is undoubtedly an even bigger problem here in that thousands of young people are being ‘kettled’ into institutes of higher education which in many cases are not appropriate to their needs and they would probably be better off pursuing different career paths, but universities have benefited immensely from this open door policy and the generous fees they charge. They should perhaps therefore take more responsibility in identifying those students who are struggling mentally.


  27. Everyone is making very valid points on this thread. Alan is absolutely right that attending university is about more than simply qualifying in an academic discipline. My three years at university were very definitely a time of growing up and learning societal interactions.

    Jaime, too, is correct that not everyone is suited to university life. I think we have created a huge problem in encouraging young people (many of whom lack the intellectual ability, and who don’t know what they will use their degree for) to go to university, amassing huge debts and learning little that will help them in life. A collateral problem is that we have turned universities into organisations which seem – to me at least – to be more concerned with making money than with academic rigour or student welfare. The lack of concern with student welfare seemed to be all too evident in the way some universities treated students during the covid lockdowns.


  28. People may not have got this allusion in what I wrote to you last night, Mark:

    Harold Macmillan was once asked what the most troubling problem of his Prime Ministership was. ‘Events, my dear boy, events,’ was his reply.

    (See the discussion here.) I took that thus:

    Deaths from extreme events, my dear boy. To save our teenagers from such misdirected despair.

    I had been thinking yesterday of writing to Professor Gunnell about this sad disconnect with reality, as Jit handled so well in the original post. No doubt partly influenced by Robin’s evolving letter to his MP. I hesitated about putting the flyer online here. I think I was right to hesitate. But, I thought, I’m not a voter in Gunnell’s ward. I went for the Cliscep option.

    The “Deaths from extreme events, my dear boy” was directed at the retired academic who’s now aiming to give back to his local community. I was trying to inject some lightheartedness into something both tragic and surreal. Although the pastoral issues within Bristol University are a worthy subject, I think it would be a shame to lose sight of ‘climate crisis’ despair specifically here.



    Is it a coincidence? UN/IPCC fear and guilt programs of Climate Change necessitating
    drastic government intervention shut – downs of energy etc etc, COVID lock – down and
    vaccine mandates, LBGTrans programs in schools initiating gender change mutilations.
    H.I. Mencken quote comes to mind… fear and guilt campaigns facilitating government
    interventions and growth of government.


  30. I notice on this comment thread re – “young people aged 18 to 25 about dealing with eco-anxiety”
    nobody seems to mention the parents?

    not a parent myself, but would you not notice if your child was getting depressed/suicidal?


  31. dfh: I find the questions naive.

    Young people who commit suicide often have problems with their parents. That was true for James, a good friend I lost in 1981, aged around 22. I knew him from my college at Cambridge. He was a lovely fellow, gregarious, infectious laugh and a loyal friend. I was deeply shocked when he took his life, though I knew well that he had mental health issues. Because he often chose to discuss such things with me. And not with his parents.

    I felt tremendous guilt that I’d lost touch with James and didn’t know, until a few days before, that he’d been admitted to the Maudsley Hospital in Denmark Hill. (Googling will tell you that’s the largest mental health training institution in the UK.) The mental health professionals involved also lost a precious soul – and must have felt that loss keenly.

    His parents knew he was considered in that bad a way, after leaving Cambridge. But they too could do nothing. His funeral was one of the bleakest events I have ever attended.

    It’s a dreadful, dreadful thing. And it’s appalling that as a society we’re tipping young people into despair through utter rot dressed up as consensus science. Deaths from extreme events, dear boy.


  32. Richard I recognise and sympathise with your feelings. Academic advisors are supposed to offer advice, even in cases where you recognise the severity of the problems your student advisee is bringing before you. As I complained of yesterday academic advisors are supposed to deal with problems of their advisees that they have no training for. In my years at UEA I had to deal with, at different times, three students threatening suicide who came to me for advice. The first time this happened I was absolutely stumped.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Richard – sorry to hear about your friend. I worded my comments poorly.
    only point/observation I was making was suicide victim’s parents seem via the media
    to be putting the onus for preventing the suicide on Uni/Employer etc.

    as Alan commented above, is this expecting to much from Uni/Employer etc ?

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Thanks Alan, despite how much time has elapsed, that meant a lot.

    The first time this happened I was absolutely stumped.

    Yes – but the student entrusted you with this mighty burden. That says a lot about you, all of it good.

    We should be stumped more often.


  35. “UK’s first Young People’s Forest helps ease volunteers’ climate anxiety”

    Volunteers who have helped create the UK’s first Young People’s Forest have seen their climate anxiety levels fall, managers have said.

    The Woodland Trust has planted 250,000 trees on a former open cast coal mine near Heanor, in Derbyshire, in a project aimed at young people.

    Managers said young volunteers had told them it had helped some of their stresses fade away.

    Elyse White, 22, said being involved had helped her “massively”.

    We seem now to be entering the realm of the absurd. Not in terms of planting a forest, but in terms of young people’s climate stress being allegedly ameliorated by a project which – on its own – will make absolutely no difference whatsoever to climate change. Of course, we get the symbolism of it being planted on a former coal mine site.


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