Manjot Kaur Among Youth Concerned About Climate Future

Although she has known about climate change for her "whole life", Manjot Kaur was researching online as a 13-y...

Although she has known about climate change for her "whole life", Manjot Kaur was researching online as a 13-year-old when she realised the extent to which it would affect her life to come.

But the scariest part wasn't the statistics about rising temperatures or pictures of devastated landscapes around the world she found online, Ms Kaur says: it was what she saw at home.

"People were going on with their lives as normal," the first year University of Sydney politics student recalls. "People were going to school and just living their lives. I was thinking, 'How could I just go to my class normally when my future is so uncertain and there's a massive crisis going on?'"

Ms Kaur, 18, says she feels anxious about the future of the planet "to some extent" on a daily basis.

"I feel really powerless and helpless sometimes. Because the decisions have already been made, and not knowing what to do with that is quite scary."

According to new survey data from youth mental health organisation ReachOut, four in five Australian students report being somewhat or very anxious about climate change, with close to half of those experiencing these emotions on a weekly basis...

..."When I see my life plans, they really unclear because I don't know what climate change will mean or look like. But the idea of having a child and making them deal with the climate crisis in the future seems so unfair."...

...For Ms Kaur, who helped to organise last year's Sydney School Strike 4 Climate and will be assisting at the march on Friday, coping mechanisms include talking to her friends, as well as taking breaks from social media.

However, she says taking part in the strike and other climate change protests has been the biggest help.

"It's helped me to feel like climate change is not completely out of my control."

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