Mental health repercussions of climate inaction

A recent Australian survey of children between 10 and 14 reported that
one in four participants believe the world will end before they grow up.

Illustration by Edgar Ludert for

. . .

Campaign to hold our elected representatives in Parliament accountable for the mental health repercussions of their climate inaction.

“I write to you as a concerned voter, to express my deep concern about the mental health impacts of climate change, an issue that is increasingly pressing in Australia. Research indicates that climate-fuelled disasters have significantly affected the mental well-being of Australians, with over half reporting some impact on their mental health, and one in five experiencing major or moderate effects.

Australian and international research highlights the significant number of people (between 20-50%) living through extreme weather events develop anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other mental health issues. For every individual physically injured by a natural disaster, 40 more will suffer psychological impacts.

This is compounded by the rise of ‘eco-anxiety’, as our youth grapple with the threat of irreversible ecological damage: A recent Australian survey of children between 10 and 14 reported that one in four participants believe the world will end before they grow up.

We urge you to consider these findings and take decisive action. We must take action to protect our country, our world, and our planet. We must mitigate the mental health repercussions of climate change. We invite you to meet with us to discuss how we can work together to address climate change and its impact on Australian’s mental health. Your leadership is crucial in ensuring the well-being of our community and the protection of our environment.

When can we schedule a community meeting with you to address our climate concerns?”

This is the wording of the May 2024 Letition-letter, which members of the community are encouraged to send to their local representatives in Parliament. See more on


If emissions in Australia fall at the current rate, the country will hit zero in the year 2207.
~ Ketan Joshi, carbon researcher

→ Ketan Joshi – 31 March 2024:
Anthony Albanese: the future fossil export king of Australia

Now is the time to leave our abusers

Jeanne Nel commented:
“If you read only one article today, read this one. Read it twice.”

→ – 12 April 2024:
On cognitive dissonance, and courage
“Now is the time to leave our abusers.” By Gabrielle Kuiper

‘Corporations are not human. Nor are the national oil and gas companies, especially not those in despotic regimes. The purveyors of fossil fuels have no empathy, no conscience. They are selling us denial, delay and false solutions with feelgood names like carbon capture and storage and blue hydrogen.’

‘The fossil fuel industries leak toxic substances into our air, waterways, soil, and oceans with impunity. The poisoning is literal, as well as corrosive to our democracies, when politicians are convinced their states’ economic wellbeing depends on coal, oil or gas.’

‘The fossil fuel companies and their enablers entice addiction to their products. They sell cars and oil as sex and freedom; plastics as modernity and convenience; methane, which increases the risk of asthma in children on par with passive smoking, as ‘natural’ gas. We could have had electric vehicles decades ago if the automobile and oil industries hadn’t conspired against them. Exxon employed first-class climate scientists in the 1980s. They knew, they lied.’

‘The truth of climate change is in the hurricanes, the record heat, the droughts, the landslides, the flooding, the choking smoke, the red sky burning.’

‘Yet the fossil fuel companies tell us we can’t live without them, and that they are changing for the better.’

‘Now is the time for courage. Now is the time to leave our abusers.’

The Global Tipping Points Report was launched at COP28 on 6 December 2023. The report is an authoritative assessment of the risks and opportunities of both negative and positive tipping points in the Earth system and society.

Featured Al Jazeera documentary:
‘Lost Futures: How greed is destroying our planet’ | Dying Earth: Episode 1

This episode traces the trajectory of climate change over the past 60 years and examines how and why – despite the stark warnings – we failed to halt the climate catastrophe we are currently experiencing, and why it appears politics and science are at odds when it comes to this issue. Years of propaganda and greed from oil companies created a world where profit trumped the health of the planet, the consequences of which are now being felt today.

Scene in the movie ‘The Road’

Coming to terms with climate collapse

“If you’re feeling climate anxiety, you’re not alone! Google data reveals that searches for that phrase increased by a whopping 4,590 percent from 2018 to 2023.

The truth is, you don’t need to be a nihilist to wonder whether we can survive the climate crisis. The science is in, and there is no doubt that it’s affecting human mortality around the world.

So if you want to both do something about it and hide under a very large rock – we see you.

Fortunately, you can still listen to Grave Matters from there, where you’ll find comfort and a new perspective on our planetary fate.

In our penultimate episode, Nadine J. Cohen & I tackle the science with climate policy expert and communicator, David Spratt.

Facing the hard facts about famine, water shortages, and wet bulb temperatures forces us to consider death from both a personal and collective point of view. Yet despite a torrent of truth bombs, David hasn’t lost hope, and his dedication to climate policy change is truly inspiring.

Our second guest, psychotherapist Carolyn Baker, holds our hands as we struggle with some pretty big questions like ‘What is collapse awareness?’, ‘How can we die wisely?’ and ‘Are we OK?’. We all needed a virtual hug after this one, and this planetary death doula was there with open arms.

If you’d like to feel better educated and more psychologically equipped for the climate crisis, you won’t want to miss Episode 9.

Check out #GraveMatters at Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) Australia or wherever you get your podcasts.”
~ Anthony Levin

Episode 9: No Planet B: Coming to Terms with Climate Collapse

Grave Matters is an SBS podcast, written and hosted by Anthony Levin and Nadine J. Cohen and produced by Jeremy Wilmot

A survey in 2022 by the Pew Research Center revealed that almost four-in-ten US adults (39 percent) believe that humanity is “living in end times”.

→ The Independent – 4 May 2024:
Dinner party conversation turns morbid: Chat about the apocalypse is becoming more mainstream
“Fears surrounding artificial intelligence, wars, the climate crisis, and disease are driving more frequent conversations about the ‘apocalypse’. The ‘end times’ is now a common, yet morbid, dinner party conversation, according to analysis by professors Erik Bleich and Christopher Star at Middlebury College, Vermont.”

Climate mental health

In response to the climate crisis, many around the world, especially young people, have reported feeling overwhelmed, powerless, sad, and anxious. Overlooking emotions while learning about crushing climate data can cause anxiety and helplessness, and impede our ability to learn and take action. How do we support youth in stepping up rather than shutting down?

Beyond Gloom and Doom: How to Teach Climate Change Towards Empowerment