Climate Change and the Effects it has on Teens


Burning planet (VOX News)

Trin Johnson, Phoenix Albrecht, Reporters

     Teens across the globe are struggling to deal with climate change and the consequences that come with it.  According to ABC News, “45%, said their feelings about climate change negatively affect their daily life and functioning” (the study of teens and mental health towards climate changes). ABC later went on to say “75% of those surveyed said they feel the future is frightening, while 64% said governments are not doing enough to avoid a climate catastrophe.” The majority of students are frightened and nearly half of students are being mentally affected by climate change daily.

     Teens have a whole new set of problems to deal with and impending doom is not something easily handled. Covid stress alongside problems at home makes it harder to be a teen now more than ever. Climate change is just one more brick on a teen’s back. 

     Global warming and climate change affects those even in our own school. Sarah Ireland, a student at Telluride High School said, “It scares me that people don’t think it’s real because I think that is one of the scariest things about climate change.” Here in Telluride, we can see the changes brought by climate change effecting students in their every day life. Many students skiers and snowboarders are anxious about losing snowfall, and ultimately losing their favorite recreation and stress reliever.

        Government action has been lacking on climate change and teens are noticing. According to CNBC News, “Young people are suffering ‘profound psychological distress’ due to climate change and government inaction on the crisis”.  ABC said, “58% said governments are betraying them, while 61% said governments are not protecting them, the planet or future generations.” 

     Some Teens aren’t Seeing the same as others… 

As we interviewed kids in Telluride High School, we came to an understanding that not all teens are frightened by climate change, some even think it’s fake.  PJ, a student in Telluride High School’s Journalism class, stated that he is not scared of climate change because, “the earth fluctuates and changes.” Another student we interviewed, Noah, said, “Global warming is fake; it’s just weather.” He also said, “The scientific data is fake.” We’ve learned that most conspiracy theorists think the same thing, but also think global warming data was “invented” for others’ benefits.

     At the end of the day, climate change can be proven without a shred of doubt. And you can do something about it: turn off your lights you’re not using, recycle, plant some trees, and hold your government responsible for climate change in action. Yes, throughout its history, the earth does have cycles of climate changes, but never as fast as the warming we’re experiencing. And if we don’t reduce carbon emissions drastically and soon, our kids and grand kids won’t have snow in the Telluride mountains. And much, much worse consequences than that!