Have your children got eco-anxiety? How would you know if they had?
According to a variety of psychologists and psychiatrists, talk of a ‘climate crisis’ has led to an upsurge in young people reporting feelings of anxiety, helplessness and guilt.
The symptoms of this newly coined syndrome are real enough, according to the Royal College of Psychiatrists – and why wouldn’t they be in a world pumped full of one-sided propaganda?
We saw this over Christmas when Channel 4 screened a special edition of Gogglebox called Gogglesprogs, which featured viewers as young as six.
The children were shown watching as the BBC parroted untrue claims by Extinction Rebellion (XR) that ‘scientists say we have only 11 years to act’. And their response was all too understandable.
One child looked especially pained as she counted on her fingers how many years she had left to live and worked out that, according to the BBC, the world could end when she was just 19.
Later, a little boy reacted to the fanatical claims of XR by saying to the viewers: ‘That’s sad. Why did we have to be born at this time?’
They are growing up, of course, in a world where Greta Thunberg is preaching her gospel of imminent hellfire and in which world leaders queue up to approve her message.
Supposedly serious politicians like to pretend that what the Swedish teenager is saying (we’re all about die) is true, that her proposed response (destroy free-market capitalism) is reasonable, and people who ought to know better are trying to outdo each other in hysteria. The results are hardly surprising.
In recent weeks alone, a number of friends have told me of children feeling depressed or listless because they are falling for the lies of these abusers who claim that young people have no chance of ever growing up.
One mother recently described how her daughters had asked what the point was in taking their GCSEs if they weren’t even going to be here a few years later.
You might have thought that, rather than whip them up still further, any remaining adults in the room should offer children the perspective and insight that age might bring, but I have been repeatedly struck by how few people there are willing to take up that role.
Meanwhile, cynical politicians such as Jeremy Corbyn and anyone who aspires to lead the Lib Dems have played a huge role.