Students Abel, Amalie and William believe the pandemic and war in Ukraine are some of the reasons young people are less concerned about the climate than they were last year.
Opinion asked young people between the ages of 15 and 25 how concerned they were about climate change. 53 percent answered that they were concerned, while 63 percent responded similarly last year.
– Opinion analyst Bendik Mogensen tells VG it’s a bit limited in how much they can worry about it at the same time.
The epidemic and war are happening here and now
High school students from Voss in Oslo, Abel, Amalie, and William were not surprised by the survey results. They think the crises we’ve seen recently may be a cause.
The climate problem has become very normal. People know it’s serious, but don’t think too much about it in everyday life. Especially during the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, Abel Khan-Østrem (17) tells VG.
He is supported by fellow student Amalie Nordbo-Udin (16), who also believes the pandemic is affecting outcomes.
The epidemic and war in Ukraine are happening here and now. Suddenly you have to buy iodine tablets because you are afraid that a nuclear power plant will explode, she says and adds:
After that, we all contracted the virus. This strain is closer to us than the consequences of climate change, Amalie says, which may be long-term consequences.
– He should have been more worried
Both Abel and Amelie are concerned about climate change. But their colleague William Roland Houdin (16) is not worried.
– For my part, I may have been more anxious, but I am not. William says it’s a little scary that I don’t think much about it, but it’s even more scary if we live in a world where a lot of people think like me.
Amalie adds that William is kind of “easier” than she and Abel, and that may explain why he takes a quieter approach to dealing with the climate crisis.
Yes, we also have a great deal of knowledge about the climate crisis. You kind of become less fearful when you have a lot of information about it. William answers, but thinking this way might be a bit counterproductive.
Characterized by other crises
-What we’ve seen earlier in Young’s poll is that there’s a kind of weariness of commitment among young people, says Mogensen when he asks VG why he thinks young people are less anxious.
Mogensen explains that this is a generation that has been anxious for a long time. Among other things, they went on demonstration trains, striking for the climate and shouting loudly. Then came the epidemic.
He stressed that the Corona pandemic has particularly affected young people.
Their adolescence was much more limited by the pandemic than their adult life. They have always been asked to be vigilant to protect their loved ones. So I think the results have a little connection to the crises that we’ve seen in recent years.
From home school to high school
Amalie, Apple, and William spent most of their prep school in high school, before starting their first grade in high school this fall.
Both Abel and William are relieved and happy that they are finally in school. Amalie is also happy to be in school physically, but she stresses that it wasn’t just easy.
It suddenly became a whole new everyday life. I can’t say I’m back to normal because we went to eighth grade before the pandemic, and suddenly we were starting first grade in high school with completely different social circles. She says there is a lot that happened in those years there.
Although the numbers show that Generation Z is less concerned about climate change, Mogensen thinks this is a hopeful group.
We see that they are more positive about the green transition than the rest of the population. They have more confidence in new and green jobs, and we also see something that might remind us of some hope for the future, he says and adds:
They are simply more positive about climate measures than the authorities. They are more willing to accept taxes, prohibitions, and orders to achieve climate goals.
The students agree with what Mogensen says. All three are intended for wind turbines and toward further oil and gas exploration.
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