The decline in the U.S. birth rate has many experts scratching their heads, with many predicting a “jaw dropping” plummet in the number of kids being born. There are lots of different reasons for the plunge, but climate change is a big one. A new study finds that younger generations are concerned about the kind of world their children would be born into. In fact, four in 10 say the changing climate and government inaction on the crisis has them wary of having kids.
It’s the biggest study ever conducted on how young people feel about the climate. It found that six out 10 people between the ages of 16 and 25 are “very or extremely” worried about the climate. About the same number said the government wasn’t doing enough to protect the planet and future generations, and felt “betrayed” by older generations and governments who have either downplayed or ignored the crisis. Almost half say their anxiety about the changing climate affected their day-to-day life. 75 percent agreed with the statement “the future is frightening.”
The worsening climate has taken an enormous toll across the globe, driving many already food-insecure nations to severe drought as farmers can no longer grow crops in the same quantities or in the same fields they did for generations. Here in the U.S., our infrastructure is buckling under the demands of changing weather patterns, with deadly cold snaps in Texas and lethal heatwaves in the Pacific Northwest forcing local governments to scramble to keep residents safe.
So it’s no surprise that many younger generations are rethinking what it might mean to raise children in this kind of world. If people are serious about convincing people to start having kids again, they might consider making the world a better place to raise a family in.