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The climate crisis

How can we gauge how a young person feels about the issue of the climate crisis?
Climate protestor holding sign No Planet B

Young people are becoming increasingly politicised, willing to voice their discontents with the political system and advocate for future generations.

This has led to participation in demonstrations such as the Extinction Rebellion (XR) movement that was established in 2018 to advocate for government reform regarding the environment and climate change.

As XR has gained momentum, we have seen many young people join the movement in protest for their future. Therefore, it is important to try to gauge how a young person feels about the issue of the climate crisis.

You might want to ask questions including:

  • Do you think about the environment when you think of your future?
  • From your point of view is there a climate crisis?
  • Are you aware of the Extinction Rebellion movement?
  • Do you feel empowered to influence change?

If neither Black Lives Matter or the climate crisis topics arise, here are a few other events that happened in 2020, that the young people you are working with may have been affected by:

  • The media coverage and treatment of migrants in the UK and Europe
  • The treatment of Uyghur Muslims in China
  • Brexit
  • The Beirut Explosion.

Of course there are many other issues facing humanity. What is important is to be aware that a young person may just be becoming aware of all the struggles, challenges, and injustices in the world, and they may be rightly quite overwhelmed by it all. It is important that a young person is supported to engage with these issues and not patronised for being ‘idealistic’ or ‘naive.’

PEP POINTS TASK suggestions

  • Take two hours of positive disengagement, for example turning off your phone or notifications by using apps such as Offtime or BreakFree.
  • Share something that they read in a newspaper.
  • Donate or raise money for a charity.
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