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What Gen-Alpha Faces In The Future

According to a 2022 study, even if current global climate policy pledges are met, people born in 2020 would experience between 10x more extreme events—especially heat waves—over their lifetimes than people born in 1960.

Generation Alpha (Gen A) is the generation following Generations Y (millennials) and Z and currently includes all children born in or after 2010—the same year the iPad was born. The majority of this demographic is under 13 years of age, but the oldest of them will become teens in 2023. Anxiety about the future also is a predominant emotional reaction to climate change content among those who are most engaged with the issue on social platforms (those who follow a climate-focused account, interact with, post or share climate content themselves). Majorities of these climate-engaged social media users report feeling angry that not enough is being done when encountering climate change content online; but large shares also say they feel motivated to learn more and confident in the ability to reduce the effects of climate change.

Many Gen A youths feel especially affected by climate change and wonder about their futures in this world, and may have anger towards previous generations for their actions leading to climate change. Youth may want to talk about environmental issues and their concerns about the future, and may want to engage in social activism. Families and young people should seek out help when anxiety affects their daily life. For instance, some people experience panic attacks, trouble sleeping, extreme separation anxiety, or obsessive thinking related to climate change. In the future we will see more school evacuations or closures for weather or fire events that can disrupt school, access to medications, loss of prized possessions and pets, and community connections.

According to the Deloitte Global Millennial Survey (2019), 29% of generation Y is concerned and tries to protect the environment against damage. The behavior differentiates and makes them unique from other generations. This survey showed that Generation Y and Z both have real concerns about environmental issues in this world. They actively reducing the use of plastic and they also shared that it is important for a company to have sustainability development.

Younger Americans – Millennials (Gen Y) and adults in Generation Z – stand out in a new Pew Research Center survey particularly for their high levels of engagement with the issue of climate change. Compared with older adults, Gen Zers and Millennials are talking more about the need for action on climate change; among social media users, they are seeing more climate change content online; and they are doing more to get involved with the issue through activities such as volunteering and attending rallies and protests.

While many forms of political engagement – such as voting – tend to be higher among older adults, 32% of Gen Zers and 28% of Millennials have taken at least one of four actions (donating money, contacting an elected official, volunteering or attending a rally) to help address climate change in the last year, compared with smaller shares of Gen X (23%) and Baby Boomer and older adults (21%).

The survey finds that, when asked about engaging with climate change content online, those in Gen Z are particularly likely to express anxiety about the future. Among social media users, nearly seven-in-ten Gen Zers (69%) say they felt anxious about the future the most recent time they saw content about addressing climate change. A smaller majority (59%) of Millennial social media users report feeling this way the last time they saw climate change content; fewer than half of Gen X (46%) and Baby Boomer and older (41%) social media users say the same. As for Gen A as a result of the lack of real policy changes globally, today's children and future generations are more likely to be exposed and vulnerable to climate change and related risks such as flooding, heat stress, water scarcity, poverty, homelessness, forced migration and hunger. The most likely "Liveable" future for them is a world where a small, wealthy elite hoarding exclusive access to an increasingly scarce set of resources over the next hundred years, while everyone else suffers. Aless likely scenario unless people en mass become active in climate change resistance movements by boycotting companies that cause environmental damage and genocide, is that people globally live in better harmony with the Earth's ecosystems and have the clean air, affordable housing and food security they need to get by, hundreds of years into the future. That livable future is up to us to imagine and fight for but we have to do it right now!



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