Little boys are afraid of big boys

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Eight out of ten children are afraid of climate change!

A recent study by the SOS Children's Village makes it clear how important it must be for us to guard planet earth like the apple of our eye. The core message of the same: Children and young people are more afraid of nothing than climate change.

Samuel is only ten years old. But when asked how climate change will affect our planet, he has a clear answer: The water level will rise so much that people who live near the sea will have to ask for help. Why is this happening? He looks serious and says: "Because of the extreme pollution!"

No. Samuel is not a prime example of how to dramatize this text. In the course of the “Kids4Climate” campaign, Samuel expressed his concerns in public. And so he joins the worried group of a large and above all young majority: 75% of Austrian children and adolescents are afraid of climate change!

Climate change more threatening than Corona

This is the conclusion of a current study commissioned by Austria's SOS Children's Villages. Between July and August 2020, a total of 400 children and young people between the ages of eleven and 18 were surveyed throughout Austria. Spectacular result: 59% of the survey carried out by the Institute for Youth Culture Research fear that pandemics could occur more frequently in the future. Big BUT: 78% are most afraid of environmental pollution, followed by climate change with 75%.

But there is also another number that is thought-provoking: 85% of the young survey participants think that “we are about to destroy our planet”, 88 percent think “we have to act now to protect the climate and the environment, otherwise it will be too late". And that means that a not so small proportion are not afraid of the consequences, so they have simply taken note of them!

Politicians do not take climate change seriously enough

Specifically, the children are mainly affected by deteriorating air (83%), disappearing forests (80%), less and less living space for animals (79%), more frequent natural disasters (77%), no clean water (76%) and ever hotter summers ( 71%) fear. More than two thirds fear that the consequences will have a negative impact on their own health.

And more than two thirds are of the opinion that the young have to pay for the mistakes of the older ones in this regard. So the mistakes of those who make decisions today. Accordingly, it is hardly surprising that over 80 percent of children are of the opinion that politics and business do not take climate protection seriously enough.

“That must be an appeal to all of us. We cannot just go on talking about climate goals, but at the same time steer straight towards a climate catastrophe, ”said Lukas Nemec and Richard König, Managing Directors of Enery Development, concerned. Together they have set themselves the goal of using all the possibilities of photovoltaics to pave the way for a world full of clean energy. The company claim alone says exactly what the two entrepreneurs are about in their daily work: We do the right things right. “We want to do the right thing with the right tools in order to leave our children a better world than is currently the case,” Nemec and König continued.

What can a sustainable restart look like?

Of course, the two visionaries receive tailwind from the study commissioner: “Politicians must listen to the children and young people and must not forget about climate and environmental protection even during the Corona crisis. When, if not now, can we decide what a good, sustainable new start looks like? ”, So the official statement from SOS Children's Villages. And Christian Moser, Managing Director of SOS Children's Villages, demands personally: “We now have to act in terms of climate and environmental policy. We urgently need measures for a child-friendly Austria, in which every child can grow up in a healthy environment, regardless of home or origin. "

So we can only hope that the federal government will take steps in the near future that will take away our children's fears and in return create security. The energy transition has to be achieved, and this can only be achieved with the power of the sun, as current studies such as those by Professor Hubert Fechner show.

✅ Text: Johannes Stühlinger
✅ Photos: UNSPLASH
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