Yet, many young people continue to fight. They do this despite the mental and physical toll that comes with their activism on the streets, fighting for a better future when they should be enjoying their lives to the fullest.
I don’t consider myself a climate activist. Despite dedicating my career to climate action, I also live with climate hypocrisy as, despite my largely sustainable lifestyle, I travel the world and have benefitted from the largesse provided by fossil fuels.
Deep within me, I know the carbon credits I purchase to offset my emissions are a trivial: representing self-gratitude and a pat-in-the-back gesture for myself. My climate hypocrisy probably fuels my climate anxiety even more in a vicious circle.
My climate anxiety is here to stay. And until there are structural changes to the way our economies transition, my climate hypocrisy is here to stay as well.
If you have gone this far with reading this, you are not alone. Talking about it and regularly writing and working on climate, connecting with like-minded people, admitting dual standards in response to the climate emergency, and spending time in nature help me come to terms with my anxiety, and keep my hope for the future alive.
Rastraraj Bhandari contributes regularly to Nepali Times on climate change.
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