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Climate Despair and the Rise of the Doomers



By Sarah Clemens

It’s Earth Month, and the movement to let earth die has never been stronger.

“Doomers’’ are people who believe climate change is irreversible and society as we know it, will soon collapse. The term may be recent, but it’s flourished in online communities like the subreddits r/collapse, /doomer, r/preppers, and /bugout.

Posts on these forums are endlessly fatalistic. The top post, for example, on r/doomer begins, “[s]ometimes I wonder how we are not all walking around in a state of pure unquellable panic.”)

On r/preppers, there’s a weekly thread for people to share what they did “to prepare.” In the comments, people share anecdotes of buying ammo, dehydrating pineapples, and stockpiling canned goods.

There’s also r/bugout, a subreddit named after the term for military retreat. Here, people share pictures of their “bugout bags” and judge how prepared they are for “when s**t hits the fan.”

On the flip side, you have r/collapse users, who post memes captioned, “me listening to people talking about net zero carbon by 2050 being enough when I know we’re completely f**ked already.” They crack jokes about a bygone future, a self-imploding civilization.

While these groups may not be mainstream, they’re not small either. A 2021 Yale survey concluded that 70% of Americans experience “climate depression.”

Noah Oderburg, a scientist located in California, used the term “pre-PTSD” and said, “it’s not a trauma that’s already occurred. It’s a fear of a future trauma.”

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report on global warming on April 4. Jim Skea, IPCC co-chair, said it was “now or never, if we want to limit global warming…without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, it will be impossible.”

Three days later, four climate activists chained themselves to a JP Morgan Chase Building as an act of protest against the bank’s funding of fossil fuel projects. “The scientists of the world have been being ignored, and it’s got to stop,” said scientist Peter Kalmus in a video. He promptly breaks into tears.

The “doomer” movement is not without detractors who see it as too negative. At the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference climate advocate Greta Thunburg said, “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words.” She spoke bleakly of reality, but also of hope for the future: “The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not.”

Hank Green, an author and science communicator with a large online following, recently posted a Tiktok about the subject. In the video, he says that while he’s “very worried” about climate change, it “pisses” him off to see people say humanity is doomed. “I’m 41 years old. I’ve been working on this since I was f**king 18. We didn’t let hopelessness eat us then, and I’m not gonna you let hopelessness eat you now.”

The post Climate Despair and the Rise of the Doomers first appeared on Post News Group. This article originally appeared in Post News Group.


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