How youth respond to climate change news on social media

Two large surveys indicate that millennials and members of Gen Z are more emotionally engaged with climate issues than older generations.

Why it matters: Younger people are growing up with the effects of global warming are visible all around them, from heat waves like the one this week to extreme precipitation events.

They are also behind the biggest mass movement this issue has ever seen.

Driving the news: A Pew Research Center survey conducted in April found that younger Americans are more likely to see content on climate change via social media, and tend to be more anxious about the future after viewing such climate content.

  • Gen Z and millennials are also more likely than older Americans to be angry that not enough is being done to address climate change, but they’re still relatively optimistic about being able to reduce its effects.
  • The poll consisted of 13,749 respondents and has a sampling error of plus or minus 1.4%.

Yes, but: A separate poll by Deloitte that sampled the views of 22,928 millennials and Gen Z youth in 45 countries found that 44% of millennials and 43% of Gen Z members said they feared the environment “had passed the point of no return,” and it was too late to address climate change.

  • It may reflect the greater severity of climate change effects in developing nations.

Our thought bubble: The polling data is a window onto the global youth movement on climate. Simply put, young people are alarmed but motivated.

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