‘OK Doomer’ And The Climate Advocates Who Say It’s Not Too Late

A growing chorus of young people is focusing on climate solutions. “‘It’s too late’ means ‘I don’t have to do anything, and the responsibility is off me.’” If awareness about the climate crisis has never been greater, so, too, has been a mounting sense of dread about its unfolding effects, particularly among the young. Two-thirds of Americans thought the government was doing too little to fight climate change, according to a 2020 Pew study. There is also growing consensus that depression and eco-anxiety are perfectly natural responses to the steady barrage of scary environmental news. A thriving community of climate communicators, believe that staying stuck in climate doom only helps preserve a status quo reliant on consumerism and fossil fuels. Via social media, “eco-creators” present alternative narratives that highlight positive climate news as well as ways people can fight the crisis in their everyday lives. There is debate over what role individual actions play in the climate crisis. Focusing on an individual’s impact is a useless, guilt-inducing distraction, detractors say.  Many climate advocates say there are benefits to pressing for systemic change while also taking personal steps. 

By Cara Buckley. New York Times. Published March 22, 2022. Updated March 26, 2022.

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