A number of young people have resorted to taking anti-depressants to help relieve their worries about climate change, confessed British Petroleum (BP) boss Bob Dudley. Dudley, who plans to step down from his post in February, said that some of his daughter’s friends were examples of young people who have turned to medicine to soothe their climate anxiety, according to The Times.
The Group Chief Executive confessed that he hated seeing “young people so unhappy, so anxious” in light of climate issues. He even said that his daughter confronted him due to his job at BP.
“How you can work for a company that in five years won’t be selling petrol?” she reportedly asked him, via The Daily Mail.
However, Dudley has come to his own defense, claiming that he wished young people would focus more on research into renewables instead of protesting.
“I wish the young people today would get more involved in energy — actually getting involved, whether it’s renewables or not,” he confessed.
“Because it’s the easiest job to throw rocks. It is just such fun. But you have to have some responsibility for these things and that’s not what everybody’s doing,” he added.
That said, BP has received criticism for doing little to invest in renewable energy. Just three percent of its annual spending budget goes into energy such as biofuels and solar power.
As a result, the company has been the target of many environmentalist groups. It produces around 3.7 million barrels of oil each day, and researchers estimate that BP indirectly adds up to 491 million tons of carbon emissions into the atmosphere each year.
Eco-group Extinction Rebellion has been particularly focused on BP, and helped the company lose its sponsorship status for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Galleries Scotland.
The younger generations — including millennials and Gen Z — are particularly passionate about the environment. However, this zeal has a dark side, as doctors are reporting increased levels and depression and anxiety due to what the American Psychological Association called “eco-anxiety,” as reported by Time.
Psychologists believe that the crux of the panic is uncertainty about the future.
“To deal with that loss of control,” explained Caroline Hickman, a psychotherapist and CPA member, “we project into the future, sometimes into apocalyptic thinking.”
Meanwhile, zoologists in Ukraine might be feeling some of that eco-anxiety, as it was reported that over 90 percent of bears on their nature preserve failed to go into hibernation due to the warmer temperatures. As reported by The Inquisitr, the scientists are claiming the bears are currently suffering from “insomnia” as a result.