María Pastor-Valero, researcher and associate professor at the UMH: “Eco-anxiety is a logical response to a real problem”


11 September 2023

The American Psychology Association (APA) describes eco-anxiety as “The chronic fear of environmental cataclysm that comes from observing the seemingly irrevocable impact of climate change and the associated concern for one’s future and that of upcoming generations.” María Pastor-Valero, an associate professor of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the Miguel Hernández University of Elche (UMH), has studied the psychological consequences of global warming in university students and young people from vulnerable environments.

The researcher shows her concern about the impact of climate change increasingly suffered by young people and adolescents, especially those living within vulnerable populations. Social inequality is both a cause of and a consequence from the impact of climate change. The impact from such change is more severe in populations with fewer resources, and, conversely, the response capacity of these populations to natural disasters is much lower.

In an interview with the El País newspaper, María Pastor-Valero says that acute extremes of nature associated with climate change are increasingly becoming more intense, and the heatwaves that pounded Mediterranean areas during the summer of 2023 are proof of this. The researcher encourages young people and adolescents to participate in pro-environmental organizations, because that is more useful than bombarding social media with the disasters that young people and adolescents are facing and those that they will face in the future.

Click the following link to listen to María Pastor-Valero: