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There's a new bogeyman lurking in the closet, and this one isn't imaginary. Us. One out of three children aged 6 to 11 fears that Ma Earth won't exist when they grow up, while more than half—56 percent—worry that the planet will be a blasted heath (or at least a very unpleasant place to live), according to a new survey.
On a sliding scale of anxieties, minority kids have it worst; 75 percent of black children and 65 percent of Hispanic children believe that the planet will be irrevocably damaged by the time they reach adulthood.
Interestingly enough, kids vex over the state of the planet, especially when it came to safe and clean air and water, regardless of any pro-environmental measures on the part of their parents. A staggering 95 percent of the children surveyed said their parents pitched in by recycling, using rechargeable batteries, and conserving water and electricity.
"We commissioned the survey as a result of my own childrens' experiences with the recent fires in Australia as they expressed much concern for both their safety and the planet's," said Sharon Lowe, founder of Habitat Heroes, in a press release. "While it is upsetting to hear how many children in the United States have expressed similar concerns, I am more committed than ever to help educate children around the globe in a way that is not scary to them."
Other interesting findings
- 50 percent say that hurricanes and tornadoes are the natural disasters that scare them the most.
- 28 percent say that they fear animals, such as polar bears and penguins, will become extinct and disappear from the planet more than any other environmental concern.
Girls worry more
- 67 percent of girls ages 9-11 versus 60 percent of boys ages 9-11 worry that the earth won't be as good a place to live when they're adults.
- 57% of girls ages 6-8 versus 43 percent of boys ages 6-8 worry that the earth won't be as good a place to live when they're adults.
Urban kids are more anxious than suburban kids
- 59 percent of kids in metro areas are more concerned that the Earth won't be as good a place to live when they grow up compared to non-metro kids (47 percent).
More on kids and the environment
Should Kids Worry About the Environment?
Children Drawings Tell Stories Of Deep Concern For The Environment
Raising Environmentally-Conscious Kids
Kids Want to Save the Planet Too