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    Youths concerned by climate change, crisis, and terrorism


    A survey of 2,000 Belgians aged 25 to 35 from the country’s 3 regions by sociologist Mark Elchardus reveals that they are worried about the economic, environmental, as well as religious future, according to the daily De Standaard on Wednesday. Concerning the environment, 92.1% of the people polled are worried about natural disasters happening more often due to climate change. As for the economy, young Belgians are pessimistic: 84.8% fear open borders will threaten employment levels, 90.9% think pensions will decrease and 82.8% see the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.

    Lastly, young adults are concerned about immigration and the possibility of religious wars ensuing. “Youths fear new wars of religion because of the insufficient integration of immigrants,” explains Mark Elchardus. 68.8% of those surveyed expect there will be more victims of terrorism.

    This pessimistic perspective on our global future is at odds with the much more positive expectations people have on a personal level. “The current generation aged 25-35 benefits from a socio-economic environment which is at least as good as that of their parents’ generation, and they are quite optimistic overall about their own futures,” notes the sociologist, who thinks these contradictory points of view result from news broadcast by media.

    Christopher Vincent (Source: Belga)