Climate Anxiety and the Kid Question: Deciding Whether to Have Children in an Uncertain Future

Regular price $ 19.95

by Jade S. Sasser

University of California Press

4/9/2024, paperback

SKU: 9780520393820


The first book-length exploration of climate-driven reproductive anxiety that places race and social justice at the center.

Eco-anxiety. Climate guilt. Pre-traumatic stress disorder. Solastalgia. The study of environmental emotions and related mental health impacts is a rapidly growing field, but most researchers overlook a closely related concern: reproductive anxiety. Climate Anxiety and the Kid Question is the first comprehensive study of how environmental emotions influence whether, when, and why people today decide to become parents--or not.

Jade S. Sasser argues that we can and should continue to create the families we desire, but that doing so equitably will require deep commitments to social, reproductive, and climate justice. Climate Anxiety and the Kid Question presents original research, drawing from in-depth interviews and national survey results that analyze the role of race in environmental emotions and the reproductive plans young people are making as a result. Sasser concludes that climate emotions and climate justice are inseparable, and that culturally appropriate mental and emotional health services are a necessary component to ensure climate justice for vulnerable communities.


"Having a child in a burning world is one of the biggest existential decisions of the climate generation. Who can imagine thriving in the future? Who has access to quality of life in the Anthropocene? What are the racial politics of reproduction when resources are increasingly limited? Climate Anxiety and the Kid Question makes a critical intervention in the discussion about whether to reproduce in this era of climate emergency. Jade S. Sasser argues that although race has always been an unspoken dimension of reproductive anxiety in environmental discourse, it has taken on new salience in recent movements for racial justice, climate change, and abortion rights. As the first book to analyze how race shapes reproductive and climate anxiety, Climate Anxiety and the Kid Question de-centers whiteness in climate emotions research." -- Sarah Jaquette Ray, author of A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety: How to Keep Your Cool on a Warming Planet

"Brilliant and urgently needed, Sasser's second book helps us to connect the planetary, the intimate, the structural, and the cultural in order to address climate anxiety and the 'kid question'--and indeed climate injustice more broadly--in caring, generous, transformative ways. Sasser's investigation of the role of racialization and racism in these areas addresses a critical gap in current understandings of climate emotions." -- Blanche Verlie, author of Learning to Live with Climate Change: From Anxiety to Transformation

About the Author:

Jade S. Sasser is Associate Professor at the University of California, Riverside, author of On Infertile Ground: Population Control and Women's Rights in the Era of Climate Change, and host of the Climate Anxiety and the Kid Question podcast.