The only climate grief CM is dealing with is moving out of a warm bed this winter. The Extinction Rebellion (XR) is now trying to link climate change to mental health. Perhaps it should link it to education instead. “Let our grief move us to action” is the call Perhaps XR should channel Orson Welles to spread panic.
Depression and resignation about the future caused by the effects of global warming? NBC reported a mother of teenager daughters in Salt Lake City (where they held the Winter Olympics) who read a copy of an October 2018 U.N. report saying the climate catastrophe could arrive by 2040. It lead them to the following:
“The emotional reaction of my kids was severe…There was a lot of crying. They told me, “We know what’s coming, and it’s going to be really rough.”
The American Psychological Association (APA) need their own heads read in its report.
“Some human health effects stem directly from natural disasters exacerbated by climate change, like floods, storms, wildfires, and heatwaves. Other effects surface more gradually from changing temperatures and rising sea levels that cause forced migration. Weakened infrastructure and less secure food systems are examples of indirect climate impacts on society’s physical and mental health.”
Rising sea levels? Forced migration? Weakened infrastructure? Less secure food systems? Not to worry the APA suggest the following to ease the mental burden:
1.) Physical commuting enhances a sense of well-being. Choosing to bike and/or walk (assuming it is safe and practical to do so) is one individual step that can help reduce the use of climate change–driving fossil fuels.
2.) Public transportation invigorates community mental health. Moving people from individual cars to public transit also results in lower greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, several studies have shown that using public transportation leads to an increase in community cohesion.
3.) Green spaces diminish stress. More time spent interacting with nature has been shown to significantly lower stress levels and reduce stress- related illness. Interestingly, this evidence is supported across socioeconomic status, age, and gender.
4.) Clean energy benefits lung function in children and can help prevent symptoms of anxiety and depression that are brought on by pollution.
Did you know?
The psychological impacts of warmer weather on aggression and violence have been extensively studied. The relationship between heat and violence may be due to the impacts of heat on arousal, which results in decreases in attention and self-regulation, as well as an increase in the availability of negative and hostile thoughts.
Is the APA confusing merely being hot under the collar? Rarely do we meet people who say it’s not a beautiful day when the sun shines. Conversely it is not often we see people, outside of farmers, celebrate rainy days.
It goes on,
“Rising levels of frustration in society consequently lead to interpersonal aggression (such as domestic violence, assault, and rape). Ranson (2012) calculated that between 2010 and 2099, climate change would cause an estimated additional 30,000 murders, 200,000 cases of rape, and 3.2 million burglaries due to increased average temperatures.”
Will a court show leniency? Instead of claiming insanity in a murder case, why not claim climate change?
Perhaps the best way to stop the psychological impacts of climate change would be just to dial down the hysteria and indoctrination of children.
The APA shouldn’t complain. It should embrace climate change as the easiest way to fill their members’ appointment books. If they manage to convince patients onto public transport they’ll have a quicker run into work every day.