The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉
Main Topic: How The Climate Crisis Is Affecting Depression
Dar Diary. Since I’ve suffered from depression for a good chunk of my life, mental health issues around the planet are one of my main concerns. Obviously, as the planet’s health deteriorates, so will the state of mental health from its inhabitants. Many people just can’t cope with the loss of their homes due to fire, wind or floods, much less the loss of any loved ones. Such tragedies would incapacitate people to the point where they might not be able to make a comeback long after a big climate crisis event takes place.
If we do move towards a traumatic “Mad Max” world there will be survival of the fittest. Those who survive will be mentally hardened, unfortunately, having experienced events that break friends and members of families. This is yet one more reason to fight the climate crisis with every tool we have at our disposal to limit widespread tragedies that are already taking place.
The Guardian goes into depth on this mental health issue, which is today’s main subject:
Climate crisis inflicting huge ‘hidden costs’ on mental health
Damian Carrington Environment editor 4 days ago
© Photograph: Delmer Martinez/AP A man walks through a flooded street caused by Hurricane Eta in Planeta, Honduras, in 2020.
The climate crisis is damaging the mental health of hundreds of millions of people around the world but the huge costs are hidden, scientists have warned.
Heatwaves are increasing rates of suicide, extreme weather such as floods and wildfires are leaving victims traumatised, and loss of food security, homes and livelihoods is resulting in stress and depression. Anxiety about the future is also harming people’s mental health, especially the young, the scientists said in a report.
Mental health conditions already affect a billion people and cost trillions of dollars a year. The researchers said global heating would worsen the issue unless action was taken. They described a vicious circle where climate impacts increase mental health difficulties, leaving people even more vulnerable to further consequences.
© JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images TOPSHOT – A residential area smolders during the Bear fire, part of the larger North Lightning Complex fire, in the Berry Creek area of unincorporated Butte county, California on September 14, 2020. – President Donald Trump on September 14, 2020 suggested global warming will reverse itself and dismissed climate change as a cause of ferocious fires engulfing swaths of the US West, during a briefing in California on the deadly blazes. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP) (Photo by JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)
Even for those not yet directly affected, so-called eco-anxiety about the future has an impact, Lawrance said. “Anecdotally there are rising rates of distress, and it is going to affect a huge number of people. The grief and fear that comes with that, and especially for young people who see inaction on climate, can really exacerbate distress.” Even in the midst of the pandemic in 2020, young people in the UK reported significantly more stress about climate change than Covid-19, she said.
But Lawrance added: “Taking climate action seems to be very positive for mental health, both on an individual and community scale, but also as a society.” She said the costs to mental health and the benefits of action must become part of the mainstream work on tackling the climate crisis.
Adrian James, the president of the UK’s Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: “This is a landmark paper providing an essential summary for governments and healthcare services alike. [It] underlines that without urgent action the planetary crisis will impact on all aspects of health for generations to come.”
© Sean Gallup/Getty Images GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, GERMANY – SEPTEMBER 08: Ice melts into water at a portion of the Southern Schneeferner glacier on a cliffside of the Zugspitze plateau (Zugspitzplatt) on September 08, 2020 near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. According to a recent study by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), an association of scientists, the Southern Schneeferner is likely to disappear completely within coming years and its neighbor, the larger Northern Schneeferner, will not last into the second half of this century. Both glaciers have retreated continuously since 1980, which scientists attribute to global warming. The two glaciers were once part of the Plattachferner glacier, which in the 19th century covered the plateau with 300 hectares of ice. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
The report concludes: “The climate crisis affects the mental wellbeing of hundreds of millions of people around the world. These impacts are currently ‘hidden costs’, unaccounted for in policy and planning.”
Less than 1% of 54,000 medical research papers that mentioned climate change from 2010-20 also mentioned mental health, the researchers found. But while much more research is needed, it is already known that rates of suicide increase with rising temperatures, with one study finding a rise of 1% per 1C increase in heat above a certain threshold.
There is also evidence that air pollution and extreme weather events such as wildfires and hurricanes can contribute towards higher rates of suicide. Furthermore, people with pre-existing mental illness, particularly psychosis, dementia and substance abuse, are two to three times more likely to die during heatwaves.
© Victor Moriyama/Getty Images PORTO VELHO, RONDONIA, BRAZIL – AUGUST 25: In this aerial image, A section of the Amazon rain forest that has been decimated by wild fires on August 25, 2019 in Porto Velho, Brazil. According to INPE, Brazil’s National Institute of Space Research, the number of fires detected by satellite in the Amazon region this month is the highest since 2010. (Photo by Victor Moriyama/Getty Images)
How high temperatures directly affect mental health is unknown but scientists suggest changes in blood flow to the brain, perhaps exacerbated by medications, and lost sleep may be factors.
The number of cases of psychological trauma arising from a disaster can exceed physical injury cases by 40 to one, the report said, noting that after recent Australian bushfires the government spent A$76m (£42m) providing mental health support.
Climate impacts can also indirectly damage mental health by harming loved ones, causing the loss of homes or jobs, reducing access to water, food or healthcare, or displacing people from their communities. Poorer mental health has been reported by people affected by flooding in the UK and Thailand, by displacement including in Puerto Rico and Florida after Hurricane Maria, and from rural areas into towns after droughts in Australia and Sudan.
© Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images BRIG, SWITZERLAND – AUGUST 01: General view of the “Rhone Glacier – Glacier du Rhone” in Switzerland. The Glacier is protected from global warming by white tarps that make it look like a work of Christo. The Rhone glacier is the source of the river “Le Rhone” and is at 60KM in north of Brig. (Photo by Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images)
However, actions that cut global heating can also benefit mental health, such as making walking and cycling easier, providing nature-rich places that people can visit, and making homes warmer and less damp through energy efficiency measures.
Climate action is likely to improve the mental wellbeing of everyone, Lawrance said. “For example, in a community experiencing higher temperatures, there are reports of worse emotional wellbeing across the board. Climate actions that create greener, cleaner cities and reduce inequalities can potentially improve the mental health of all citizens.”
The Samaritans offer support and advice to people feeling suicidal or vulnerable 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Their website is https://www.samaritans.org, email address firstname.lastname@example.org or call free on 116 123
Here are some “ET’s” reported from Sunday:
Here is more climate and weather news from Sunday:
(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article. The most noteworthy items will be listed first.)
Now here are some of today’s articles and notes on the horrid COVID-19 pandemic:
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Guy Walton “The Climate Guy”