Climate change is inevitable due in large part to human activity, according to climate scientists who warn that if nothing is done to stop global warming, the Earth could end up with a runaway greenhouse effect, which will eventually extinguish all species, including humans. In response, the Environment Council of the EU has agreed to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius in the long-term. However, even with a two-degree rise in temperature, there are a number of negative consequences, not least of which, according to Climate Central, is the increase of survival rate of mosquitoes of 50 percent with just a 2°C temperature rise in the region.
— ABC News (@ABC) September 18, 2015
The consequences of the increase in numbers and size of mosquitoes in the region will have devastating consequences to the indigenous populations and the behavior of wildlife which are not adapted to handle this invasive and disease spreading organism.
Climate change also has negative consequences for human health, including the psychology of humans. According to Psychologists for Social Responsibility, the following symptoms will increase in the human population in direct response to climate change.
Symptoms include: Anxiety; Post-traumatic stress; Depression; Interpersonal conflict and societal conflict; Family stress; Persistent grief; Child behavioral and developmental problems and academic decline; Eco-anxiety; hopelessness; and, avoidance from the awareness of climate change.
According to the study, this is due to the uncertainty of weather, such as more severe storms, flooding, droughts, heat waves and polluted air. Human psychology is a delicate balance relying on a view of the future which is overall positive. Environmental changes which devastate the “human habitat” will create a mental health crises which threatens to overwhelm healthcare systems worldwide as well as disrupt the economy as people are unable to go to work, either because their local area is impacted by flooding, forest fires, and other natural disasters, or because the fear of such events push people over the edge of stress tolerance in anticipation of these things.
In fact, Queensland University of Technology Brisbane, Australia released a study in 2014 that linked climate change to an increase in suicide rates. Dr. Qi made the discovery in February 2014.
“What we found was that when the difference of the monthly average temperature in the current month compared with the previous one month increased by 1 degree, there was a 3 per cent increase in suicide in Brisbane and Sydney.”
With the above in mind, opinion is divided on what, if anything, should be done about it. Pope Francis has made climate change an issue of religious responsibility, tweeting on the obligation of Christians to follow the bible and support the Earth.
A great challenge: stop ruining the garden which God has entrusted to us so that all may enjoy it.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) July 2, 2015
Such comments by the pope have angered republicans in the United States who have campaigned against environmentalism and are now criticizing the pope for his stance on what is seen as a non-spiritual matter by the religious right.
What is clear from the recent buzz around the climate change issue is that humans are not immune to environmental changes and that scientific evidence is emerging which supports not only the physical impact of climate change on animals and humans living in areas, such as the Arctic, which are most impacted by climate change, but also on human psychology and spirituality.
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