As natural disasters increase in magnitude and frequency due to global warming, the psychological consequences will more than likely also increase. Psychological consequences caused by global warming can include feelings of not having control over the situation and multiple forms of conflict, to name a few.
Recent research by Uzzell, D. has determined that most believe that they can help on a more local level with global warming issues but that the worldwide environmental issues are out of their reach (Uzzell, 2008). This could be a very important step in getting more people involved in our worldwide environmental crisis and reducing psychological consequences of global warming. If governments realize that people will be more involved in solutions and change if they can participate on a local level, perhaps positive change will occur sooner than later and psychological consequences of global warming could diminish.
Uzzell further points out that up till now the government response to global warming and it’s psychological consequences has been the “top-down strategies” where policies are created on a national level. This recent research leads to the understanding that future studies probably need to concentrate on questions that revolve around local communities and how citizens view or perceive global warming and its effects and psychological consequences on their own community. Understanding the obstacles that each community has developed towards global warming will aid in the building of policies which will help lessen or even stop the behaviors that are adding to the global warming problems (Uzzell, 2008).
Psychological consequences due to global warming can also occur as conflict. Although conflict usually brings about change, global warming has created conflict among local, national, and international communities. According to Stern, et al., social scientists can help in understanding the different sides of conflict, such as the psychological consequences, in order to help find solutions among differing groups across the globe. Social scientists can also help when there is a clash in how to deal with certain guidelines by teaching appropriate groups how to act as a go between or how to learn to solve deliberations constructively (Stern, et al., 1992).
The psychological consequences can be dealt with by including and involving many disciplines when trying to understand and resolve different types of conflict. Global warming issues have brought about different conflicts depending on the area and the effects brought to the region. Because global warming affects everyone, it will be very important for all groups of people to communicate and work together for a common resolution to the psychological consequences and other effects of climate change. This would include the science of psychology. Our changing planet needs our attention and it will take the effort and understanding of all of us to adjust our behavior and our thinking toward global warming issues.
For related topics please see:
“Global Warming and the Psychological Consequences: Part I”
For other topics by this contributor please see http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/743371/teresa_erwin.html
Authors’ Disclaimer: While every caution has been taken to provide my readers with the most accurate information, please use your discretion before making any decisions based on the information in this article.
Stern, P., Young, O., & Druckman, D. (1992). Global environmental change: Understanding the human dimensions. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C. http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=1792&page=R1
Uzzell, D. (2008). Challenging assumptions in the psychology of climate change. The Australian Psychological Society, InPsych highlights, August, article one. http://www.psychology.org.au/publications/inpsych/highlights2008/