Human psychological consequences of global warming begin with each individual, which in turn can influence policy decisions and responses to environmental change. As natural disasters increase in their degree, size, extent of damage, and frequency due to global warming, the psychological consequences will more than likely also increase. Psychological consequences caused by global warming can include increased emotional problems, disruption and dislocation of certain residents, and worry about the future.
According to Fritze, J. et al., there are three major impacts to the psychological well being of those affected by global warming. First, psychological consequences can include an increase in mental health problems for individuals and a strain on the mental health system for those who are directly affected by intense weather conditions. Second, the reasons that determine the mental and social health of at risk areas are on the rise. Third, psychological consequences of global warming can include apprehension and nervousness about the future (Fritze, J., et al. 2008).
What happens when we experience loss, disruption, and displacement are three important unpredictable aspects of the psychological consequences that do not change across boundaries. This article by Fritze et al. also suggests that the features of socioeconomics, unemployment, location, poor physical and service road and rail networks, and a reliance on a natural environment that is at risk to climate change and global warming, make some communities more at risk to the problems of global warming. Some of the recommendations from Fritze et al. would be to make changes in policy concerning the psychological cost of global warming, to include teaching the public about such issues and improve how we communicate these ideas, and monitor all the facets of global warming (Fritze, J., et al. 2008).
As more and more people begin to see the effects of global warming,concerns, worry, and doubts about our future also have increased. Psychological consequences can be seen in all age groups as global warming concerns creep into the lives of many throughout the world. One cannot help but notice the constant news reports of mudslides, drought, heavy rain, melting glaciers, sea level rise, disappearing wildlife, earthquakes and more extreme weather events as global warming continues to threaten our planet.
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. Psychological consequences of global climate change will eventually affect most of us. Acting now and taking personal responsibility toward our changing natural environment will only lead to positive results. Even the smallest changes are progress to help fight the psychological consequences of global warming. The psychological consequences of global warming do not need to become our worst enemy. There is hope for our future if we take action now against the harmful effects of global warming.
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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.
Fritze, J., Blashki, G., Burke, S., & Wiseman, J. (2008). “Hope, despair and transformation: Climate change and the promotion of mental health and wellbeing,” International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 2:13, http://www.ijmhs.com/content/2/1/13