Mental Health and Climate

Here is an excerpt from the 2017 APA Mental Health on Climate white-paper:

MENTAL HEALTH
The ability to process information and make decisions
without being disabled by extreme emotional responses is
threatened by climate change. Some emotional response is
normal, and even negative emotions are a necessary part of
a fulfilling life. In the extreme case, however, they can interfere
with our ability to think rationally, plan our behavior, and
consider alternative actions. An extreme weather event can
be a source of trauma, and the experience can cause
disabling emotions. More subtle and indirect effects of
climate change can add stress to people’s lives in varying
degrees. Whether experienced indirectly or directly, stressors
to our climate translate into impaired mental health that can
result in depression and anxiety (USGCRP, 2016). Although
everyone is able to cope with a certain amount of stress,
the accumulated effects of compound stress can tip a
person from mentally healthy to mentally ill. Even uncertainty
can be a source of stress and a risk factor for psychological
distress (Greco & Roger, 2003). People can be negatively
affected by hearing about the negative experiences of
others, and by fears—founded or unfounded—about their
own potential vulnerability.
PHYSICAL HEALTH AND MENTAL HEALTH
Compromised physical health can be a source of stress
that threatens psychological well-being. Conversely, mental
health problems can also threaten physical health, for
example, by changing patterns of sleep, eating, or exercise
and by reducing immune system function.
COMMUNITY HEALTH
Although residents’ mental and physical health affect
communities, the impacts of climate on community health
can have a particularly strong effect on community fabric
and interpersonal relationships. Altered environmental
conditions due to climate change can shift the opportunities
people have for social interaction, the ways in which they
relate to each other, and their connections to the
natural world.

Link to article: https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2017/03/mental-health-climate.pdf

Aclima

Until now. Beginning in 2015, a pair of Google Street View cars, equipped with high tech “mobile labs” developed by San Francisco–based startup Aclima, crisscrossed the streets of West Oakland taking second-by-second samples of the area’s air. They tested for nitrogen dioxide and a type of pollution known as black carbon (bad for your heart and lungs, not to mention the planet), as well as nitric oxide. The cars hit every stretch of pavement, from tiny cul-de-sacs to truck-choked Peralta Street, multiple times, taking millions of measurements.

There are three stationary air pollution monitors for all of Oakland, which reveal the city’s air quality as a whole. But the Street View cars can tell you what the air is like at, say, the corner of Market Street and Grand Avenue—basically anywhere you can drive a Street View car. They can even tell you how the air varies from one end of a single block to the other for a truly hi-res view of the problem.The result: one of the largest and most granular data sets of urban air pollution ever assembled in the world.

Quoting Google’s interview on Aclima: “We visited each block on between 20 and 50 different days over the course of a year,” says Joshua Apte, an engineering professor at the University of Texas at Austin. In the process, they were able to identify patterns they wouldn’t have otherwise seen. “If pollution spikes for an instant, it may or may not be such a bad thing. But if pollution is consistently high, that’s something we really should care about.”

Imagine what difference awareness on air pollution can make when this information becomes more accessible!

Visit https://aclima.io/ for more information!

Cora Ball

 

A hard truth to swallow, but according to Rozalia Project, we are eating our fleece! Rozalia Project has developed the Cora Ball microfiber catcher, the first human-scale, consumer solution to synthetic microfiber pollution in our ocean, lakes and rivers. Check out their successful Kickstarter Campaign here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/879498424/cora-ball-microfiber-catching-laundry-ball

The single biggest pollution problem facing our ocean is microfiber: trillions of pieces of tiny fibers flowing into the ocean – every time we use our washing machines. Our clothing is breaking up, sending this microfiber (made of plastic and chemical-covered non-plastics) out with the drain water – just one fleece jacket could shed up to 250,000 pieces per garment per wash [source]. New York City, alone, could have 6.8 billion microfibers flowing into its harbor every day. We are all contributing to this problem. Learn more about the problem of microfiber pollution herehttp://rozaliaproject.org/stop-microfiber-pollution/

Stand for Trees

 

Stand For Trees. Think of it as a global, grassroots intervention to halt deforestation.

Stand For Trees empowers everyday citizens – all of us – to take direct action to protect endangered forests and reduce the impacts of climate change.

Every time you buy a Stand For Trees Certificate, you help local forest communities around the world keep a specific forest standing and prevent a tonne of CO2 from entering the earth’s atmosphere.

You buy a Stand For Trees Certificate — a unique, high-quality, verified carbon credit that protects a specific endangered forest and offsets a tonne of CO2 from entering the earth’s atmosphere. Because of your purchase, forests are left standing to do what they do best — store carbon, produce oxygen, provide habitat, and support local communities.

Stand For Trees Certificates are high-quality verified carbon credits based on the proven REDD+ model and meet the rigorous standards set by the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), each of which is a Verified Carbon Unit (VCU) issued by VCS. Further, all Stand for Trees projects have attained or are committed to attaining verification to the Climate Community and Biodiversity Alliance standard, a partnership of leading NGOs that includes CARE, The Nature Conservancy, and The Rainforest Alliance. The credits are registered on the world’s largest environmental registry services provider, Markit, and meet Code REDD’s peer-reviewed international Code of Conduct.

What if we all stood up for trees and saved a tonne? The term ‘tonne’ represents a metric ton – a unit of measurement equal to approximately 2,205 pounds or 1,000 kilograms. That’s a lot of CO2 that would otherwise be released into air, contributing to the man-made greenhouse gases that are accumulating and accelerating climate change in our lifetimes.

Visit Stand for Trees online for more information!

ReTree

ReTree (verb): the act of replenishing the earth’s tree supply to help reverse climate change.

The mission of ReTree is to inspire people to help reverse climate change, one tree at a time. ReTree wants to plant 1 million trees in 2017.  And to accomplish this mission, ReTree will double the number of trees their donors plant for the entire year.

Our world is home to more than three trillion (3,000,000,000,000) trees! While that might seem like a large number, each day more than two and a half million (2,500,000) trees are destroyed. This constant and ongoing destruction has contributed (along with fossil fuel emissions) to a major issue for our planet: climate change.

When it happens naturally, as it did for millions of years, tree loss is a normal part of the cycle of life. A tree dies and another one grows. Now, with man’s interference and the loss of trees happening at an alarming rate, our planet can’t breathe. It was never designed to handle all that we’re putting it through. Climate change being at the top of the list.

Reducing factory and auto emissions might be the first thing you think of when tackling this global issue. Guess what? We don’t need fancy gadgets or millions invested in new technologies to fight climate change. There’s a simpler way to remove carbon dioxide from the air: trees!

Trees absorb CO2 from the air as they grow. Using energy from the sun, they turn the carbon captured from the CO2 molecules into building blocks for their trunks, branches, and foliage. This is all part of the carbon cycle and ReTree has created the simplest way to increase the number of trees and help reverse climate change.

Now multiply these results by thousands and millions of trees! We can’t stop climate change, but we can make an incredible impact, together, one tree at a time.

For more information visit ReTree online and start filling our forests!

Oasia Hotel

Singapore’s Oasia Hotel Downtown is alive – and growing fast. Covered in 21 species of verdant climbers and flowers, it was designed by local architects WOHA as the first tropical high-rise. “We wanted as many species as possible to recreate an ecosystem,” says WOHA co-founder Wong Mun Summ, 54. “It has flowers to attract insects and climbers for squirrels and lizards.”

Located in Singapore’s dense business district, the 190-metre-high building was designed to compensate for the area’s lack of greenery. “Sustainability is important to us,” Mun Summ says. It has open-sided gardens, so there is no need for mechanical ventilation in the hotel’s 314 rooms and 100 office units. Most of the water for the irrigation system is harvested from rainfall.

Imagine what cities can look like covered in eco-friendly carbon-sequestering towers!

Here is the source article from wired!

The Climate Mobilization

Why join the mobilization?

Well, the planet is warming and its okay to be afraid. Climate change threatens the collapse of civilization within this century. Confronting this crisis is the great moral imperative of our time.

The Climate Mobilization is a grassroots movement which demands a government-led mobilization to restore a safe climate;  calls for full employment and fair, shared sacrifice; demands a rapid transformation of our energy and agriculture systems; and calls on politicians to pledge to mobilize.

Visit their site www.theclimatemobilization.org to learn more and get involved!

(Photo is adapted from The Climate Mobilization “Blueprint for a Climate Emergency Movement”)

First Smog-filtering Bicycles

Millions of Chinese cyclists may soon be able to ditch their air-pollution masks. Dutch innovation firm Studio Roosegaarde has partnered with bike-share startup ofo to develop a new model that can collect polluted air, purify it, and release the clean air around the cyclist. Studio founder Daan Roosegaarde confirms to Quartz that the first prototype of the smog-sucking “future bike” is expected to be ready by the end of this year.

How about we filter polluted air while riding bicycles? Sounds like a win-win to me!

Visit the source link for more info: www.qz.com

(Photo credit: Studio Roosegaarde)

Chasing Coral

Carbon emissions continue to be unleashed into the atmosphere and are gradually damaging oceanic life with the absorption of heat in the atmosphere going into the ocean.  Coral bleaching, as seen in this photo (Chasing Coral),  is a stark and foreboding indicator of the feverishly rising ocean temperatures.

The team at Exposure Labs said they knew that if they could capture visual evidence of coral bleaching, they could reveal the phenomenon to the world in a powerful way.

Their documentary film Chasing Coral, which took more than three years to shoot was the result of 500+ hours underwater, submissions of footage from volunteers from 30 countries, as well as support from more than 500 people from various locations around the world.

They didn’t just stop there, there are a variety of ways to connect, understand the impact of climate change and get involved on their website with their action guide: chasingcoral.com

Coral is integral to the health of the oceans and marine life, and in turn, humanity. Watch the film, visit their site, share with friends and help get involved to join the global efforts to save the oceans!

UN Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), officially known as Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a set of 17 “Global Goals” with 169 targets between them.

To read more about each of the SDGs visit this link: http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/