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

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!

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”)

Earth Overshoot Day

has arrived. The world has consumed more natural resources than the world can renew throughout the whole of the year.

We use more ecological resources and services than nature can regenerate through overfishing, overharvesting forests, and emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than forests can sequester.

Global Footprint Network, an international research organization, is marking Earth Overshoot Day this year with the launch of a new mobile-friendly Footprint calculator. Try it out yourself at www.footprintcalculator.org.

The new Footprint Calculator allows users to measure their own demand on nature (Ecological Footprint) and assess their personal Earth Overshoot Day. A user’s personal Earth Overshoot day is the date Earth Overshoot Day would be if all people had their Footprint.

Check out source website for more information: http://www.overshootday.org/

CEF FFT: Imagine if everyone in the world knew what their personal footprint was on the planet! What kind of impact could this awareness bring?

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!

350

350.org was founded in 2008 by a group of university friends in the United States along with author Bill McKibben, who wrote one of the first books on global warming for the general public, with the goal of building a global climate movement. 350 was named after 350 parts per million — the safe concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

350 uses online campaigns, grassroots organizing, and mass public actions to oppose new coal, oil and gas projects, take money out of the companies that are heating up the planet, and build 100% clean energy solutions that work for all. 350’s network extends to 188 countries.

The 3 principles of 350 are:

  1. We believe in climate justice.
  2. We’re stronger when we collaborate.
  3. Mass mobilizations make change.

Visit 350.org for more information about their non-profit organization as well as how you can get involved!

#ActOnClimate

Today at the LA State Historic Park #ActOnClimate hosted a beautiful rally and round-dance for Climate Justice.

The mission: “Together, we will rally for the steps we know are necessary to deliver on the goals of Paris: moving to 100% renewable energy, stopping new fossil fuel projects, divesting from coal, oil and gas companies, and more.”

Among the great speakers who came before the crowd included: Jack Eidt, Co-Founder of SoCal 350 Climate Action; Lydia Ponce, Co-Director of American Indian Movement Southern California; Paul Koretz, Council Member of City of Los Angeles; Martha Dina Arguello, Executive Director of Physicians for Social Responsibility and Matt Pakucko, Co-Founder of Save Porter Ranch.

Check out 350 to get involved in events in your local community! (https://350.org)

 

Earth Hour: Turn Up the Dark

Earth Hour: Turn Up the Dark is this Saturday March 25th between 8:30-9:30PM local time!

Every year, hundreds of millions of people around the world switch off their lights for one designated hour to demonstrate a commitment to fighting climate change.

Turn off your lights this Saturday to join the world in a spectacular event.

Acceleration of Climate Change

Human activity is changing Earth’s climate 170 times faster than natural forces, according to scientists who claim they have devised an equation that shows people are behind global warming.

According to researchers, global temperatures decreased by 0.01C per century over the last 7,000 years—the “baseline” rate. But in the last 45 years it has increased by the equivalent of 1.7C per century, and the 12 warmest years on record have come since 1998, they said.

While “astronomical and geophysical” as well as biospheric forces have driven change in the “Earth system” over its four billion-year existence, human activity has “driven exceptionally rapid rates of change” that the authors of a new study have represented in an “Anthropocene equation”.

Anthropocene is the name given to a proposed new geological era in which the impact of human activity starts having a measurable impact on the environment.

Writing in New Scientist, the study’s co-author Owen Gaffney said: “The rate of carbon emissions to the atmosphere is arguably the highest in 66 million years, when the (non-avian) dinosaurs slipped off this mortal coil.

“The staggering loss of biodiversity in recent decades prompted researchers in 2015 to argue that the Anthropocene marks the third stage in the evolution of Earth’s biosphere, following on from the microbial stage 3.5 billion years ago and the Cambrian explosion 650 million years ago.

“In the equation, astronomical and geophysical forces tend to zero because of their slow nature or rarity, as do internal dynamics, for now. All these forces still exert pressure, but currently on orders of magnitude less than human impact.”

The risks of human impact on the biosphere includes polluted water and soils as well as a warmer climate, Mr Gaffney said.

He added: “While it would seem imprudent to ignore the huge body of evidence pointing to profound risks, it comes at a challenging time geopolitically, when both fact-based world views and even international cooperation are questioned. Nowhere has this been clearer than in the US in recent weeks.”

(Visit the source link from Independent here)

Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary

There is a recent movement going under the name of MAPS (Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary) and the hashtag #UNITEBYLIGHT which aspires to protect the Arctic and in turn the planet as a whole.

“We no longer live in an era with the luxury to consider one isolated region as separate from the whole. What happens in the arctic affects our entire world.” Parvati.org

MAPS is launching a 24-month long marketing plan to develop a narrative that will reach governments worldwide. Through the power of social media, supporters and increasing ecological awareness they aim to make the goal for MAPS a reality. Their first phase of business is the realization of MAPS which will be accomplished through publication of  compelling media narratives and high-quality artistic experiences that support a global shift to a sustainable future. Visit their website Parvati.org to show your support for this not-for-profit dedicated to a healthy world!