Around the world, people are losing their homes, jobs and lives to extreme weather, droughts, and other changes in the natural world brought about by the increasing temperatures of climate change. The World Economic Forum ranks extreme weather, climate action failure, and human environmental damage as the top three risks by likelihood in 2021. in the top three global risks by likelihood and impact. Students are ditching school to protest the injustice of a society that ignores the needs of the people in order to maintain legacy industries responsible for the bulk of climate change. The youth are increasingly aware of the massive costs being incurred on their future to pad the wealth of CEOs and shareholders.
People are suffering from all this; it’s taking a toll on their psychological conditions and their ability to function as needed on a daily basis. According to a report by the American Psychological Association and EcoAmerica:
It is time to expand information and action on climate and health, including mental health. The health, economic, political, and environmental implications of climate change affect all of us. The tolls on our mental health are far reaching. They induce stress, depression, and anxiety; strain social and community relationships; and have been linked to increases in aggression, violence, and crime. Children and communities with few resources to deal with the impacts of climate change are those most impacted.
To compound the issue, the psychological responses to climate change, such as conflict avoidance, fatalism, fear, helplessness, and resignation are growing. These responses are keeping us, and our nation, from properly addressing the core causes of and solutions for our changing climate, and from building and supporting psychological resiliency.