Climate Change & Mental Health, POC & the environment, USA’s last Climate Refuge. Prescott’s Climate Links #9

Prescott has some excellent links for us this edition. Out of the 40 or so links he sent me, I found so many that I thought you will like. Here are just three. When it comes to climate change in the USA, why will Washington state be the final climate? And will there be any coffee left in the world to enjoy?

Also, an excellent interview with Dorceta Taylor, professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment, “the first African-American woman to earn a PhD from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies” talking about how deeply people of color care for the environments. But first, do you have the Climate Change blues? 

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What is climate change doing to our mental health? by By Joanne Silberner for Grist.org

climatechangedepressionBerry has documented increased levels of distress in young people in drought-affected areas, and in farmers as well. The farmers she’s studied have shown a strong reluctance to use mental health services. She’s also looked at the effect of climate change on Aboriginal communities.

“When you think about what climate change does, it basically increases the risk of weather-related disasters of one sort or another,” she said. “What happens from a psychological point of view is people get knocked down. Whenever people are knocked down, they have to get up again and start over. And the more that happens, the more difficult it is to keep getting up.”

I spoke to elders from several Aboriginal communities in New South Wales who all told of a general sense of unease. All have noticed something — the absence of snow in the winter, the disappearance of rivers. One woman said, “I feel like the world is ending, that’s what I think. It’s scary.” Her solace: working in her garden.

Read entire article here

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Think people of color don’t care about the environment? Think again by Brentin Mock for Grist.org

Dorceta Taylor, professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment

Dorceta Taylor, professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment

Dorceta Taylor: The perception that people of color don’t care about the environment has existed for a long time, and has been debunked for just as long. We can go back to [historian] W.E.B. DuBois, whose 1898 study on Philadelphia looked at the housing and health conditions of African Americans. People have described it as a sociological study, but if you read it, it is an environmental study, if ever there was one. He looked at the environmental conditions of these communities, but he linked them with social inequality and justice issues.

Before that, look at Harriet Tubman. We tend to think of her as someone only successful on the Underground Railroad, but to be that successful she was steeped in environmental and ecological knowledge. She knew the Chesapeake Bay so well that the U.S. military used her at the head of their ships to identify landmines the Confederates had laid in the water and identified them based off what she understood about disturbances in the water.

Slaves depended on ecological knowledge and were extremely effective at it — they used it to survive slavery. So the notion that we don’t care or know about the environment is just a fallacy.

Read entire interview here.

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Will the Pacific Northwest be a Climate Refuge Under Global Warming? from Cliff Mass Weather Blog

USmap1slrheatwavewithhurricanesheatwavetotal

The Northwest is the place to be during global warming.   
  • Temperatures will rise more slowly than most of the nation due to the Pacific Ocean (see below)

  • We will have plenty of precipitation, although the amount falling as snow will decline (will fall as rain instead).  But we can deal with that by building more reservoir and dam capacity (and some folks on the eastern slopes of the Cascades have proposed to do exactly that).

  • The Pacific Ocean will keep heat waves in check and we don’t get hurricanes.

  • Sea level rise is less of a problem for us due to our substantial terrain and the general elevation rise of our shorelines.  Furthermore, some of our land is actually RISING relatively to the sea level because we are still recovering from the last ice age (the heavy ice sheets pushed the land down and now it is still rebounding).

  • There is no indication that our major storms…cyclone-based winds (like the Columbus Day Storm)… will increase under global warming.

  • Increased precipitation may produce more flooding, but that will be limited to river valleys and can be planned for with better river management and zoning.

Read entire blog entry here. 

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Check out previous editions of Prescott’s Climate Links. And Let us know what you are interested in understanding better. Where do you find hope?

(photos come from articles listed)

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