Nashville has another good reason to park the vehicles and bike it, besides the tempting Greenways initiative. Apparently the campaign organization, The Climate Institute, alleges there is a link between global warming and mental illnesses. The report claims the ‘spike’ in severe weather events from carbon emissions coincides with increased rates of anxiety, depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse.
Matthew Boyle from The Daily Caller states Bjorn Lomborg, author of the book, The Skeptical Environmentalist, a professor and an environmental statistician, said The Climate Institute’s new report “… exaggerates certain statistics and findings in order to make its point, while leaving out other information.” Lomborg called the study “problematic.”
Report links global warming with mental illness; ‘skeptical environmentalist’ scoffs
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health issues will rise significantly by the year 2020 with the external trends of modern times. Not only does the rapid change in climate have an effect on individuals (possibly due to global warming), weather related social factors play a part in the mental health (e.g., anxiety and depressions) of people affected by extreme weather events, i.e., Nashville’s flooding had a tremendous social and financial impact on the community while social workers reported a tripling of mental health problems due to Hurricane Katrina’s after-effects.
Lomborg agrees heat waves with global warming may cause more mental health problems, but cutting carbon emissions to address the mental health epidemic is an extreme reaction. He states other [things] need to be addressed which may be more effective in ‘fixing’ mental health problems and suggests several approaches such as more resources to mental health problems, providing greater access to physicians and more research on mental health issues.
The new study/report may be ‘problematic,’ but we cannot ignore the damaging effects of carbon emissions to society and the environment.
Nashville is doing its part to cut back on carbon emissions while giving couples the opportunity to explore the community. The benefits of a proactive approach to green living not only help the environment, but also contribute to staying mentally and physically fit.
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