Anxiety and trauma have become common effects of living and surviving in our rapidly overheating and intensely polluted globe. Scientists tell us over and over that we are well on our way to unthinkable consequences in the very near future. In fact, many people have already experienced such horrific events. If you are feeling battered by climate change, you definitely are not alone.
By Thom Hawkins
A UC, San Diego team has just published a new study documenting the lingering PTSD-like symptoms of climate disaster.
Such trauma is more widespread than expected and can seriously disable cognitive function. Victims might not be fully aware of the impacts. You don’t have to live through a disaster to become disruptively anxious about global heating and erratic, extreme weather. It’s very hard to ignore.
Most of us are not in positions to do enough to make a major difference in the climate tragedy besetting us all. That being said, many experts tell us that the healthiest strategy is to be proactive on five fronts:
- Stay informed on the science and news reports from reliable sources so you don’t get blindsided.
- Practice caring for the earth through gardening, hiking, camping or any beneficial activity in pristine nature. Appreciate the beauty nature still has to offer. Live as sustainably as possible.
- Prepare for the worst: stock food and water, tools, first aid, etc. Make your home as resistant as possible to fire, flooding, weather extremes and power outages. Have a portable solar panel with rechargeable battery to run fans, coolers and lights. Get a solar cooker. Keep large, solid blocks of ice in your freezer along with frozen food.
- Consider carefully how you want to behave when disaster strikes, because it will, very soon.
- Meet regularly with equally concerned friends, relatives and neighbors to share information from the first four strategies.
- Tell family and friends often how much you love them.
Finally, lower your expectations that technology will find “solutions” to control warming. The record is none too good so far, so why add disappointment to the suffering we’re all in for? Escape is not a realistic goal. Acceptance is.