Wired: Another complex factor is the deterioration of climate change. Looking ahead, in the near future and in the distant future, things are going to get worse before they get better.
SC: I think it’s significant. We did this huge survey of young people around the world, so 16 to 25 people. And they, to an astonishing degree, have a feeling that things are going to get worse – that the opportunity that their parents had, the things that they valued, will not be threatened. They don’t know if they should have children. And even a high percentage support the saying “humanity is destroyed”.
Wired: What you and I have talked about before is this notion of environmental grief about devastating wildfires in California. What is it?
SC: It’s really interesting to talk about grief because anxiety is kind of self-relevant: I’m worried about myself, I’m worried about what will happen to me. But grief b is more other-directed এটি it’s about loss. So you are showing this awareness of some value that is already lost or you are expecting to lose.
And for many people the place was very important to them. It could even be The idea A place. Thinking of turning California into a place that is kind of hostile to human habitation – it’s probably very powerful, but you’ve got what you say. This is the loss of the idea of what it means to be California.
Wired: I was hoping to talk about the role of post-traumatic stress disorder, especially in natural disasters and especially in children, who may not be equipped with the mental tools to deal with this kind of thing.
SC: We are especially concerned about children, because there is evidence that they are more likely to have traumatic stress later. And I’m guessing here, because I’m not a pediatrician, but I doubt it’s partly because safety is very important for children. What they have to learn remains the same, what is stable in the world. And so we have this kind of very disruptive, malicious experience that interferes with the ability to form a good sense of security.
There is some evidence that children who suffered trauma in childhood may have a lasting effect on their ability to process strong emotions as they get older. So since children are developing in many ways মানসিক mentally, physiologically, neurologically এই these early effects can have significant long-term effects.
Wired: As there are many issues of climate change, the less fortunate will suffer the most. The rich can manage – they can move to another home. Poor and caste people are going to fight much more with climate change.
SC: I think that’s right. There is a lot of good evidence for this. And I think it’s important to highlight this because sometimes people will behave as if environmental issues are a kind of elite – that you have to be rich to be concerned about environmental issues. But of course, especially when it comes to climate change, it’s a matter of social justice. This is going to increase inequality, and poor people and poor countries have already been hit even harder. And it will only get worse. And indeed, there is data that shows that, at least in the United States – I have not seen any such international data – but people of color in the United States are more concerned about climate change.
Wired: It is especially important to point out the effects of heat islands. So in cities, you get warmer temperatures and the heat spreads less quickly overnight. This is one of the most obvious inequalities pointed out by researchers, that poorer areas tend to be hotter than the surrounding countryside. As more and more people around the world move to the metropolis, how can this extreme heat be particularly problematic?