Climate change is taking an obvious physical toll on earth: from depleted farmland to the rise of toxic pollution to the degradation of long-stable ecosystems to the disappearance of biodiversity and endangered species.
But looking beyond the physical, experts are also trying to sound the alarm about the quieter, more insidious effects of climate change: namely, that global warming is threatening the emotional health of humans worldwide.
“We see a sense of despair that sets in as inevitably Mother Nature, who we think of as our nurturing force, tells us we’re not going to be able to survive the conditions she’s set for us,” Dr. Lise Van Susteran, a practicing psychiatrist and expert on the dangers of climate change on mental health, told CBS News.
Dr. Van Susteran presented on this topic earlier this month at the Climate & Health Meeting in Atlanta, a conference that looked at climate change through the lens of public health. Former Vice President Al Gore organized the meeting when, days before President Trump’s inauguration, a long-planned Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) summit on the topic was abruptly cancelled.