I’ve been reading about a newly recognized mental illness people are suffering caused by extreme anxieties regarding climate change. The disease has spawned a new science, ecopsychology, that’s aimed at helping sufferers deal with the angst brought about by the knowledge of an increasingly imperiled environment.
The ecopsychologists certainly have their hands full given that their patients’ concerns are very real, smothering the Earth, as we are, with copious amounts of carbon dioxide. Greenhouse gas emissions that inhibit the dispersion of the Earth’s surface heat is resulting in the melting of the polar ice caps, the raising of sea levels and extreme weather events; the fear of ecological disaster is a pretty reasonable psychosis to suffer.
Lest I find myself in a similar psychotic state, I’ll try to temper my carbon footprint, reduce my fossil fuel use, find alternatives to my carbon-centric lifestyle, buy locally, walk or bike instead of drive; things not so easily done in a northern winter especially now as I dream of escape to warmer climes requiring significant road miles or, even worse, flight time. Still, my awareness of the problem and a few meager efforts will hopefully sustain my sanity, keep me from requiring clinical assistance.