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- 21 December 2007 at 10:19 am #3478Martin WParticipant
Interesting article on Wired site, includes:Quote:Everyone’s worrying about resource management and the spooky, unpredictable changes in the ecosystem. We fret over which areas will get flooded as sea levels rise. We estimate the odds of wars over clean water, and we tally up the species — polar bears, whales, wading birds — that’ll go extinct.
But we should also be concerned about the huge toll climate change will inflict on our mental health. In the modern, industrialized West, many of us have forgotten how deeply we rely on the stability of nature for our psychic well-being.
it’s a pretty natural human urge to identify with a place and build one’s sense of self around its comforts and permanence. I live in Manhattan, where the globe-hopping denizens tend to go berserk if their favorite coffee shop closes down. How will they react in 20 or 30 years if the native trees can’t handle the 5-degree spike in average temperature? Or if weird new bugs infest the city in summer, fall shrinks to a single month, and snow becomes a distant memory?
we may simply be rediscovering a syndrome that we thought was dead and buried. Back in the 1940s, the military considered homesickness to be a serious and potentially fatal illness, because drafted soldiers who got shipped overseas would often become savagely depressed. These days, Americans are rarely dislocated against their will, and the army is all-volunteer. Few of us have the experience of being unmoored in the world.
But that may be changing rapidly. In a world that’s quickly heating up and drying up, you can’t go home again — even if you never leave.
Clive Thompson on How the Next Victim of Climate Change Will Be Our Minds30 December 2007 at 11:19 am #4518Martin WParticipant
In similar vein, there’s a NY Times article on how residents of Maplewood, northeast US, can no longer ice skate as regularly as in the past.Quote:For generations of Maplewood residents, the coming of winter meant the return of a tableau worthy of the most clichéd Currier and Ives print. Magically, the township’s public works employees would throw a switch or turn a knob and suddenly water would begin to flow from a creek in Memorial Park into an adjacent low-lying field.
It being winter, the water would freeze quickly, and for the next two to three months the township’s children and their nostalgic parents would have access to one of the joys of living in a snow-belt suburb: a frozen pond for ice skating.
The park should have been flooded by now. But township officials don’t flood the park anymore, and while many experts say that you can’t directly attribute localized weather events to global warming, the fact remains that the water rarely freezes and thus becomes just another tourist trap for Canada geese.
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