MCP Session 4: Human Impacts

(edited 02/21/2023)


Overshoot day

Project Drawdown Sectors: Health and Education, Industry

Project Regeneration Connections

Clothing Industry, Compost, Eating Plants, Education of Girls, Food Apartheid, Palm Oil, Plastics Industry, Wasting Nothing

Information Related to Key Questions 1 & 2

Link to Key Questions 3-5

Key Question 1. How is climate change affecting human physical and mental health?


The Journal of Climate Change and Health – Open Source. Worldwide scientific peer reviewed gold open access medical journal that seeks to publish high quality scientific works related to acute and chronic climate related disasters, migration, changing patterns of disease and the impacts of climate change on individuals and health systems.

CDC’s Climate Effects on Health – overview webpage with key graphic used in MCP course entitled “Impact of Climate Change on Human Health,” breakouts for each health topic, as well as regional impacts.

Does air pollution cause Alzheimer’s Disease? (July 2020) Harvard Health Blog, by Andrew E. Budson MD – Studies from several countries link air pollution to cognitive impairment

Coronavirus, Climate Change, and the Environment – A Conversation on COVID-19 with Dr. Aaron Bernstein, Director of Harvard Chan C-CHANGE  – Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health website article

Did climate change influence the emergence, transmission and expression of the COVID-19 pandemic? (December 2021) Frontiers in Medicine, S. Gupta, B. Rouse, P. Sarangi

Silent calamity: The health impacts of wildfire smoke – (May 10, 2021) Yale Climate Connections, by Bob Henson – A very readable survey of recent research showing how wildfire smoke and air pollution is deadly and more costly.

Managing the growing cost of wildfire (October 2020) Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research by Marshall Burke et al. – Policy brief on Wildfire smoke in the West air as a regional pollution issue threatening decades of air quality improvement, with massive health impacts with policy recommendations for fire management.

Over half of known human pathogenic diseases can be aggravated by climate change (Aug 2022) Nature Climate Change, Mora, C., McKenzie, T., Gaw, I.M. et al. Plain language article on this study in Nature: Climate change is making hundreds of diseases much worse

Climate Change and Extreme Heat Events: How Health Systems Should Prepare (June 15, 2022) NEJM Catalyst Innovations in Care Delivery, by L. Patel et al. – In-depth 22 page article covering the health effects of EHEs with illustrative examples of what health systems can do to promote climate readiness and heat resiliency.

New Research Shows How Health Risks to Children Mount as Temperatures Rise By Winston Choi-Schagrin, New York Times 1/19/22 – The first nationwide study on rising temperatures and younger Americans found that hotter days were associated with more visits to emergency rooms. [Limited access if you don’t have an account.]

Hidden Toll of the Northwest Heat Wave: Hundreds of Extra Deaths (Aug. 11, 2021) NYT By Nadja Popovich and Winston Choi-Schagrin,– During the last week of June, temperatures in the Pacific Northwest climbed more than 30 degrees Fahrenheit higher than average, smashing records and bringing life-threatening conditions to an area not used to such extreme heat. [Limited access if you don’t have an account.]

Common medications may increase the dangers of heat waves  (July 26, 2022) Yale Climate Connections, by Neha Pathak – Some over-the-counter and prescription drugs may interfere with sweat production, alter the body’s internal thermostat, or make dehydration more likely — with potentially serious consequences.

Two Heart Medications Tied to Greater Heart Attack Risk During Very Hot Weather   (Aug 1, 2022) Yale School of Public Health, Jenni Blair – Users of beta-blockers (e.g. Metoprolol) or antiplatelet medications (e.g. Aspirin, Plavix) are likelier to have heart attacks during the hottest days

Extreme heat makes pregnancy more dangerous  (July 22, 2022) Yale Climate Connections, by Samantha Harrington – High temperatures increase the risk of stillbirth and preterm birth. And with the fall of Roe v. Wade, more people may be prosecuted for these pregnancy outcomes.

First Global Statistical Analysis of Harmful Algal Blooms (June 2021) Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution – International study finds no worldwide trend in blooms, but significant increases in some regions and of certain species — especially in light of greater societal reliance on coastal fisheries

Summary Report – One Health Harmful Algal Bloom System (OHHABS), United States (2019) CDC – detailed study report of data collected in 2019, written 2021

How climate change could undo 50 years of public health gains (Dec 7, 2020) Grist, by Zoya Teirstein.

Connecting Climate Change and Health: HMS to embed climate change, impact on health in MD curriculum, Harvard Medical School News & Research newsletter (January 9, 2023) by M.R.F. Buckley

Has Your Doctor Talked To You About Climate Change? (July 13, 2019) by Martha Bebinger. Radio broadcast on Weekend Edition Saturday

MEDICAL ALERT! Climate Change Is Harming Our Health by The Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health – The Medical Society Consortium for Climate and Health, 28 pages, document for medical professionals

PHYSICAL HEALTH – County, State & Federal Plans

Climate and Health in Oregon 2020 Report Oregon Health Authority – Public Health Division

2020 Climate Change and Social Resilience Report by Oregon Health Authority Climate and Health Program and Oregon Community Health Workers Association – identifies actions and investments that governmental agencies can take to strengthen social relationships in communities and increase climate resilience. Includes an infographic emphasizing the importance of building social connectedness as a community’s resilience to disasters and trauma.

US Sustainable and Climate-Resilient Toolkit for Health Care Facilities (2021)

The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment (2016) US Global Change Research Project 312 pages

Jackson County Climate and Health Action Plan (2013)

Oregon’s Public Health Hazard Vulnerability Assessment (pdf) (2012)

PHYSICAL HEALTH – Resources – serves as the premier source of heat and health information for the nation regarding the health, economic, and infrastructural impacts of extreme heat. It is the web portal for the National Integrated Heat Health Information System

CDC Chart of Diseases and conditions caused by eating seafood contaminated with algal blooms (2021)

Protect Yourself and Your Pets from Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) – CDC

Diseases carried by vectors from CDC

CDC Infographic for What to Do in Extreme Heat – A PDF of what symptoms to look for and what to do for heat-related illnesses.

CDC Infographic about Warmer Water and Flooding – A PDF listing of related public health concerns and background about climate change.

EPA Air Quality Index

Particle Pollution and Your Health – Brochure from EPAxxx

MENTAL HEALTH – Resources for Coping

Sustaining Climate Activists – SOCAN’s local support group in Medford OR. Meets monthly on a drop-in basis.

Good Grief Network – GGN is an innovative peer support network for processing and integrating the uncertainty and grief that the climate and wider eco-crisis can awaken in people. Based on Alcoholics Anonymous, this group format moves participants through a 10-step program in which key topics are processed in a supportive setting. Join a group or train as a facilitator.

Gen Dread – A newsletter by Dr. Britt Wray about staying sane in the climate and wider ecological crisis. This link connects with her article on “Resources for working with climate emotions.”

The Work That Reconnects – Website for the work of Buddhist and systems theorist Joanna Macy with Molly Brown. TWTR helps people discover and experience their innate connections with each other and the self-healing powers of the web of life, transforming despair and overwhelm into inspired, collaborative action. See their – now classic – book Coming back to Life – the updated guide on the work that reconnects.

Center for Nonviolent Communication – Feelings Inventory and Needs Inventory

Stress Reduction Tips (2016) Compiled by Ken Deveney using suggestions from Undress Stress for Success by Lois Levy and other sources

Climate and Mind – A compilation of resources to explore how climate change impacts our thoughts, emotions, and behavior. Videos, audio, books, articles, group facilitation.

Global Optimism – Home website for Stubborn Optimism – Christiana Figueres, Tom Rivett-Carnac and Paul Dickinson take you behind the scenes of the politics, investments and actions that are meeting the climate crisis head on.

Facing It Podcast – This series introduces ways to move from despair to action by addressing the psychological roots of our unprecedented ecological loss. Hosted by Dr. Jennifer Atkinson, Associate Professor of environmental humanities at the University of Washington, Bothell.

Climate Change and Happiness Podcast – Hosted by Clinical and environmental psychologist Thomas Doherty (Portland OR) and climate emotions scholar Panu Pihkala (Helsinki, Finland.) For people around the globe who are thinking deeply about the personal side of climate change, particularly their emotional responses and their feelings.

 MENTAL HEALTH – Articles and Reports

Mental Health and our Changing Climate: Impacts, Inequities, Responses (2021 Edition) – The American Psychological Association and ecoAmerica are pleased to offer this update of our 2017 report, Mental Health and Our Changing Climate. Since that report appeared, concerns about the mental health impacts of climate change have grown among health professionals, policymakers, and the public. Research on climate and health has accelerated and many new findings have emerged. With this update, we aim to provide readers with the information and guidance they need to stay current in this field and take effective action.

The impact of climate change on mental health and emotional wellbeing: current evidence and implications for policy and practice. Grantham Institute Briefing paper No 36. May 2021 E. Lawrance et al. – This briefing, and accompanying animation, shows how climate change is negatively affecting the mental health and emotional wellbeing of people around the world, with a detailed set of recommendations to all sectors including policy makers, research institutions and mental health practitioners.

Four Lessons Psychology Teaches Us About Inspiring Climate Action (Feb 5, 2018) Climate Reality Project

Environmental Scientists Want Help Coping With Their Grief (Nov 2, 2019) by Marlene Cimons in EcoWatch/Nexus Media

It’s the End of the World as They Know It: The distinct burden of being a climate scientist (July 8, 2019) Story by David Corn; Photos by Devin Yalkin

Solastalgia: the distress caused by environmental change (2007) Australas Psychiatry, by Glenn Albrecht et al – Original study that developed the term “Solastalgia,” a concept developed to give greater meaning and clarity to environmentally induced distress.

What Is Solastalgia and How Is It Measured? SOS, a Validated Scale in Population Exposed to Drought and Forest Fires (2022) Cristian Cáceres et al, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health – This academic study developed the first “Scale of Solastalgia” (SOS) for measuring Albrecht’s original posit of two different dimensions: solace (comfort or consolation provided by the physical home) and algia (pain).

Climate change and mental health: risks, impacts and priority actions (2018) Hayes K, Blashki G, Wiseman J, Burke S, Reifels L. International Journal of Mental Health Systems – an overview of the current and projected climate change risks and impacts to mental health with recommendations for priority actions to address the mental health consequences of climate change.

TedTalk: How to turn climate anxiety into action (March 2020) Dr. Renée Lertzman (13:57) A discussion of psychological concepts and skills to accompany us through the climate crisis: window of tolerance, double-binds, attunement.

Climate Collapse: I’ve just found out how bad things are. What now? How to avoid falling into a pit of despair and hopelessness (Aug 9, 2021) by Gwyneth Jones, Age of Awareness.

Climate change anxiety: How to stop spiraling and make a difference (July 11, 2021) by Rebecca Ruiz, Mashable.

How to take breaks from the climate crisis without living in denial – A conversation with Dr. Panu Pihkala (January 2023) Gen Dread newsletter by Dr. Britt Wray including Pikhala’s visual model for Living with the Ecological Crisis

Toward a Taxonomy of Climate Emotions (Jan 2022) Frontiers of Climate – (Climate Risk Management Journal) by Panu Pikhala – an academic article about a preliminary taxonomy of climate emotions, based on literature reviews and philosophical discussion. This is a pretty dense research article, so for a simpler and powerful summary of the taxonomy, see the article on it by Britt Wray in her February 2022 Blog Gen Dread

Climate Anxiety Is an Overwhelmingly White Phenomenon (March 21, 2021) Scientific American, by Sarah Jaquette Ray – The writer asks why climate anxiety is a predominantly White mental health experience. She asks the question: Is climate anxiety just code for white people wishing to hold onto their way of life or get “back to normal,” and she notes that this is just a step away from xenophobia and fascism.

The lost summer’: the emotional and spiritual toll of the smoke apocalypse  (Aug 21, 2018) by Sharon J. Riley. The Narwhal.

Understanding the Spectrum of Anxiety Responses to Climate Change: A Systematic Review of the Qualitative Literature (January 2022) International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, by Catriona Soutar and Anne P.F. Wand – The primary aim of this study was to systematically review the qualitative literature regarding the scope of anxiety responses to climate change. The secondary aim was to investigate the sociodemographic and geographical factors which influence experiences of climate change anxiety.

Climate change is impacting mental health in North America: A systematic scoping review of the hazards, exposures, vulnerabilities, risks and responses (April 2022) International Review of Psychiatry, Breanne Aylward et al – This scoping review systematically examined the nature, range and extent of published research in North America that investigates climate-mental health interactions.

Temperature impacts on hate speech online: evidence from 4 billion geolocated tweets from the USA (Sept 2022) Lancet Planetary Health, Annika Stechemesser et al – An examination of the effect of temperature on the occurrence of hate speech on the social media platform Twitter and interpret the results in the context of the interlinkage between climate change, human behaviour, and mental health.

#NotT00Late is a project and book (release 2023) led by Rebecca Solnit and Thelma Young Lutunatabua to invite newcomers to the climate movement, as well as provide climate facts and encouragement for people who are already engaged but weary.  Has a strong resource section of encouraging articles, including this one by Solnit and in a podcast version.

Coping with climate anxiety: 9 tips for personal resilience. (April 8, 2022) The Optimist Daily – Simple article summary of key concepts.


Climate anxiety in children and young people and their beliefs about government responses to climate change: a global survey (Dec 2021) Academic Study. The Lancet Planetary Health, by Hickman, Caroline et al. This is a landmark, first large-scale investigation of climate anxiety in 10,000 children and young people globally and its relationship with perceived government response.

Seat at the Table – Let’s Talk About Climate Anxiety – (Silverback Films and YouTube Originals) features creator Jack Harries in a two-episode video series about climate anxiety and youth. Episode 3 is a compilation of voices from Youth around the world who talk about climate anxiety and the power of hope.

Climate Change and Youth Mental Health – 2022 Report by Oregon Health Authority. PDF. 37 pages.

Coping with climate change: Advice for kids — from kidsNovember 17, 2022 – a 7-minute NPR audio.

A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety: How to Keep Your Cool on a Warming Planet, (Book) (April 2020) University of California Press, by Sarah Jacquette Ray – Gen Z’s first “existential toolkit” for combating eco-guilt and burnout while advocating for climate justice.

Our Climate – Website. A national organization that empowers young people to advocate for the science-based, equitable and intersectional climate justice policies that build a thriving world. They engage and train youth from affected communities and groups to participate in broad and diverse advocacy coalitions, centering those most impacted by climate change to dismantle systemic oppression and achieve systemic change.

Youth Era(Website) Youth Era partnered with The University of Oxford to create and launch Uplift, a virtual mental-health training for Youth.

Climate Mental Health Network – (Website) We address the mental health consequences of climate change through education, community engagement and by harnessing the power of media and technology. Has a focus on educational projects and GenZ.

Mochi4thePlanet – a youth-led evidence-based movement for emotional resilience.

How to talk with kids about climate change (2020) Yale Climate Connections, by Daisy Simmons – By talking about the issue openly and honestly, parents – precisely the information source children most trust – can help prepare their children to stay resilient and find meaning through climate change. A 6-point guide.

Key Question 2. To what extent is population the underlying cause of the climate issue?

I’m an environmental journalist, but I never write about overpopulation. Here’s why. (Nov 29, 2018) by David Roberts, Vox.

Remember the Population Bomb? It’s Still Ticking  (New York Times, 2017) [This link is good, however, The New York Times limits monthly access if you don’t have an account.]

The Population Question ((Nov 18,  2022) by Somini Sengupta, Global correspondent, Climate for The New York Times. [This link is good, however, The New York Times limits monthly access if you don’t have an account.]

Link to Key Questions 3-5