MCP Human Impacts

(edited 01/31/2023)


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

Key Question 1. How does climate change affect human physical and mental health?


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.

Particle Pollution and Your Health – Brochure from EPA

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  – This interview addresses such questions as: Does climate change affect the transmission of coronavirus? Does air pollution increase the risk of getting coronavirus? Does it make symptoms worse? How likely are we to see infectious disease spread as a result of climate change?

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.

New Research Shows How Health Risks to Children Mount as Temperatures Rise By Winston Choi-Schagrin, NYT 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. [This link is good, however, The New York Times limits monthly access if you don’t have an account.]

Hidden Toll of the Northwest Heat Wave: Hundreds of Extra Deaths By Nadja Popovich and Winston Choi-Schagrin, Aug. 11, 2021 NYT – 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.

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

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

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


Toward a Taxonomy of Climate Emotions (Jan 2022) Frontiers of Climate – (Climate Risk Management Journal) by Panu Pikhala – 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 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.

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.

Understanding the Spectrum of Anxiety Responses to Climate Change: A Systematic Review of the Qualitative Literature (January 2022) US National Library of Medicine NIH, 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.

Mental Health and Our Changing Climate – Impacts, Inequities, Responses 2021 Edition – The report, an update to a 2017 report also issued by APA and ecoAmerica, is intended to inform and empower health and medical professionals, community and elected leaders and the public to pursue solutions to climate change that will support mental health and well-being.

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.

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.”

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.

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 infographic emphasizing the importance of building social connectedness as a community’s resilience to disasters and trauma.

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 CommunicationFeelings Inventory and Needs Inventory

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.

Climate anxiety in children and young people and their beliefs about government responses to climate change: a global survey (Dec 2021) The Lancet Planetary Health, by Hickman, Caroline et al. – Climate change has important implications for the health and futures of children and young people, yet they have little power to limit its harm, making them vulnerable to climate anxiety. This is the first large-scale investigation of climate anxiety in children and young people globally and its relationship with perceived government response.

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.

Got Climate Anxiety? These People Are Doing Something About It (Feb 7, 2021) by Susan Shain, New York Times. [This link is good, however, The New York Times limits monthly access if you don’t have an account.]

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

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

MEDICAL ALERT! Climate Change Is Harming Our Health by The Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health

Doctors: Climate Change Is Already Making US Kids Sicker Honora Montano

As Long As Grass Grows (2019) by Dina Gilio-Whitaker. Beacon Press


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

Jackson County Climate and Health Action Plan (2013)

Oregon’s Public Health Hazard Vulnerability Assessment (pdf)

Sustainable and Climate-Resilient Health Care Facilities Toolkit

The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment

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

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.]

Key Question 3. What is consumption and how does it impact global warming and climate change?


Oregon’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions through 2015: An assessment of Oregon’s sector-based and consumption-based greenhouse gas emissions (May 2018) A report by Oregon’s DEQ.

The Story of Stuff – (2009) – This is a 20-minute, fast-paced, animated look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. Still a timely watch. (Short 2.35-minute Intro version.) Created by Annie Leonard and has now become The Story of Stuff Project.


Food systems account for more than one third of global greenhouse gas emissions (March 2021) Food and Agriculture Association of the United Nations

“Energy Smart” Food for People and Climate (2011) A 78-page comprehensive Issue Paper by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations

UN Food Loss and Waste Database – The database contains data and information from openly accessible reports and studies measuring food loss and waste across food products, stages of the value chain, and geographical areas.

Cool Food Pledge – A movement for food institutions that helps organizations commit to and achieve a science-based target to reduce the climate impact of the food they serve. Members are guided through a three-step approach: PledgePlan, and Promote.

Project Drawdown on food waste

Animal Agriculture Responsible for 57% of Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Food Production, Study Finds (Sep 15, 2021) EcoWatch by Brett Wilkins – Discusses results from Nature Food study showing Global food production accounts for more than a third of all greenhouse gas emissions, with meat and dairy responsible for twice as much planet-heating carbon pollution as plant-based foods.

Climate-Friendly Food Is Easier Than We Think (March 27, 2021)  Edwina Hughes, Richard Waite and Gerard Pozzi, World Resources Institute.

How to Feed 10 Billion by 2050 Without Destroying the Planet

The diet that helps fight climate change (video 5:39)

Eating Seafood Can Reduce Your Carbon Footprint, But Some Fish Are Better Than Others

Video: How Beef Farmers Can Reduce Their Carbon Footprint

Grass-Fed Beef Will Not Help Tackle Climate Change. (Oct. 03, 2017) EcoWatch

Meat and Dairy Greenhouse Emissions ‘Could Lead Us to a Point of No Return’

Beyond Meat uses climate change to market fake meat substitutes. Scientists are cautious (Sept 2019) CNBC – “Beyond and Impossible go somewhere towards reducing your carbon footprint, but saying it’s the most climate friendly thing to do — that’s a false promise,” said Marco Springmann, a senior environmental researcher at the University of Oxford.

Palm Oil Was Supposed to Help Save the Planet. Instead It Unleashed a Catastrophe. (Nov 2018) New York Times Magazine, by Abraham Lustgarten – A decade ago, the U.S. mandated the use of vegetable oil in biofuels, leading to industrial-scale deforestation — and a huge spike in carbon emissions. [This link is good, however, The New York Times limits monthly access if you don’t have an account.]


How plastics contribute to climate change (August 20, 2019) Yale Climate Connections by Brooke Bauman

Plastics and Climate: The Hidden Costs of a Plastic Planet (May 2019) report by CIEL – Center for International Environmental Law

Yes! Magazine “The Solving Plastic” Issue. (Summer 2021) See especially the feature story by Erica Cirino “Plastic World or Plastic-Free World?” and Small Works graphic story by Sarah Lazarovic “How to Get Rid of Throwaway Culture”

Synthetic Polymer Contamination in Bottled Water. Front Chem. Published 2018 Sep 11. By Mason SA, Welch VG, Neratko J.

The Story of Plastic (2020) Full feature documentary (1:23) produced by The Story of Stuff Project, on Amazon for $1.99 SD version. Also, a free animated short version (4:16)

Plastic Pollution Our World in Data (2018) by Hannah Ritchie and Max. A creative commons site. This report focuses on plastics pollution. This report includes a FAQs on plastics and a slide deck summary of global plastics.

World’s nations start to hammer out first global treaty on plastic pollution (Feb 23, 2022) Science by Erik Stokstad – Negotiators from 193 countries are setting out to create a negotiating committee that will try to hammer out, within 2 years, a new global treaty intended to curb plastic pollution.

Countries Tried to Curb Trade in Plastic Waste. The U.S. Is Shipping More. (March 12, 2021) New York Times by Hiroko Tabuchi and Michael Corkery – Data shows that American exporters continue to ship plastic waste overseas, often to poorer countries, even though most of the world has agreed to not accept it. [This link is good, however, The New York Times limits monthly access if you don’t have an account.]


Pros and Cons of 6 Natural Fabrics (2019) by Lydia Noyes in Mother Earth Living

Are These Trends Green or Greenwashed? (Winter 2019) by Eleanor Greene in Green We fact-checked the claims of trendy companies advertising green options.

Unraveling the Fashion Industry (Winter 2019) Eleanor Greene, editor, Green It’s easy to ignore the huge influence garments have on workers and the planet. Luckily, activists and businesses are working to make the fashion industry better. If you wear clothes, you can too.

Unpacking Toxic Textiles (Winter 2019) by Asher Weinstein, Green Business as usual in the garment industry is bad for people and the planet, from agriculture to factories, from stores to our closets.

Royal rewears: 14 times the royals recycled their best clothes

Helping governments and stakeholders make The SDGS a reality

Fashionopolis by Dana Thomas

The Story of Microfibers (video: 2:47)

All birds How much did your outfit cost the planet? Now any brand can use our Carbon Footprint tools to label their emissions.

Key Question 4. How do we change our consumption habits?

 Greenhouse 100 Polluters Index (2021 report based on 2019 data) by U of Mass Amhert’s Poltical Economy Research Institute (PERI)

The Fallacy of Our Carbon Footprint (April 2021) Yes! Magazine by Emma Pattee – Big Oil deflects the responsibility by saying citizens should do more to stop climate change

Transforming Waste Tool: How communities have defined zero waste EPA webpage on what US communities are doing about Zero Waste, featuring a 2015 Resolution by US Mayors.

Made-by Environmental Benchmark for Fibres – by Common Objective provides a global tech solution for sustainable fashion business. This is a ranking of the most sustainable (organic hemp) to the least sustainable (wool) fibers for clothing.

Accelerating Circularity – A US textile NPO whose mission is to establish systems that will use the embedded value and resources in existing textiles for new products, reducing the millions of tons of textile waste annually going into landfills and thereby supporting the reduction of the industry’s GHG emissions.

What Retailers Like Amazon Do With Unsold Inventory (Dec 19, 2019) CNBC feature story. 13:36 Youtube video

Meatless meat is becoming mainstream — and it’s sparking a backlash (Oct 7, 2019) By Kelsey Piper, Vox. The growing pushback against Impossible and Beyond burgers in fast-food chains, explained.

Alternative Meats Are Having a Moment—We Break Down the Different Types to Cut Through the Confusion (updated September 18, 2019) by Kelly Vaughn, Real Simple. To infinity and beyond (burger).

Eating Seafood Can Reduce Your Carbon Footprint, But Some Fish Are Better Than Others

To Shrink Your Carbon Footprint, Ease Up on the Dairy

Is This the End of Recycling? The Atlantic, March 5, 2019

Bokashi cycle

FoodKeeper App – This US government App helps you understand the best storage for food and beverages to help maximize the freshness and quality of items.

Lend Me a Plate – Program in Ashland OR for borrowing dishes for large events

Food Label Guide (Green America)

Earth 911 Recycling Resource Guide – On the top of their page you can enter an item that you are trying to recycle and it will tell you the closest location for recycling.

Key Question 5. How do social justice and climate change intersect?

 What is ‘climate justice’? (July 19, 2020) Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons – An article articulating the idea that the adverse impacts of a warming climate are not felt equitably among people.

What Is Climate Gentrification? (August 2020) National Resources Defense Council by Shelia Hu – An article on what it means to be displaced by climate change and why cities must invest in long-term housing affordability—and a self-sustaining future—for their low-income communities and communities of color.

Tackling climate change includes seeking equitable mental health care (Feb 15, 2022) Yale Climate Connections by Emily Jack-Scott and Michelle Solomon – Climate-related mental health stress is real, and more diverse research must address inequities in both mental health burden and support services.

People of Color Breathe More Hazardous Air. The Sources Are Everywhere (Published April 28, 2021Updated Sept. 7, 2021) New York Times by Hiroko Tabuchi and Nadja Popovich – Researchers uncovered stark disparities between white people and minorities across thousands of categories of pollution, including trucks, industry, agriculture and even restaurants. [This link is good, however, The New York Times limits monthly access if you don’t have an account.]

How Air Pollution Across America Reflects Racist Policy From the 1930s (March 9, 2022) New York Times by Raymond Zhong and Nadja Popovich – A new study shows how redlining, a Depression-era housing policy, contributed to inequalities that persist decades later in U.S. cities. [This link is good, however, The New York Times limits monthly access if you don’t have an account.]

Just Transition Alliance – The Just Transition Alliance (JTA) serves people of color, Indigenous Peoples and low-income communities living under the threat of polluting industries; and workers, in the service, energy, farmworker, and chemical sectors, focusing on community education, awareness and action.

Just Transition Factsheet – Summary of points, goals, models. Compiled by the Sierra Club.

Movement Generation Justice and Ecology Project – A Bay Area organization that inspires and engages in transformative action towards the liberation and restoration of land, labor and culture. Rooted in vibrant social movements led by low-income communities and communities of color committed to a Just Transition away from profit and pollution towards healthy, resilient and life-affirming local economies

Which racial/ethnic groups care most about climate change? (April 6, 2020) Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, by Matthew Ballew et al. Research has shown that people of color in the U.S., including Hispanics/Latinos, African Americans, and other non-White racial/ethnic groups, are more concerned than Whites about climate change.

Race, Ethnicity and Public Responses to Climate Change (2010) Yale Project on Climate Change and George Mason University, Leiserowitz, A. & Akerlof, K.

Climate Justice Alliance  Just transition is our main organizing framework. We envision a world in which fairness, equity and ecological rootedness are core values. We are building local alternatives that center traditional ecological and cultural knowledge and create a pathway for a regenerative future.

On Being podcast interview with Attorney and Climate Activist Colette Pichon Battle who is founder and Co-Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy, and she serves on the board of the US Climate Action Network and leads the Red, Black & Green New Deal — the climate initiative of the Movement for Black Lives.

What is Climate Gentrification? (Aug 27, 2020) National Resources Defense Council by Sheila Hu – NRDC senior program advocate Sasha Forbes explains what it means to be displaced by climate change and why cities must invest in long-term housing affordability—and a self-sustaining future—for their low-income communities and communities of color.

Climate change and Indigenous mental health in the Circumpolar North: A systematic review to inform clinical practice (2022) Transcultural Psychiatry by Laurence Lebel et al – a literature review of research on how climate change is affecting the mental health of Indigenous Peoples of the Circumpolar North

Opening Remarks at COP26 by Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados (2022)

Speech by Climate Activist Elizabeth Mathuti (Kenya) at COP26 – and text PDF