By Sharon Kirkey
It was Raymond Chandler who wrote of nights with a hot wind blowing into Los Angeles — a wind that makes “your nerves jump.”
“On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight,” he wrote. “Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands’ necks. Anything can happen.”
Now there’s research that says climate change may damage our mental health, just like Chandler’s hot wind from the Santa Ana Mountains.
Last week, a team of 28 specialists convened by the Lancet medical journal listed climate change among the greatest threats to mental health globally.
While the Lancet report focuses on indirect ways climate change affects a person’s mental state through natural disasters, “not everywhere is facing an increased risk of cyclones due to changes in hurricane patterns,” said Tamma Carleton, a postdoctoral scholar with the Climate Impact Lab at the University of Chicago. “But virtually everywhere around the world we’re facing warmer temperatures, and there is a lot of evidence of direct effects of warming on mental health.”
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