Environmental Duress: On the Verge of Extinction

It is not just the human species who are endangered by human-made climate change. Other species as well.  Including birds.  A new report from Audubon says that 2/3rds of North American species of birds are on the verge of extinction given rising temperatures.

In San Francisco county there are 20 species of high vulnerability and 40 of moderate vulnerability.  For the California Quail, the state bird, warming of 3 degrees could make up to three-quarters of their range unsuitable in some seasons. Heat waves and increased fire risk pose serious threats to this bird’s brushy habitats. If warming is limited to 1.5 degrees, quail could continue to thrive in over half their current range.  The Audubon report makes the point that there is much less harm done, to the quail and other birds, when holding warming to a lower level.

Climate change threatens birds and people in San Francisco County.  Increased severity and frequency of drought in California threatens water supplies and agriculture, while rising temperatures have decreased snowpack levels and increased heat waves. Large-scale wildfires have caused tens of billions of dollars in damages. Sea levels could rise one to four feet in the next century, submerging wetlands and harming coastal communities.

In terms of policy, guided by its climate action plan, California aims to reach 100-percent carbon-free electrical generation and statewide carbon neutrality by 2045.

I post this because I think we are all suffering from psychological duress as the planet is threatened.  Some may feel it more acutely than others; but we are all impacted by an ill planet.  As a psychotherapist, I see the symptoms every day in patients’ reports of their own depression and anxiety.  I believe the erosion in the cultural fabric of civility and open dialog that we see so much of these days is also a symptom of this environmental illness.  Please read the report and get involved. 

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