Climate change is putting us in a very bad mood

“The heat made people crazy. They woke from their damp bed sheets and went in search of a glass of water, surprised to find that when their vision cleared, they were holding instead the gun they kept hidden in the bookcase.”

This passage, from Summer Island, a romance novel by Kristin Hannah, is how researchers introduce a potentially important new study they believe could alter peoples’ attitudes about the impact of unrelenting heat on violence, and why some parts of the world experience strikingly higher rates of violence than others.

It’s not what people think. The new research goes beyond existing ideas about how hot summer nights cause tempers to flare and prompt sporadic acts of violence. Their model explores long-term cultural changes resulting from persistently high temperatures and a lack of seasonal variability, among them a loss of self-control and future-oriented goals. This combination can lead to more aggression and violence, they say.

“People think about weather when they think about global warming, but don’t realize that climate change can increase aggression and violence,” says Brad Bushman, professor of communication and psychology at The Ohio State University and one of the study’s authors. “But climate change affects how we relate to other people.’’ Moreover, he predicts that unmitigated global warming could increase violence levels in the United States, something he believes deserves immediate attention.

Read full story…

 

Similar Posts: