What are the implications of
They point to the need to pay more
attention to these at-risk communities.
Even small changes will be impactful. For
example, we need to look at the tree canopy and be sure that we are planting good
species that are resistant to drought and
pest invasion. Vegetation is essential to
mitigating effects of climate change since
it has a cooling effect and helps remove
pollution, including ozone, from the air.
These data also help us build a messaging campaign for communities. We
know, for example, that there is generally less ozone in the mornings so we
can recommend better times of the day
to engage in vigorous outdoor activities.
Locations in inland canyons were found
to have higher ozone so we might make
recommendations about areas that are
better to visit, especially for sensitive
populations. And, we might recommend
on particular days that sensitive populations try to exercise indoors and avoid
elevated outdoor exposure. Others have
used such messaging in the past, and it’s
worked, so that is reassuring.
What more can psychologists do?
Psychologists bring a highly unique set
of skills to the table. Not only do we
understand wellness, but we understand
the denial about climate change and
know how to improve resilience. Overall,
I think we are moving in the right direction, but we also need to collaborate more
with experts from other disciplines to
address the challenges of climate change
holistically. The scale of change that is
happening now is taking us into a range
of the unknown and pushing the limits of
what we thought we knew, so it requires
more interdisciplinary teamwork. ■
● Read more about psychology’s role in climate
change in the APA report: “Psychology and
Global Climate Change: Addressing a Multi-faceted Phenomenon and Set of Challenges”
on APA’s website, www.apa.org. www.aatbs.com • 800-472-1931 • 5126 Ralston St., Ventura, CA 93003
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N16L0420 SAGE Psycho /2016 14: 25