Global Warming Is Reducing Mental Health Stress

Global Warming Is Reducing Mental Health Stress
February 16, 2014

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute, and... (read full bio)

Freelance writer Marlene Cimons, an adjunct professor of journalism at the University of Maryland, wrote an editorial published by LiveScience and Yahoo News claiming increases in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events damage people’s mental health. Cimons presented this assertion as a means of claiming global warming is harming mental health.

Assuming, for the sake of argument, extreme weather events cause mental health-damaging stress, the facts show global warming must be improving mental health rather than harming it.

No Science Cited
While spending the majority of her editorial asserting a link between extreme weather events and mental health stress, Cimons does not address global warming science at all. Citing an anecdotal story of somebody claiming to have stress-related headaches and depression after Hurricane Sandy battered the New Jersey coastline in November 2012, Cimons made an jumps to the conclusion global warming caused the storm and therefore the headaches and depression.

Extreme Weather Less Frequent
Objective evidence, however, shows extreme weather events have become less frequent and severe as our planet gradually warms from the Little Ice Age conditions that prevailed through the end of the nineteenth century. Hurricane and tornado activity are currently at record lows, wildfires are at record lows, droughts are in long-term decline, and just about every other category of extreme weather shows either no trend or a beneficial trend as the planet warms.

Cimons’ editorial is a timely reminder global warming activists should not go unchallenged when they falsely assert the relatively few extreme weather events that still occur must be caused by global warming.

James M. Taylor (jtaylor@heartland.org) is managing editor of Environment & Climate News.

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute, and... (read full bio)