The weight of nature

how a changing climate changes our brains
Clayton Page Aldern
Book - 2024

"For readers of Kolbert's Under a White Sky and Merlin Sheldrake's Entangled Life, to all those who love science books about the brain. The effects of climate change on our brains are a public health crisis that has gone largely unreported. Based on six years of research, award-winning journalist and trained neuroscientist Clayton Page Aldern synthesizes the emerging neuroscience, psychology, and behavioral economics of climate change and brain health. A masterpiece of deeply reported, superb literary journalism, this book shows readers how a changing environment is changing us, today, from the inside out. Aldern calls it the weight of nature. Newly named mental conditions include: climate grief, ecoanxiety, environmental melancholia, pre-traumatic stress disorder. High-schoolers are preparing for a chaotic climate with the same combination of urgency, fear, and resignation they reserve for active-shooter drills. But mostly, as Aldern richly details, we don't realize what global warming is doing to our brains. More heat means it is harder to think straight and solve problems. It influences serotonin release, which in turn increases the chance of impulsive violence. Air pollution from wildfires and smokestacks affects everything from sleeplessness to baseball umpires' error rates. Immigration judges are more likely to reject asylum applications on hotter days. And these kinds of effects are not easily medicated, since certain drugs we might look to just aren't as effective at higher temperatures. Heatwaves and hurricanes can wear on memory, language, and pain systems. Wildfires seed PTSD. And climate-fueled ecosystem changes extend the reach of brain-disease carriers like the mosquitos of cerebral-malaria fame, brain-eating amoebae, and the bats that brought us the mental fog of long Covid. From farms in the San Joaquin Valley and public schools across the US to communities in Norway's arctic, Micronesian islands, and the French Alps, this is a disturbing, unprecedented portrait of a global crisis we thought we understood"--

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Aldern, Clayton Page, 1990- (Author)
Format: Book
Language:English
Published: [New York, New York] : Dutton, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, [2024]
Subjects:

MARC

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505 0 |a Tension -- Part 1: Push/Pull -- A history of forgetting -- Wet machines -- Who killed Tyson Morlock? -- Part 2: Friction -- Bloom -- Spilling -- The body keeps the storm -- Part III: Displacement -- Karl Friston's theory of everything -- Burn scar -- The grammar of Earth -- Counterbalance. 
520 |a "For readers of Kolbert's Under a White Sky and Merlin Sheldrake's Entangled Life, to all those who love science books about the brain. The effects of climate change on our brains are a public health crisis that has gone largely unreported. Based on six years of research, award-winning journalist and trained neuroscientist Clayton Page Aldern synthesizes the emerging neuroscience, psychology, and behavioral economics of climate change and brain health. A masterpiece of deeply reported, superb literary journalism, this book shows readers how a changing environment is changing us, today, from the inside out. Aldern calls it the weight of nature. Newly named mental conditions include: climate grief, ecoanxiety, environmental melancholia, pre-traumatic stress disorder. High-schoolers are preparing for a chaotic climate with the same combination of urgency, fear, and resignation they reserve for active-shooter drills. But mostly, as Aldern richly details, we don't realize what global warming is doing to our brains. More heat means it is harder to think straight and solve problems. It influences serotonin release, which in turn increases the chance of impulsive violence. Air pollution from wildfires and smokestacks affects everything from sleeplessness to baseball umpires' error rates. Immigration judges are more likely to reject asylum applications on hotter days. And these kinds of effects are not easily medicated, since certain drugs we might look to just aren't as effective at higher temperatures. Heatwaves and hurricanes can wear on memory, language, and pain systems. Wildfires seed PTSD. And climate-fueled ecosystem changes extend the reach of brain-disease carriers like the mosquitos of cerebral-malaria fame, brain-eating amoebae, and the bats that brought us the mental fog of long Covid. From farms in the San Joaquin Valley and public schools across the US to communities in Norway's arctic, Micronesian islands, and the French Alps, this is a disturbing, unprecedented portrait of a global crisis we thought we understood"--  |c Provided by publisher. 
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