Climate change also has a mental health toll

Wildfires rage in Russia, Spain and the US amid high temperatures

Forest fires have broken out in Russia’s Chelyabinsk region near Kazakhstan and in north-eastern Siberia.

The Ministry of Emergency Situations said it has deployed aircraft and a helicopter to fight the fires, as well as 240 personnel to Chelyabinsk where two large villages have been evacuated.

Wildfires are also ravaging northeastern Siberia where temperatures have been abnormally high.

Russia’s coldest inhabited region, Yakutia, is now in the third year of unusually intense fires and around 300 are now burning.

In fact, peat fires had continued to burn throughout last winter in Yakutia, even when the temperature plummeted to minus 50 degrees Centigrade…

Climate change also has a mental health toll

For Meg Keene, climate change is something that not only needs to be addressed but is also very difficult to cope with personally.

“As someone with anxiety, I kind of try not to think too much about the future with regards to climate change, because it’s so terrifying,” Keene, 41, said.

According to another report by the American Health Public Association, 25-50% of people exposed to extreme weather disasters are at risk of adverse mental health effects.

Keene’s life has been bookended by devastating wildfires in increasingly hot and dry California. As a baby she survived the 1980 Panorama Fire in San Bernardino. Most of the houses in her neighborhood were burned, her family’s home was one of the lucky ones that survived.

She has also been through the latest extreme wildfires in East Oakland, where she now lives with her husband and her two children.

Keene says she has been struggling with anxiety since she was a kid and for her, talking about the uncertain and changing weather patterns is triggering…

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