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5 reasons why climate change may see more of us turn to alcohol and other drugs

46 Comments
By Helen Louise Berry and Francis Vergunst
Photo: iStock/reklamlar

Climate change will affect every aspect of our health and wellbeing. But its potential harms go beyond the body’s ability to handle extreme heat, important as this is.

Extreme weather events, such as floods, droughts, storms and wildfires, are becoming more frequent and severe. These affect our mental health in a multitude of ways.

Coping with climate change can be overwhelming. Sometimes, the best someone can do is to seek refuge in alcohol, tobacco, over-the-counter and prescription drugs, or other psychoactive substances. This is understandable, but dangerous, and can have serious consequences.

We outline five ways climate change could increase the risk of harmful substance use.

1. Mental health is harmed

Perhaps the most obvious way climate change can be linked to harmful substance use is by damaging mental health. This increases the risk of new or worsened substance use.

People with a mental disorder are at high risk of also having a substance-use disorder. This often precedes their mental health problems. Climate change-related increases in the number and nature of extreme events, in turn, are escalating risks to mental health.

For example, extreme heat is linked to increased distress across the whole population. In extreme heat, more people go to the emergency department for psychiatric problems, including for alcohol and substance use generally. This is even true for a single very hot day.

Post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and other mental health problems are common at the time of extreme weather events and can persist for months, even years afterwards, especially if people are exposed to multiple events. This can increase the likelihood of using substances as a way to cope.

2. Worry increases

With increasing public awareness of how climate change is endangering wellbeing, people are increasingly worried about what will happen if it remains unchecked.

Worrying isn’t the same as meeting the criteria for a mental disorder. But surveys show climate change generates complex emotional responses, especially in children. As well as feelings of worry, there is anxiety, fear, guilt, anger, grief and helplessness.

Some emotional states, such as sadness, are linked with long-term tobacco use and also make substance use relapse more likely.

3. Physical injuries hurt us in many ways

Physical injuries caused by extreme weather events – such as smoke inhalation, burns and flood-related cuts and infections – increase the risk of harmful substance use. That’s partly because they increase the risk of psychological distress. If injuries cause long-term illness or disability, consequent feelings of hopelessness and depression can dispose some people to self-medicate with alcohol or other drugs.

Substance use itself can also generate long-term physiological harm, disabilities or other chronic health problems. These are linked with higher rates of harmful substance use.

4. Our day-to-day lives change

A single catastrophic event, such as a storm or flood, can devastate lives overnight and change the way we live. So, too, can the more subtle changes in climate and day-to-day weather. Both can disrupt behavior and routines in ways that risk new or worsened substance use, for example, using stimulants to cope with fatigue.

Take, for example, hotter temperatures, which disrupt sleep, undermine academic performance, reduce physical activity, and promote hostile language and violent behavior.

5. It destabilizes communities

Finally, climate change is destabilizing the socioeconomic, natural, built and geopolitical systems on which human wellbeing – indeed survival – depends.

Damaged infrastructure, agricultural losses, school closures, homelessness and displacement are significant sources of psychosocial distress that prompt acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term) stress responses.

Stress, in turn, can increase the risk of harmful substance use and make people more likely to relapse.

Why are we so concerned?

Substance-use disorders are economically and socially very costly. Risky substance use that doesn’t meet the criteria for a formal diagnosis can also harm.

Aside from its direct physical harm, harmful substance use disrupts education and employment. It increases the risk of accidents and crime, and it undermines social relationships, intimate partnerships and family functioning.

Politicians take note

As we head towards the COP28 global climate talks in Dubai, climate change is set to hit the headlines once more. Politicians know climate change is undermining human health and wellbeing. It’s well past time to insist they act.

As we have seen for populations as a whole, there are multiple possible ways for climate change to cause a rise in harmful substance use. This means multidimensional prevention strategies are needed. As well as addressing climate change more broadly, we need strategies including:

-- supporting vulnerable individuals, especially young people, and marginalized communities, who are hit hardest by extreme weather-related events

-- focusing health-related policies more on broadscale health promotion, for example, healthier eating, active transport and community-led mental health support

-- investing in climate-resilient infrastructure, such as heat-proofing buildings and greening cities, to prevent more of the destabilizing effects and stress we know contributes to mental health problems and harmful substance use.

There is now no credible pathway to avoiding dangerous climate change. However, if increasing rates of climate protests are anything to go by, the world may finally be ready for radical change – and perhaps for reduced harmful substance use.

Helen Louise Berry is Honorary Professor, Centre for Health Systems and Safety Research, Macquarie University, Sydney. Francis Vergunst is Associate Professor, Psychosocial Difficulties, University of Oslo, Norway.

The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.

© The Conversation

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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5 reasons why climate change may see more of us turn to alcohol and other drugs

Title is misleading.

Overarching that, the culprit for mental health problems and shorter life expectancies in in the UK and US for example is Late Stage Capitalism.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8145185/

2 ( +10 / -8 )

Title is misleading.

Overarching that, the culprit for mental health problems and shorter life expectancies in in the UK and US for example is Late Stage Capitalism.

No, it is not.

The title never says climate change is the only cause for mental health problems nor even claims it leads to shorter life expectancies, it simply lists the reasons why it can make the problem worse. You have used no argument to refute anything that is included

You are criticizing a completely different article that is not related to what is written here.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

You have used no argument to refute anything that is included

Logical failure and if you had the read the link provided you would have known that climate change is definitely an epiphenomenon of Late Stage Capitalism.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Logical failure

You make no argument to demonstrate this claim either, your criticism is still invalid since the article never made the claim you are trying to rebuke, and you have not argued against the claims it actually made.

if you had the read the link provided you would have known that climate change is definitely an epiphenomenon of Late Stage Capitalism.

Still completely irrelevant, the title is perfectly valid, it describes the content of the article and the article makes a very good point demonstrating that climate change by itself can make people turn into drugs for several reasons.

It of course never makes the claim it is the only cause for this as you mistakenly though.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

You make no argument to demonstrate this claim either, your criticism is still invalid since the article never made the claim you are trying to rebuke, and you have not argued against the claims it actually made.

Of course it didn't, I am criticizing the omission and I agree largely with the claims it makes .

Maybe a closer reading and acquaintance with the dialectic would benefit.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Of course it didn't, I am criticizing the omission and I agree largely with the claims it makes .

What omission? you said the title (not the article) was misleading, you never gave any reason for this.

You said this is because the culprit for mental health problems is different, you never made even an effort to prove climate change do not have the effects listed in the article (and reflected in the title)

That means that up to this point you have not proved how the title is misleading (since it does reflect the content of the article) nor how climate change do not have the effects listed in the article (and since it does, that means both the article and the title are correct).

You are still debunking something the article did not claimed.

Maybe a closer reading and acquaintance with the dialectic would benefit.

What dialectic? you have used zero arguments to prove your claims, you just made them and gave up trying to prove any of them.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

So now the latest claims that improving climate conditions ( climate is determined by ones disposition of the weather ) will turn us into alcoholics and drug addicted. Really. I enjoy warm weather and there are many others see our planet warming as a benefit for a more comfortable existence. Those who yell the loudest get most of the attention. Is this just propaganda to scare the uncomfortable those who think 35c is extreme conditions. Where 35c I am taking off my woolie jumper.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

That means that up to this point you have not proved how the title is misleading (since it does reflect the content of the article) nor how climate change do not have the effects listed in the article (and since it does, that means both the article and the title are correct).

Obscurantism and pedantry are its own defense.

First, agree with the proposition of the article that climate change is a factor in substance abuse.

Missing the forest for the trees, it is because of LSC, as numerous literature supports.

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanplh/article/PIIS2542-5196(20)30252-7/fulltext

I am not "debunking", or claiming something is incorrect ( I do that in other posts).

The tools of logic and intellectual rigor are generally useful but can lead. to, as Nietzsche said, a kind of cud-chewing and paralysis.

Long story short, climate change shortens lives and affects mental health, due to late stage capitalist economics.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

climate is determined by ones disposition of the weather

That "definition" is so incorrect it is actually comical.

 I enjoy warm weather and there are many others see our planet warming as a benefit for a more comfortable existence. Those who yell the loudest get most of the attention. Is this just propaganda to scare the uncomfortable those who think 35c is extreme conditions. Where 35c I am taking off my woolie jumper.

This is not about you and what you prefer. It is about the fact that countless species are under critical threat with just small increases in temperature. As long as you like the hot weather though, I guess that's the important thing.

There is no doubt at all that extreme weather and the risks it presents causes stress and harms mental health in humans and animals - at the very least.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

So now the latest claims that improving climate conditions ( climate is determined by ones disposition of the weather ) will turn us into alcoholics and drug addicted. 

Did you even read the article? this is not claimed at all, it does not even makes sense since climate is not something subjective that depends on how you take the weather.

The article list ways that climate change can influence people into alcohol and other drugs, improving the damage to the climate would not make this worse but solve this extra consequence.

Obscurantism and pedantry are its own defense.

That is not an excuse for you to use them, that defense is invalid. Why not switch to arguments?

First, agree with the proposition of the article that climate change is a factor in substance abuse.

Then the article is well represented in the headline used, thus you just accepted it is not misleading.

Missing the forest for the trees, it is because of LSC, as numerous literature supports.

That do not apply to the article, which never makes the claim climate change depends or not on any economic model, that comes completely from you, once again climate change by itself have consequences as described in the article.

I am not "debunking", or claiming something is incorrect ( I do that in other posts).

I can quote your own comment, Title is misleading.

This is your claim, and you have not made even one attempt to prove it, which means you implicitly accept is incorrect. The title is not misleading.

The tools of logic and intellectual rigor are generally useful but can lead. to, as Nietzsche said, a kind of cud-chewing and paralysis.

Since this is not an argument, is it then an example of the obscurantism and pendatry you mentioned?

Long story short, climate change shortens lives and affects mental health, due to late stage capitalist economics.

Which in no way contradicts anything the article (or its headline) says, therefore neither is misleading.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

That do not apply to the article, which never makes the claim climate change depends or not on any economic model, that comes completely from you, once again climate change by itself have consequences as described in the article.

That is a pretty shocking degree of naivete and disingenuousness to believe anthropogenic climate change does not depend on an economic model of fossil fuel extraction.

https://jacobin.com/2021/08/ipcc-sixth-assessment-report-climate-change-denial

I believe you have lost the plot.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

More drunks + more druggies = more job security for me :)

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Overarching that, the culprit for mental health problems and shorter life expectancies in in the UK and US for example is Late Stage Capitalism.

Capitalism is not the problem, the free socialist cancer policies and programs entice thousands to experiment and use drugs quite often.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

That is a pretty shocking degree of naivete and disingenuousness to believe anthropogenic climate change does not depend on an economic model of fossil fuel extraction

Nobody has made that claim, that is something you imagined without any basis on what is said on the comments nor the text of the article, a dialectic based on straman fallacies is not something that can be defended.

I believe you have lost the plot.

More like the plot is not from what you are reading, the article is talking about the consequences of climate change by itself, so it says absolutely nothing about what is the reasons humans caused it, saying it is contradicting those reasons has no merit.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

So now the latest claims that improving climate conditions ( climate is determined by ones disposition of the weather ) will turn us into alcoholics and drug addicted. Really. I enjoy warm weather and there are many others see our planet warming as a benefit for a more comfortable existence. Those who yell the loudest get most of the attention. Is this just propaganda to scare the uncomfortable those who think 35c is extreme conditions. Where 35c I am taking off my woolie jumper.

People are dying, John.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Yeah, more of us will turn to alcohol and other drugs because we are so fed up with the fear mongering....

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Yeah, more of us will turn to alcohol and other drugs because we are so fed up with the fear mongering....

Scientific reporting on the problems and risks derived from climate change is not fear mongering, for that you would first need to refute (with evidence) the scientific consensus about it.

The article clearly explains how people could turn to alcohol and other drugs because of the direct negative consequences of climate change, from loss of jobs and displacement to increase in the number of disasters and public health problems. Nothing in the article says the communications about these problems are wrong.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

This article is not very convincing, even to someone who is concerned about climate change. No evidence given (from what I could see); just theories. I feel these kinds of articles can do more harm than good by causing people to doubt the claims that are actually backed up by evidence.

>

0 ( +4 / -4 )

As if Orange Jesus weren’t hard enough on one’s liver.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

 No evidence given (from what I could see); just theories.

Theories are not "just" there, a theory is an explanation. What evidence do you think is necessary for the explanation that mental health problems increase when disasters become more frequent and deadly? or with damaged infrastructure and loss of agricultural products? the reasons listed are obviously related to the mental health of populations and are being affected by climate change. So, what arguments do you have to say this is not the case and the article needs to provide evidence of these effects on mental health?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

That isn't the argument. The argument is climate change will cause increased substance abuse. It should not be difficult to provide evidence of this if true. I'm not saying the theory is wrong, only that the author hasn't provided evidence here.

Theories are not "just" there, a theory is an explanation. What evidence do you think is necessary for the explanation that mental health problems increase when disasters become more frequent and deadly? or with damaged infrastructure and loss of agricultural products? the reasons listed are obviously related to the mental health of populations and are being affected by climate change. So, what arguments do you have to say this is not the case and the article needs to provide evidence of these effects on mental health?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

That isn't the argument. The argument is climate change will cause increased substance abuse

But not just because magic, the problems by which climate change favors substance abuse is well described and proved, so the only extra step done in this article is describing how these problems (displacement, increase of disasters, loss of agricultural products, increase of incidence of public health problems) is related to the substance abuse.

You have failed to argue how this last step requires evidence, which is understandable because the relationship is again proved beyond reasonable doubt so you can't expect people to consider serious your position when it is exposed like that (How can they prove people involved in disasters, losing their families will feel bad???)

I'm not saying the theory is wrong, only that the author hasn't provided evidence here.

Again, what evidence do you think is necessary to think people involved in the problems proved to come from climate change would be affected by mental health problems? Do you actually think losing your health, way of making a living and family members is something usually taken as unimportant?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I trust claims backed by data. I don't see any here, which is why I'm not convinced. You can't publish a research article in climate science based only on a theory (unless it's some kind of world changing one, I guess).

For example, if climate change impacts exacerbate substance abuse in areas with generally low substance abuse (or low population densities) but reduce it in areas with generally high substance abuse/high population densities (due to, e.g., milder winters in Northern latitudes), there may be no net increase in substance abuse globally.

My point is, it should not be so difficult to model the relationship between climate changes and changes in rates of substance abuse. It will likely vary by region.

Again, what evidence do you think is necessary to think people involved in the problems proved to come from climate change would be affected by mental health problems? Do you actually think losing your health, way of making a living and family members is something usually taken as unimportant?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I trust claims backed by data. I don't see any here, 

So you actually think it is necessary data to prove people losing everything to disasters are more likely to develop mental health problems and substance abuse? sorry but that is beyond believable.

.You can't publish a research article in climate science based only on a theory

The problem is that this is not a scientific journal, and this is not a scientific report, it is a news article explaining (which again is what theory means) the consequences of problems already proved to be related to climate change.

For example, if climate change impacts exacerbate substance abuse in areas with generally low substance abuse (or low population densities) but reduce it in areas with generally high substance abuse/high population densities (due to, e.g., milder winters in Northern latitudes), there may be no net increase in substance abuse globally.

That is not an argument to refute a clear, simple and easily understood relationship between disasters and mental health problems, and between mental health problems and substance abuse. It is a completely arbitrary situation that you just imagined. It would be like criticizing an article explaining how antibiotic resistance can lead to more deaths by making up a situation where antibiotic resistance lead to more people being cured from all infections, this in no way refutes the premise of the explanation because it makes no sense and it happens exactly nowhere ever.

My point is, it should not be so difficult to model the relationship between climate changes and changes in rates of substance abuse. It will likely vary by region.

Explain first how would you expect people losing their jobs, their houses, their families are supposed to be less susceptible to mental health problems. Without proving this you can't refute the point that more problems would be expected.

Not being able to say exactly how much more these problems will happen in no way contradicts the conclusion that more (not less) are expected from climate change, for that you need to first to prove how the disasters can promote better mental health.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I didn't say that. I'm saying, at the global scale, it's more complex than that due to regional variations in climate change impacts (some of which may potentially lessen susceptibility to substance abuse(?)) and variations in people's susceptibility to substance abuse (which is also affected by socioeconomic factors and government policies). The relationship in Bangladesh, Indonesia, or other Muslim countries, for example, may be weak or nonexistent. My point is, if you want to make a global generalization like this, your hypothesis should be well tested before putting it out there in case you're missing something that's not immediately obvious.

So you actually think it is necessary data to prove people losing everything to disasters are more likely to develop mental health problems and substance abuse? sorry but that is beyond believable.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

fallaffelToday 07:04 am JST

The relationship in Bangladesh, Indonesia, or other Muslim countries, for example, may be weak or nonexistent.

Not every article is going to be targeted at a middle east leadership.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

*viewership.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Bangladesh and Indonesia aren't middle eastern countries. :)

My point is, although it's unlikely, there are factors that could invalidate this hypothesis, so we can't make such a big assumption easily. I'm obviously playing devil's advocate here, but I'm an environment scientist, and I always want to see claims that are based on the data.

Not every article is going to be targeted at a middle east leadership.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

I didn't say that. I'm saying, at the global scale, it's more complex than that due to regional variations in climate change impacts

None of the variations would act positively for mental health, once again you are making an invalid point by pretending variations in the degree climate change negatively affects mental health could mean it impacts them positively, that is still not a realistic position to take. If in one region the negative impact is 5%, in another 25% and in another 0.5% that still means a negative impact.

Once again, not knowing how much this negative impact will be in no way refutes that the negative impact will be present.

some of which may potentially lessen susceptibility to substance abuse

Again, you are trying to argue an imaginary scenario where the consequences of climate change (disasters, deaths, disease) reduce substance abuse but without being able to bring any example where it is actually the case. That means this is not a realistic position to take and depends completely on magical thinking.

My point is, if you want to make a global generalization like this, your hypothesis should be well tested before putting it out there in case you're missing something that's not immediately obvious

When every example available results in the same consequence the generalization is valid, your argument depends completely in demonstrating disasters somehow reduce substance abuse, no examples means you have not refuted the validity of the generalization.

My point is, although it's unlikely, there are factors that could invalidate this hypothesis

That is not a valid argument unless you can at least identify these factors, else anybody can simply make the same irrational argument backwards (as in "there could be factors that make invalidation of this hypothesis impossible") What factors, where have they been identified? you are not talking about something unlikely, but something that has not been described ever by any professional in mental health or substance abuse, which means they can be ignored, specially when you not only need for this to happen but to happen to a higher degree than the well described phenomenon of disasters decreasing mental health and poor mental health leading to substance abuse.

but I'm an environment scientist, and I always want to see claims that are based on the data.

Appeals to authority are invalid from anonymity. If someone here says you are wrong based on his position as a Head of environmental science department in several universities (without providing any proof of that), would this comment have any relevance?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

You are assuming that all climate change impacts are negative, and that all negative impacts lead to higher substance abuse.

Yes, climate change impacts are mostly negative, but not entirely (e.g., milder and shorter winters, longer growing seasons in cold regions). You're also not considering that mental health isn't the only thing affected by negative impacts of climate change. For example, some could reduce people's disposable incomes available for buying alcohol or drugs. Again, I'm playing devil's advocate and basically agree that the author's claim is plausible (just not tested).

The latest IPCC WG2 report's Summary for Policymakers doesn't even mention the impacts of climate change on substance abuse, and the full report only mentions a relationship for certain populations. Let's not jump ahead of the science.

When every example available results in the same consequence the generalization is valid, your argument depends completely in demonstrating disasters somehow reduce substance abuse, no examples means you have not refuted the validity of the generalization.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

You are assuming that all climate change impacts are negative, and that all negative impacts lead to higher substance abuse.

No, that is not part of the assumption, the article that apparently you have still not read clearly list the impacts that would be related to poorer mental health levels and therefore to drug abuse. As long as they are present that is enough to justify the explanation. Unless of course your new argument is that these deeply negative consequences are less important than the much more limited opposite ones, this would mean you are now arguing climate change is not a problem and it is even desirable, which at this point becomes a deeply antiscientific position based on denialism.

You're also not considering that mental health isn't the only thing affected by negative impacts of climate change

That is also irrelevant, since the factors you imagine would neutralize the increase have never been described in this way, poverty has never been correlated with lower substance abuse but with higher, the difference is only abuse of cheaper substances.

Again, I'm playing devil's advocate and basically agree that the author's claim is plausible (just not tested).

The problem is that you are doing it with unrealistic, unbelievable arguments that do not correspond to what the related sciences have demonstrated about mental health and substance abuse. It is as valid as saying that maybe climate change would let more "cosmic waves of positivity" reach people and make everybody immensely happy. That is not a logical argument to make unless you can prove it is realistically possible for it to happen.

The latest IPCC WG2 report's Summary for Policymakers doesn't even mention the impacts of climate change on substance abuse*

And what importance as an argument do you think reports are not universally inclusive? do you think is the only thing not included in the summary that still is expected? because that is again not a rational argument, if anything that would be a criticism for the Summary for not including something of importance, not for that important factor being unproved or inexistant.

Let's not jump ahead of the science.

Again, the negative consequences of climate change have been already described, how these negative consequences affect mental health (independently of what causes them) also, and finally how poorer levels of mental health promote substance abuse as well. There is no jump here, the article simply describes the relationship between three related known things.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

You're contradicting yourself, expecting this article to be universally inclusive, and the IPCC report (which is thousands of pages long) not to be. You're also making up arguments I've never made.

Look, we have a fundamental difference of opinion. You're willing to accept a claim that there's a significant relationship between A and D because A is (usually) related to B, and B is (sometimes) related to C, and C is (sometimes) related to D. I'm not, because I'm concerned about the potential introduction of biases and errors at each stage (every relationship has its caveats). I want to see a direct link between A and D shown by the data. This isn't like theoretical physics, where we have to rely on indirect relationships to make a conclusion because the phenomenon we want to measure can't be directly measured.

No, that is not part of the assumption, the article that apparently you have still not read clearly list the impacts that would be related to poorer mental health levels and therefore to drug abuse. As long as they are present that is enough to justify the explanation. Unless of course your new argument is that these deeply negative consequences are less important than the much more limited opposite ones, this would mean you are now arguing climate change is not a problem and it is even desirable, which at this point becomes a deeply antiscientific position based on denialism.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

You're contradicting yourself, expecting this article to be universally inclusive, and the IPCC report (which is thousands of pages long) not to be. 

That is completely false, this article deal with ONE single thing and addresses it without problem, it does not deal with the the multiple related socioeconomical things that are affected by climate change or originate it, once again you are making up an argument nobody has used and try to refute it instead of addressing the real arguments being used. It is inconsequential that the IPCC report is long, nobody except you expects it to deal with everything related with climate change, rational people can easily understand somethings like the topic of this article is not included, the same as the uncountable other related things that could be brought about climate change and are not addressed in it.

Look, we have a fundamental difference of opinion

That would not be a problem, the problem is when you try to misrepresent the article being published here as if it could be contradicted by some imaginary factors that according to you should be considered, which of course is an illogical position to take, because that would theoretically apply to everything, from microbial theory of infection to the composition of the moon, everything could end up being completely false according to a vague something that nobody has considered yet, even if the available evidence is clearly in support of the current understanding.

You're willing to accept a claim that there's a significant relationship between A and D because A is (usually) related to B, and B is (sometimes) related to C, and C is (sometimes) related to D. I

Not only relationship but a causal relationship, A causes B and B causes C, therefore there is nothing illogical in concluding A will cause C, the irrational argument that A could prevent C is what is not supported by the evidence and instead contradicted by it. Without presenting a realistic scenario where the logical causal relationship is broken you have no argument, and the options you have brought as examples have been very easily disproved.

This isn't like theoretical physics, where we have to rely on indirect relationships to make a conclusion because the phenomenon we want to measure can't be directly measured.

Not having to make those relationships does absolutely nothing to being able to do those relationships. That is extremely common, even something as simple as saying that antibiotic misuse will likely cause an increase of deaths works this way, misuse cause resistance, resistance cause failure of treatment of bacterial infections, this failure ends up increasing the number of deaths, nothing to do with theoretical physics but still commonly used as an argument.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

It depends on the strength of the relationships, and the accuracy at which the relationship can be measured. You and the author may be overestimating both, and I want to see if it's the case.

Not only relationship but a causal relationship, A causes B and B causes C, therefore there is nothing illogical in concluding A will cause C, the irrational argument that A could prevent C is what is not supported by the evidence and instead contradicted by it. Without presenting a realistic scenario where the logical causal relationship is broken you have no argument, and the options you have brought as examples have been very easily disproved.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

It depends on the strength of the relationships, and the accuracy at which the relationship can be measured. You and the author may be overestimating both, and I want to see if it's the case.

The relationships have already been proved beyond any reasonable doubt, the only thing this article is doing is putting all the relationships together so the very high risk of this specific consequence is clearly exposed, pretending the relationships are yet to be characterized is simply mistaken.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Where? They've been characterized for, at best, a subset of a subset of a subset of the global population: those vulnerable to substance abuse because they are vulnerable to mental health conditions caused by their vulnerability to a subset of climate change impacts.

The relationships have already been proved beyond any reasonable doubt, the only thing this article is doing is putting all the relationships together so the very high risk of this specific consequence is clearly exposed, pretending the relationships are yet to be characterized is simply mistaken.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Where? They've been characterized for, at best, a subset of a subset of a subset of the global population

And unless you can provide evidence for these characterization to be invalid the only rational thing to conclude is that they are, else you are arguing that the heart may not actually be pumping blood since it has not been corroborated to have this function on every single person of the planet.

those vulnerable to substance abuse because they are vulnerable to mental health conditions caused by their vulnerability to a subset of climate change impacts

As long as every relationship has been characterized in separate and you can't argue how this magically stops being valid when the relationships are simply together this is not a valid argument.

The reasons you have tried to use have been easily debunked (like thinking poverty would mean less substance abuse) that is why you no longer try to use examples to support the invalid reasoning, there are none.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

What? I've never said that climate change doesn't exacerbate substance abuse in this subset of the population. It's how climate change affects the rest of the world's population's susceptibility to substance abuse that is unknown. I also never mentioned poverty. You seem to want to keep "disproving" arguments I never made. It's pointless to keep going, so let's just agree to disagree.

As long as every relationship has been characterized in separate and you can't argue how this magically stops being valid when the relationships are simply together this is not a valid argument.

The reasons you have tried to use have been easily debunked (like thinking poverty would mean less substance abuse) that is why you no longer try to use examples to support the invalid reasoning, there are none.

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What? I've never said that climate change doesn't exacerbate substance abuse in this subset of the population

That is what you are saying, when you say it is invalid to conclude the consequences of climate change are not as described this is exactly what you are saying, specially when you fail to prove an opposite effect that could in any way offset what is already described. Even in the impossible case that only the studied population is affected negatively that still means the article description is valid and correct.

 I also never mentioned poverty. 

Wild goalpost moving may have made yourself forget what you wrote already, but it is still there for anybody to check. You wrote:

For example, some could reduce people's disposable incomes available for buying alcohol or drugs

As a factor that could refute the conclusions of the article, it is extremely easy to disprove this with what is already known about substance abuse. The same has happened with every specific reason you tried to use, which is why you stopped and instead tried to argue an unknown, never before found factor that could disprove the article, which of course is as invalid as it could get.

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The argument is over.

please take care to read what people write instead of telling them (and arguing with) what you apparently think they wrote... and recheck the definition of poverty.

Peace!

That is what you are saying, when you say it is invalid to conclude the consequences of climate change are not as described this is exactly what you are saying, specially when you fail to prove an opposite effect that could in any way offset what is already described. Even in the impossible case that only the studied population is affected negatively that still means the article description is valid and correct.

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This article is not very convincing, even to someone who is concerned about climate change. No evidence given (from what I could see); just theories.

Excellent points made.

Lots of unsupported claims in the article, but expected as this is a pure opinion piece..

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specially without providing any source for this claim.

Wait, what!!

Provide a source for the absence of evidence?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Provide a source for the absence of evidence?

Provide a source that say the article is making unsupported claims, the authors have a completely valid appeal to authority and what they are describing has been proved scientifically with many sources, pretending this is not the case and baselessly claiming it is not would require a valid source that proves it. A nameless person just saying the available evidence do not exist is not an argument.

There is plenty of evidence of the negative effects of climate change, how these negative effects reduce the quality of mental health, and how mental health problems cause an increase of drug abuse. Nothing is unsupported.

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Yes, you're right!

I commented because I thought these opinion pieces can do more harm than good by feeding the climate change deniers (IF the claims are eventually debunked). But, I don't have any evidence that this is true. :)

Excellent points made.

Lots of unsupported claims in the article, but expected as this is a pure opinion piece..

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Excessive toil and care form other powerful auxiliaries to intemperance. The lives of the operative part of a large proportion of the community are, in general, passed in mere animal exertion with few opportunities, or even motives, for moral or intellectual improvement. The habitations of this class are too frequently found devoid of those which other branches of domestic comforts which other branches of society possess . . . Even individuals more elevated in the scale of society, it is to be feared, endeavor to obtain relief from toil and care by undue indulgence in sensual pleasure. It is a correct observation, that exhausting toils unfit the mind to withstand temptation, and a great portion of mankind are found but too willing to alleviate the ills of life with so soothing, but deceitful, an antidote as is presented to them in the form of intoxicating liquors.

Water is the natural and most suitable drink for man. This is the proper beverage when a beverage is needed.

Bacchus, an essay on the nature, causes, effects, and cure for intemperance, by Ralph Barnes Grindrod, MD, LL.D., F.L.S. Published 1851.

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Bacchus, an essay on the nature, causes, effects, and cure for intemperance, 

Of course the reliance on drugs would still increase no matter if it is a natural development from people being people, climate change being the primary cause of the reduction of opportunities and the increase of the exertion necessary to simply survive. A more desperate situation means a bigger need of the antidote presented. The whole point is that this article is not just an opinion but a description of a cascade of consequences in which each step have been already characterized without doubt. No part of the explanation depends on unsupported claims, on the contrary it is all well supported by scientific knowledge of climate change, disasters, mental health and substance abuse.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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