Claim: More Public Transport Helps Reduce Climate PTSD

Fromm the movie “young Frankenstein” by Mel Brooks. Igor peruses the brain of “Abby Normal”

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The American Psychological Association has published a long rambling paper on climate stress, which amongst other things includes a bizarre claim that use of public transport can help alleviate psychological disorders.

MENTAL HEALTH AND OUR CHANGING CLIMATE: IMPACTS, IMPLICATIONS, AND GUIDANCE

March 2017

Direct experience with and future unknown e ects of climate change can cause children to exhibit symptoms of PTSD, such as phobic behavior, panic, nightmares, and anxiety.

Climate solutions are available now, are widespread, and support psychological health. Increasing adoption of active commuting, public transportation, green spaces, and clean energy are all solutions that people can choose to support and integrate into their daily lives. These climate solutions, among others, can help to curb the stress, anxiety, and other mental illnesses incurred from the decline of economies, infrastructure, and social identity that comes from damage to the climate.

Read more: http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2017/03/mental-health-climate.pdf

Other interesting hilights;

A PARTISAN ISSUE
Politically polarized in the United States, climate change is perceived as an issue that belongs with the political left (Dunlap, McCright, & Yarosh, 2016), which can suppress belief and concern and discussions about solutions. For example, of the 36% of Americans who are personally concerned a great deal about climate issues, 72% are Democrats, and 27% are Republicans (Pew Research Center, 2016). Political orientation can make open conversations about climate impacts and solutions di cult, and make those who are concerned about climate change feel isolated or paranoid in some circles (Geiger & Swim, 2016).

UNCERTAINTY AND DENIAL
People feel uncertain about the threat of climate change and how to minimize the damage. The media have been criticized for promoting an inaccurate perception of climate change (Antilla, 2005): for example, that there is more scienti c controversy about climate change than actually exists. In some cases, information that increases perceptions of the reality of climate change may feel so frightening that it leads to denial and thus a reduction in concern and support for action (McDonald et al., 2015).

Public transportation invigorates community mental health.
Moving people from individual cars to public transit also results in lower greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, several studies have shown that using public transportation leads to an increase in community cohesion, recreational activities, neighborhood walkability, and reduced symptoms of depression and stress associated with less driving and more exercise (Allen, 2008; Appleyard, 1981; Bell & Cohen, 2009; Berke, Gottlieb, Vernez Moudon, & Larson, 2007; Wener & Evens, 2007 as cited in Litman, 2010).

CHRONIC IMPACTS
Aggression and violence
The psychological impacts of warmer weather on aggression and violence have been extensively studied. Lab-based experiments and eld-based surveys have demonstrated a causal relationship between heat and aggression (Anderson, 2001; Simister & Cooper, 2005). In other words, as the temperature goes up, so does aggression.

Read more: Same link as above

Of all the assertions, the strangest claim has got to be the claim about public transport. My stress levels tend to skyrocket when my car is out of action. No doubt this stress is exacerbated by unpleasant public transport experiences.

Last time I rode the bus, I inadvertently sat on a very wet bus seat. Lets just say it wasn’t raining outdoors.

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63 thoughts on “Claim: More Public Transport Helps Reduce Climate PTSD

    • Clearly, they’ve never had to wait for the CTA bus to show up on a bitter cold morning in Chicago, with the wind coming off Lake Michigan, providing a wind chill somewhere between minus 80F and Death. Oh, yeah – now you get held up by thieves on the CTA, bus or train. Chicago should put the cops back on the buses. And then, there are pigeons! If you feed them even once, they memorize your face and will never leave you alone.
      Don’tcha just love the stoopidd things people say when they think someone is gullible?
      Warm
      I’m glad I live in a place where I can walk to the store now. Much less stress, and the birds don’t stare at me accusingly if I don’t bring birdfood.
      Who are these crackpots, anyway?

      • Sara (April 5, 2017 at 5:40 pm) asks:

        “Who are these crackpots, anyway?”

        Clearly, they are people who need urgent appointments with good clinical psychologists.

        Oh.

  1. “climate change can cause children to exhibit symptoms of PTSD”

    The symptoms of PTSD arise when children are exposed to egregious lies designed to be emotional triggers.

    “as the temperature goes up, so does aggression.”

    Aggression goes up when the fools on the CAGW bandwagon go into rants of self righteous indignation.

    • You got there before me.

      They should stop scaring the children with fanciful ideas of earth’s demise at the hand of man.Or should that be Mann?

    • “as the temperature goes up, so does aggression.”

      How are they not challenged by their peers for silly throw-away lines like that? Eight tenths of a degree per century?!?
      Temperatures change more than that by the hour every day.
      There’s got to be a psychologist with SOME sense out there.

      • So, I wake up early to a pleasant cool morning, but, by mid day, when the temperature has risen by, say, twenty degrees, I should expect to be a raving lunatic.

        Does air conditioning prevent aggression? Does cold prevent aggression?

        … such riveting intellectual insights here, … lots of grant-proposal material here to get climate-funding dollars, I’d say.

      • “Does air conditioning prevent aggression?”

        If you buy into the insanity, it can both increases or decrease aggression depending on whether the source of the electricity to run the AC emits CO2, therefore, temperature itself must be irrelevant, it’s only what causes the temperature that matters.

      • “Does air conditioning prevent aggression?”

        Depends on whether you drop it on their heads or their feet.

      • George Daddis –
        “There’s got to be a psychologist with SOME sense out there.”
        An interesting example of arguing from personal incredulity.
        I, too, would suggest that “There’s surely a psychologist with SOME sense out there? No? Please???”
        Like Robert Kernodle, I think research [should that be in quote marks?] grant dollars may be the main man here.

        Auto

  2. Given that psychology is prone to what has been called “cargo cult science”, I did not expect much better out of them.

  3. Psychologists making definitive claims about human behavior, especially ones highly political such as the role of mass transit is absurd.

    Mass transit experiences in Portland’s (Oregon) Light Rail system vs a NYC subway platform are one clear dichotomy of experience. The former is still rather pleasant, the latter not so much.
    Another is how the Paris Metro experience has devolved into a not-so-wonderful bouquet of in your face human body odors.

    Dr. Richard Feynman of course knew what social science claims of science exploration were… pure pseudoscience.

  4. I say baloney. Public transit is highly problematic. I was in London two weeks ago to visit my daughter and old friends. It was a short trip and I was on my own so I did not rent a car, but went everywhere by bus and train. Two weeks ago today I traveled across London to Heathrow during the rush hour to catch my flight home. One of my contemporaneous reflections at the end of the trip was that while the buses and subways were frequent and clean, “in the mornings and evenings the buses and underground are crowded: Crowded way beyond my tolerance level. I cannot believe anybody could commute to work in the city without adverse effects on his or her personality and psyche. It reminded of the experiments they do with rats – crowding them to see how they react. It was all sad and depressing for me.”

    Indeed apparently the confirmation bias of the authors is so strong they cannot see the contradictions in their own statements. From the above post: “The psychological impacts of warmer weather on aggression and violence have been extensively studied. Lab-based experiments and eld-based surveys have demonstrated a causal relationship between heat and aggression (Anderson, 2001; Simister & Cooper, 2005). In other words, as the temperature goes up, so does aggression.” Anybody who has been on a London tube during rush hour cannot but notice that the temperature in the crowded cars rapidly approaches a very uncomfortable and smelly 98.6F regardless of the weather outside. Seems to me that the research shows, therefore, that traveling on crowded public transportation leads to aggression independent of weather conditions.

  5. The psychological impacts of warmer weather on aggression and violence have been extensively studied. Lab-based experiments and eld-based surveys have demonstrated a causal relationship between heat and aggression (Anderson, 2001; Simister & Cooper, 2005). In other words, as the temperature goes up, so does aggression.

    S’funny how here in Oz, people are much less aggressive than in the UK or US. I guess that’s because it’s so much cooler here, or sumfink…

    • Not according to Wiki, Australia ranked 181 in world for murder (1.0 per 100,000), UK ranked 191 (0.9), Iceland ranked 213 (0.3), Singapore ranked 215 (0.3).

      • Maybe, but that’s probably skewed by the number of backpackers kilked in the outback.

        Generally, I can definitely attest that Aussies are much less violent in nature. It’s changing, but it’s nowhere near as bad as the UK or US.

      • NationMaster.com lists the following murder rates per 100,000

        Singapore 171th. 16 per 100,000
        Australia 104th 229 per 100,000
        U.K. 71th 722 per 100,000
        U.S. 14th 12,996 per 100,000

        In first place is Brazil with 40,974 per 100,00 Brazil is a place of significant danger. The other results look relatively what experience tells one. In Singapore, you would actually have to hire someone to molest you.

      • The official source for crime statistics in the United States is the FBI.

        There is no secondary source.
        A number of the tertiary sources fudge numbers by including Suicides and Military combat deaths.

        Suicides in the USA are not tracked as a crime. Biased news sources; e.g. Bloomberg’s, use a fallacious newspaper count process. i.e. Bloomberg assigned news readers report news articles; contributing to replications and miscounts.

        Combat zone and military deaths are available from Pentagon news reports. Adding their fatalities into a national murder list is bizarre; especially when the result is used to calculate murders by 100,000 people populations.

        From the FBI; available as raw data and interactive report.

        Note the National total for all murders and non-negligent manslaughter:
        Year__Population__Murders____Rate/100K
        2014 318,857,056__14,249____ __4.5

        That is 4.5 murders per 100,000 residents!

        Beware false sources for these statistics!

      • Yes, and Singapore is of course well known for its cold climate (the lowest temperature ever recorded there is 66 F). But on the other hand it almost never gets as warm as 66 F on Iceland….the correlation may be a bit shaky I think.

      • ntesdorf,

        Some of those numbers seemed awfully high, so I went to your source, NationMaster.com, to check. Here’s the page I looked at: http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Crime/Violent-crime/Murder-rate-per-million-people#amount

        According to this, the U.S. had 42.01 murders per million people. I’m guessing the number you listed, “12,996”, is the total murders, or homicides, or intentional homicides, for the given year.

        Cheers!
        David

      • FYI==>US crime statistics are reported as a per hundred thousand rate, not per million.

    • Australians are certainly extremely aggressive on the roads……

      After living abroad for a while I could not believe how people reacted on the road. Far from a country of larrikins, we are a nation of uptight wowsers obsessed with rules.

  6. So, the kiddies are getting freaked out are they?
    I wonder what mum and dad have said to them recently?
    A better paper would be to see how our children’s mental well being is, in relationship to that of their parents.

  7. These defectives are just sitting around talking to each other aren’t they.
    No one I know or have ever met who believes in the CAGW actually shows any sign of PTSD. Mostly in ya face arrogance and ignorance. On the other hand, I regularly meet people who think it is bunk, either because they have knowledge or experience in an appropriate scientific or technical discipline, or little knowledge, but can detect when they are being lied to. They tend not to voice their view unless I give them a hint that it would be safe, then they tend to express relief. So to me, it is the other way round :-)
    As for public transport – what a laugh. Much cheaper for me than driving, but totally unreliable. Routes not followed, stops, even the terminus missed. The regulating agency said they could not do anything “yet” but admitted they were going to mandate the introduction of GPS monitoring. At least the bus company was quicker than the psychs at realising one of their school bus drivers was not far short of being a Freddie Krueger …

    • Ah – got it wrong it is the kids who are supposed to show PTSD. Well, that figures. they are busy forcing their horror movie on school kids. I have been asked to help out with that problem as well.

  8. Moving people from individual cars to public transit also results in lower greenhouse gas emissions.

    Highly misleading. I recently analyzed the Indianapolis public-transit system (“IndyGo”) and found that it delivered less than 20 passenger miles per gallon of diesel fuel. Nationally, passenger-car occupancy is 1.67 passengers per car, but, reduced to reflect transit’s skew toward (lower-occupancy) commuting, it’s more like 1.47. So IndyGo is worse (because diesel emits more than gasoline) than 20/1.47= 14 mpg gas guzzlers.

    Of course, your taking an already-operating bus instead of your car does save emissions. In the aggregate, though, many if not most city-bus systems cause more emissions than the cars they arguably displace.

  9. When I was younger and much poorer I had to use public transportation, that was when I was depressed.

  10. “Direct experience with and future unknown effects of climate change can cause children to exhibit symptoms of PTSD, such as phobic behavior, panic, nightmares, and anxiety.”

    Well, yeah. D’uh. Given the insidious indoctrination of very young minds by the Suzukis and Gores of the world, and the curricula of schools in socialist jurisdictions….which is just about everywhere…laced with climate alarm and “tolerance” lessons. 10-10 personified, but without the exploding heads.

  11. The thing about public transport is, you can only go where it takes you, or you can walk. If you have personal transport, you can go where you want to go and when. You aren’t so easily pigeonholed, warehoused, rounded up and kept in your place when you have your own ride.

  12. Direct experience of eating vegetables and sugar can cause children to exhibit symptoms of PTSD, such as phobic behavior, panic, nightmares, and anxiety.

    There’s the truth

  13. Executive summary: People and in particular kids feel better when you do things to alleviate their fears.

    Others have given more expansive summaries and critiques above.

      • I reckon all he needs to do is google ‘climate’ and there is more than enough bilge to keep him going for a lifetime.

      • The trick is in avoiding the “never ending stream of bilge.” The only way I can manage to avoid it is to not go on the Internet, watch TV, listen to the radio or look at a newspaper.

  14. apa—-Moving people from individual cars to public transit also results in lower greenhouse gas emissions.
    JK— Utter crap – Most transit systems use more energy and thus emit more greenhouse gases than private cars on a passenger-mile basis. I looked at the top ten transit systems in the USA and found that transit uses more energy and costs over 3 times as much: http://www.debunkingportland.com/top10bus.html And here: http://www.debunkingportland.com/cars-vs-transit.html

    apa—-In addition, several studies have shown that using public transportation leads to an increase in community cohesion,
    JK— you get to meet people you would never have in your cars

    apa— recreational activities, neighborhood walkability,
    JK— You do get exercise running from the muggers

    JK—-Hereis a nice summary of why people don’t use transit: http://www.debunkingportland.com/why_don't_ride_transit.html

  15. Trump, Trump,… Phobics, nightmares, panic and anxiety is soon to visit these psychiatrists on the public trough. You were encouraged to write this claptrap by the previous admin. You got your contribution in too late. New sheriff.

  16. This is perhaps the dumbest sentence I have ever read…

    These climate solutions, among others, can help to curb the stress, anxiety, and other mental illnesses incurred from the decline of economies, infrastructure, and social identity that comes from damage to the climate.

    “Damage to the climate”?

    Climate can change… but it can’t be “damaged.”

    “The decline of economies, infrastructure, and social identity that comes from damage to the climate.”

    The only “decline of economies” has been due to the Quixotic war against climate change.

    All infrastructure is subject to wear and tear due to weather and time, irrespective of climate change.

    And WTF does climate change have to do with “social identity,” whatever the frack that is?

  17. All leading people’s organizations express support for yap, yap, yap…

    Rats get cheese however and whenever.

  18. Those psychologists probably never sat on a bus in LA. I do that quite frequently. Lots of mentally disturbed people ride the bus. I’ve often thought that if the same percentage of lunatics were driving on the highways it’s a miracle there aren’t more wrecks.

  19. What kind of “science” engages the pseudo-scientific services of psychoanalysts to smear skeptics?
    What kind of evolutionary benefit do these psychoanalysts suppose might be conferred by genes for ignoring obvious threats? Why doesn’t Darwinian reasoning, or for that matter evidence of any kind, ever figure in psychoanalysis?
    How come the patients of psychoanalysts never improve as a consequence of the services rendered?
    And why didn’t climate “scientists” take note of that fact before seeking their “help”?

  20. Climate solutions are available now, are widespread, and support psychological health. Increasing adoption of active commuting, public transportation, green spaces, and clean energy are all solutions that people can choose to support and integrate into their daily live:

    go for a coffee at the windpark.

    • Johann Wundersamer: “green spaces”

      Green spaces, meaning green like the color of plant leaves and grasses? Of course only live plant leaves and grasses appear green because they are engaged in photosynthesis. Photosynthesis requires atmospheric Carbon Dioxide, and more CO2 supports more photosynthesis. So, augmenting atmospheric CO2 is the true “climate solution”.

      There are no green spaces without Carbon Dioxide.

  21. public transport can help alleviate psychological disorders

    After sniffing the air while riding a public bus in San Francisco, I vigorously disagree.

    • Where I live there seems to be a very direct relationship between mental illness and the people that utilize public transportation.

      Include the people that utilize the public transportation system infrastructure (the primary bus stop hubs) but don’t actually go anywhere on a regular basis and it becomes obvious that the relationship between mental illness and public transportation is very strong.

      Note that they said “alleviate”. Allow a bunch of like minded (and like smell) people to congregate together and they will be more comfortable. Put one of those smelly individuals into a group of normal folks and the smelly guy will recognize his shortcomings; he will be more stressed. So there is truth to what they are spewing.

  22. Notice how the claim that aggression goes up as the temps go up offers zero explanation for same and seems oddly at odds with the portrait of South Americans taking a peaceful siesta in the heat of the day. I’m quite sure any study composed by a psychologist failed to control for all of the thousand and one variables that are correlated with aggression. Also, as temps go up, people move outside
    and thereby place themselves in situations where aggression is more likely. I visualize a simple minded study that correlates temps with crime, which, not so oddly, rises as the criminals spend extended periods outside. Every one is aware that during winter snows and cold weather, criminal
    activity drops to very low levels. Maybe these psychologists can pioneer a “cold therapy” where the mentally deranged are kept in cold storage.

    • When I was a police dispatcher many years ago calls would always increase when the temp. went up. Yes people were outside because many probably didn’t have a/c and it was cooler outside. Many weren’t criminals, just neighbors fighting against each other, husband and wife fighting, boyfriend and girlfriend fighting, siblings fighting, and etc…

      This has to be by far the silliest article I’ve seen on WUWT. The CAGW crowd goes further and further out in left field everyday.

  23. Is there nothing the evil psychology community will not label PTSD??? It’s insulting and demeaning. I have no belief in any of this anymore. It’s nothing but politics treated with medications and dogs. Science is dead in this field 100%.

  24. If one is interested in the quality of argument exhibited in this post, one need only purchase a reasonably healthy cow, put it out to pasture and collect what it leaves in the field. There will be an ample supply.

  25. Placebo Effect !!

    I say this as someone who took the bus downtown this week for the first time in 27 years, to avoid the PARKING FEES, not anything associated with global warming.

  26. Public transport is fine if you’re going to or from a city center. Between two places which are not city centers and not on the same route, now that’s another matter. In that case you could have to travel 20 miles in the wrong direction just to cover an actual distance of one mile.

    There is also an argument that time-limited parking just increases the amount of driving done, since it prevents the driver from stopping and walking. So, a guy drives to town to call various places, if there were no restrictions he would probably leave the car at the first stop and walk to the others. Since he cannot leave it there, he has to drive to every point of call instead. Result, more congestion, more pollution.

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