“Polluted air can cause everyone to reduce their level of education by one year,” says Yale’s Xi Che. “But we know the effect is worse for the elderly, especially those over 64, and for men, and for those with low education. If we calculate [the loss] for those, it may be a few years of education.”
Yet another recent study found that humans exposed to high concentrations of atmospheric CO2 (1000 parts per million) exhibit a 21% reduction in overall cognitive abilities. Essentially, if the air we breathe contains less oxygen and more CO2, then our blood won’t be sufficiently oxygenated, leading to a decrease in cellular function, especially in our brains.
At our current rate of output, atmosphere carbon levels will likely surpass 1000 ppm by the end of the century. The upshot of such atmospheric conditions, as reported by James Bridle in his book New Dark Age, could be a 25 percent reduction in human decision-making ability as well as a 50 percent drop in more complex human strategic thinking abilities by 2100. Could this decrease in cognitive abilities exacerbate the problem as we will be less mentally equipped to deal with it? Will reduced intelligence among children and adults alike lead to a less functional society, even an “idiocracy?”
Rather than letting society fall into a downward spiral, we must step into our critical roles as deciders of both our environment’s and our civilization’s fate. Scientists have found clear connections between heat and political unrest, so turn these new warmths into an opportunity to get out and make a change. Whether through protesting or striking, we need to speak our voice and stand together for a brighter future — both metaphorically and literally.
EarthTalk® is produced by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss for the 501(c)3 nonprofit EarthTalk. See more at https://emagazine.com. To donate, visit https://earthtalk.org. Send questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Credit: Source link