Climate change has existed since the beginning of time, ranging from a violent hurricane strong enough to demolish your years of construction to a gentle drizzle you long to run and play in.
Climate change has been one of the most significant factors to our evolution throughout history, even if few scientists consider it as a coincidence with early human intelligence and social development. Peter B. deMenocal, a paleoclimatologist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and also a founding director of Columbia’s Center for Climate and Life, in his words in a video: “I think, to be fair, all we have at the moment is coincidence.”
But in a greater view, the turbulent changes in climate are causing series of chain reactions which in turn, sparks a craving to know why we grow the kind of crops we grow, why we wear the kind of clothes we wear, and even gives us thoughts to question our lifestyle!
Why we have a Favourite Dish
As a child, even up until now, we have eaten more than a dozen types of dishes prepared from vegetables, fruits, and spices that were either home-grown or bought in a local market. Either way, most dishes we have eaten were prepared with crops grown in the same region or country as where we reside.
Even as the cause of human anatomy can be seen in view, just as psychologist Michael Tordoff of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, explains, “…’ flavor nutrient learning,’ where we learn to form positive associations between the flavor of a given food and what that food does to our bodies,” a region’s climate still has a lot to add.
If we find ourselves in a particular country or region, it might just imply that we are in some way, limited to the certain food crops that can be cultivated there. As much as soil texture and land topography is important for the successful growth of crops, climate patterns play a huge role in determining whether a plant will grow or won’t even have the chance to break a layer of soil over its seed.
“Not all fruit will grow well in all places,” reported by Fox 8. So, if you live in a country with a cold climate, you will be exposed to vegetables like lettuce, cabbage, carrots. And fruits like apples, raspberries and peach. If you live under a warm climate, you will be exposed to vegetables like okra, cowpeas, squash, etc.
Does this ring a bell? I’m sure it does. Save for importations, all we would ever have to crown as our ‘favourite dish’ would only be from the crops the climate lets us grow in our regions.
What we have in our Wardrobes
There is a saying that goes, ‘weather is what you are wearing, and climate is what you have in your closet’. If you thought the climate could only affect only the environment around you, think again. The climate does not only give us a limited array of food crops to choose from, it also directly affect our wardrobes and fashion-sphere.
Brian Brettschneider, an Anchorage-based environmental planner and climatologist explained in his analysis conducted on major cities in the U.S to determine, based on the climate, what types of attire are expected and their frequency. He went on to demonstrate in his findings that Anchorage and Minneapolis mostly frequent in winter coats, Portland and Seattle mostly frequent in light-medium coats, Oakland and San Francisco are mostly going to wear fleece, Honolulu and San Diego frequents on short-sleeves, Honolulu and Phoenix would mostly frequent in shorts.
It is certain that almost everyone will build their wardrobes from the collection of clothes they feel comfortable in. This includes clothes that should keep the body warm when it’s cold, and clothes that should give room for air when it’s hot.
When we choose the kind of clothes we wear, we might do so without knowing how much the climate affects our decision and choice of clothings. Brian Brettschneider helps us to understand that, “If you are stuck inside and want to know what the temperature outside feels like, all you need to do is go to a window and see what other people are wearing.”
Reason for Moving out Regularly
If you do move out [often], be it to catch some air as you stroll down the garden or outta the region where you live, there’s every possiblity that the climate is making you do it. Yes, I know you love tourism and catching those wonderful sights during walks and travels. And now you’re wondering how does the climate seem to affect this part of me.
There are many ways the climate can influence people into moving out without them acknowledging the science behind it. One way is heat waves. According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety; “As the temperature or heat burden increases, people may feel: Increased irritability. Loss of concentration and ability to do mental tasks.”
Just as your environment starts getting high on some degrees, you sure will be compelled to find coolness under a tree, take a walk in the streets or hit the shower – mostly, on a regular basis.
Another way the climate has a toll on us is through flooding. A 2019 study shows that Ninety percent of all natural disasters in the U.S. involve flooding. And high-risk flood areas are not the only ones at risk: about 25% of flood insurance claims come from moderate-to low-risk areas.
I know we are talking about lifestyle here. But, do you actually know that people who live in places that are frequently flooded have a pattern of building their houses? They could even go on to have a travel plan which indicates how much they have to stay in that region until it becomes flooded again. This can make people turn regular immigrants or climate refugees.
Why We have Unexplainable Mood Swings
Mood swings and certain depressive attitude can be triggered by the climate. Though it sounds bizarre but it’s the fact. Okay let’s come down to a good example: How do you usually feel emotionally when it’s winter or in a rainy season? Do you usually feel sleepy, lousy, fatigue or probably happy? I’m sure we all feel something emotionally which certainly affects us mentally.
Dr Helen Berry, professor of climate change and mental health at The University of Sydney has this to say in a blog publication: “Like all systems, the climate change-mental health system has power, resilience and momentum. As a result, there will be some aspects of mental health impacts – within a certain range of tolerance – that are unavoidable.”
The effect of the change in climate pattern is usually distinct to a person’s trait. This means that while you may be feeling sad and sleepy during rainy seasons, someone else would be feeling gleeful and super active.
Dr. Helen Berry further explained that If you’re used to lower temperatures, a heatwave will have more negative effects on your mood and bodily comfort than if you’re used to living in a hot environment.
Over the cause of the increasing global warming, there have been reported cases of violence, irritation and other forms of aggressive behaviour. Dr Susie Burke, a senior psychologist at the Australian Psychological Society explained in a conducted research that extreme heat leads to increased aggression, instances of rape, domestic violence, riots and irritation.
What Can I Do?
We are living in an intertwined world were tons of unexplainable and unnoticeable things affects our mind, emotions, and even the whole of our being without even knowing. The climate is here and we are directly wrapped in its unstable patterns which have grown its roots in our lifestyle.
I, just like every other person, has been affected by the climate. In my country, Nigeria, the mostly warm climate has affected the clothes I’ve chosen to wear (which is mostly short-sleeve, sleeveless and shorts), the array of food crops I have to prepare a dish from and having my mood affected by heat waves.
So whether we find ourselves in a region with less hurricanes, we would definitely be affected by heat waves. It’s inevitable! But we can only learn to live around what the climate has to give to us.
You can choose to import certain food crops that you can’t grow in your region. Learn to wear clothes that will make you comfortable at the moment. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t have the clothes that catches your attention in a boutique.
Some people choose to relocate or travel from a region where the climate has become uncomfortable for them to where seems comfortable. Sure, you can do the same. We all are, of course, looking for a place were we can thrive comfortably.