Sigh, for some reason some people seem to think climate skeptics hate their children and grandchildren. I wonder if they’ve ever polled to compare with concerns for that other “pass on to the next generation” issue, our soaring national debt that our children and grandchildren have to pay for?
Climate Change, Narcissism, Denial, Apocalypse. The science is critical, but understanding why so many people are still in denial requires further explanation. Here’s an except from an Op Ed by Dr. Robert D. Stolorow at Psychology Today:
“On October 5, 2012, on the front page of the Huffington Post, appeared a terrifying image of melting arctic ice, accompanied by the chilling headline, “Arctic Ice Melt and Sea Level Rise May Be ‘Decades Ahead Of Schedule’” Why have the majority of Americans and American politicians been largely oblivious to this extreme threat? I believe there are two principal reasons.
The first is unbridled narcissism. Psychoanalytic developmental theorist Erik Erikson famously characterized an essential aim of adulthood as generativity—the caring for the well being of future generations. Climate change most likely will not be a threat for most of us, but it will leave our children, grandchildren, and future descendents with catastrophes of unimaginable proportions. In the deplorable obliviousness and indifference to the problem of climate change, any concern for the well being of future generations is being blatantly trumped by narrow self-interest and greed.”
The second is denial. What, precisely, is being denied? More than three decades ago I took my young son to a planetarium show at the New York Museum of Natural History. During that show it was predicted that a million years from now the sun will become a “red giant” that will engulf and destroy our entire solar system. This prospect filled me with intense horror. Why would a catastrophe predicted to occur in a million years evoke horror in me? Let me explain.
A couple of points:
Here is the “terrifying” photo:
The good doctor probably does not get to see the other view of sea ice, when it is at maximum in March:
Perhaps he doesn’t realize that the ice regenerates every year, and maybe he thinks that it becomes a permanent condition? Maybe he never looks at the Antarctic either, where the majority of the ice is, and setting new records for the most ice this year.
And since he’s arguing from a position of authority, I should at least point out that he hasn’t even got his basic facts straight.
During that show it was predicted that a million years from now the sun will become a “red giant” that will engulf and destroy our entire solar system. This prospect filled me with intense horror. Why would a catastrophe predicted to occur in a million years evoke horror in me?
Maybe it will be less horrifying when you learn your horror timeline is off by 4.999 billion years? From NASA “Ask an Astrophysicist“:
(Submitted June 04, 2004) How long until the Sun becomes a red giant?
The Sun will become a red giant in about 5 billion years, which is slightly more time than it has already been a star. There’s a lot of nice information about the Sun at
Hope that helps.
-Kevin and Dirk,
for “Ask an Astrophysicist”
It is difficult for me to take somebody like this seriously, especially one with a “PhD” attached to his name that can’t even get such basic facts they base their argument on right.
As for his diagnosis, perhaps the good doctor would benefit from reading this article in Reason magazine:The Medicalization of RebellionThe long, shameful history of using science to stigmatize dissent
Or this one, about his cohort in slime, Dr. Stephan Lewandowsky which talks about the same topic.
Its just more Political Abuse of Psychiatry, such as was practiced in the Soviet Union:
In the Soviet Union, systematic political abuse of psychiatry took place. Soviet psychiatric hospitals known as “psikhushkas” were used by the authorities as prisons in order to isolate hundreds or thousands of political prisoners from the rest of society, discredit their ideas, and break them physically and mentally. This method was also employed against religious prisoners and most especially against well-educated former atheists who adopted a religion. In such cases their religious faith was determined to be a form of mental illness that needed to be cured. Formerly highly classified extant documents from “Special file” of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union published after the dissolution of the Soviet Union demonstrate that the authorities of the country quite consciously used psychiatry as a tool to suppress dissent.
Sound familiar when looking at what is being written about climate skeptics today?
I wonder who will be the first to propose that Gitmo have a section added for “climate deniers”?