A Rare Medical Defence of the Right to be a Climate Change Skeptic

FIRM – Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Paul Hsieh, co-founder of Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine (FIRM), thinks medical practitioners shouldn’t rush to diagnose climate denial as a psychological disorder.

Should Therapists Treat Climate Change Denial As A Psychological Disorder?

Paul Hsieh
Feb 26, 2019, 07:55am

How far should therapists and psychiatrists go in taking sides on controversial political issues such as climate change?

Reporter Olivia Goldhill recently described a talk by psychoanalyst Donna Orange, an adjunct professor at New York University, urging that therapists address “not just the demons of a patient’s subconscious, but the horrors of climate change.”

Dr. Orange believes that therapists “can draw attention to the threats posed by climate change, and then challenge the mental defenses that prevent people from responding to climate change.”

I fully support the right of any medical or mental health practitioner to speak out on issues of importance to them and to advocate associated political action. I respect everyone’s right to free speech — whether or not I agree with the specific views being advocated.

However, I’m leery of medical and mental health practitioners introducing their personal politics into the treatment room. And I’m especially uneasy with the prospect that certain unpopular political views (for example, skepticism about climate change) might be labeled with psychoanalytic diagnoses such as “dissociation” or “regression.”

Wikipedia has an excellent (and heart-breaking) list of the many historical abuses of psychiatry in countries such as China and the former Soviet Union to stifle political dissent by labeling unpopular views as “mental illness.

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/paulhsieh/2019/02/26/should-therapists-treat-climate-change-denial-as-a-psychological-disorder/

It is refreshing to be reminded that there are people out there who believe liberty is important, that in a free society people have a right to hold and express their own views, regardless of how strongly others disagree with those views.

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February 27, 2019 6:09 pm

Left wing implies left brained. Too left brained implies an impaired right brain. That condition mimics schizophrenia. link Academics often suffer a disconnect from reality that, for the above reason, mimics schizophrenia.

It seems to me that Donna Orange might look to some people as if she is psychotic.

Tom Halla
Reply to  commieBob
February 27, 2019 6:29 pm

And if by using the term “psychoanalyst” for herself, Dr Orange is a member a philosophy, Freudianism, tending towards a religious cult. Whatever it is, Freudianism is not a science.
Freud and Climate Science in it’s CAGW version do have similarities. Using ill defined terms, assuming conclusive results from marginal evidence, and a strong tendency to fit whatever evidence into a vague and difficult to test theory are just a few.
Indeed, Ms Orange would seem to fit a syndrome of adherence to world-saving movements which she has great enthusiasm for, and no interest in testing her Cause.

Reply to  Tom Halla
February 27, 2019 6:32 pm

Faith (i.e. logical domain), religion (i.e. moral philosophy or behavioral protocol), and traditions, and political/personal convenience (e.g. spontaneous human conception or viability), are separable.

Simon Jean
Reply to  Tom Halla
February 27, 2019 7:36 pm

I agree psychoanalysis is not science. But it is an important field of human knowledge and What Dr Orange say has nothing to do with psychoanalysis. It is pure CAGW propaganda and is therefore a disgrace to her discipline.

Tom Halla
Reply to  Simon Jean
February 27, 2019 8:08 pm

There can be a tendency to succumb to several mass movements either successively or simultaneously. My ex was a former Seventh Day Adventist, a Randite, and a Scientologist. Bright, and as flaky as phyllo.

Reply to  Tom Halla
February 27, 2019 9:59 pm

“…was a former Seventh Day Adventist, a Randite, and a Scientologist..” WOW! THAT must have been … interesting.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Simon Jean
February 28, 2019 4:26 am

Simon Jean – February 27, 2019 at 7:36 pm

But it (psychoanalysis) is an important field of human knowledge

Simon Jean, ….. and just what is that “important human knowledge” that you think/claim that the psychobabblers possess?

Please share it with us.

The basic beliefs and teaching of psychoanalysis is still firmly rooted in the writings and teachings of a late 19th Century heroin addicted author by the name of Sigmund Freud …. and the psychobabblers knowledge of how the human brain/mind functions hasn’t improved very much since Freud was writing his “trip” reports.

Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
February 28, 2019 11:19 am

next time you are on the net look up VOXEL, its always interesting to how knowledge of the brain function has so far developed.
you will also be able to read about how Freud`s fame game lasted around only till 1912 until it was roundly eclipsed.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
March 1, 2019 3:52 am

jono1066, ….. does all or any of that “new knowledge” of the brain/mind you speak of ….. mention anything about what I’ve stated in the following, to wit”

“You are what your environment nurtured you to be”.

The human brain/mind is a biological self-programming supercomputer. And anything and everything “new” that we “learn” today is highly dependent upon what we “learned” yesterday, and every yesterday in succession back until the day that each of us were born.

And each “new” thing we “learn” each day of our lives are “linked” to those things we learned yesterday, and the day before yesterday, and so on back to the day of our birth.

The human brain/mind consists of four (4) separate entities, which are: permanent memory, short-term memory”, the subconscious mind and the conscious mind. The subconscious mind being the dominant and controlling part of the mind and the conscious mind being the subservient part that one uses for decision making based on parameters, prerequisites and guidance that are determined by the “wiring” or programming of the subconscious mind.

jono1066, ….. if not, then they are just as ignorant now as Freud was 100+ years ago.

Simon Jean
Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
March 1, 2019 4:21 pm

My english is not fluent enough to completely share my tought about it. If you speak french, we could have a deeper discution. I just want to point out that what Dr Orange is suggesting is a malpractice in the field of psychological and psychiatric diagnosis, as far as an experienced physician with some background can say. I’m not here to defend psychobabblers. I found everything I read from Freud interesting. His work on dreams is worth the read, for anybody who is dreaming … But at the end, Freud doesn’t needs me to defend himself. This week, newspapers are talking about ” écoanxiété ”. The pressure is strong to mix psychology and AGW and those who can resist should. . Climatebabbling entering the psychological+medical+healt field is a real danger now and blasting Freud (1856-1939) won’t help IMHO.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
March 2, 2019 3:56 am

Simon Jean, I agree totally with this statement you made, to wit:

Climatebabbling entering the psychological+medical+healt field is a real danger now

And Simon Jean, I bet you didn’t know that ….. the only way one knows the difference between their having had a “dream” and their having had an ”hallucination” is …… they know they just awakened from experiencing a “dream”.

Bill Powers
Reply to  Tom Halla
February 28, 2019 9:03 am

She is advocating brainwashing not psychotherapy They intend to take indoctrination from the Public School class rooms and off college campuses and incorporate it into individual practice so psycho therapist can jump on the money train with Government subsidized therapy. This is really scary stuff.

NYTimes will first devote an expose in the Sunday Magazine to this nonsense and then migrate this new Post-Modernist Social Science to their editorial page as real science. You will begin to hear this need for denial re-education reported seriously as news on ABNBCBS MS/CNN very soon and oft repeated on Good ‘Mourning’ America, the View and other inane programs and very quickly Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel will be doing serious interviews with this Dr Orange and making fun of the sane people who tuned out late night indoctrination two decades ago.

Years ago when Barack Obama nearly federalized pre-school, the intention was to allow the government to get their hands on the minds of mush earlier before parents could do too much damage. When better to begin the assimilation process. Now it appears pre-school indoctrination would also mitigate the need for psychoanalysis later in life to fix deniers.

Steve Reddish
Reply to  commieBob
February 27, 2019 6:56 pm

CommieBob, I think you have the left brain – right brain thing reversed. Left brain is center of critical thinking and logic, right brain is imaginative,emotional, creative.

But you do have the schizophrenia thing right. From a description of symptoms:
“Delusions. These are false beliefs that don’t change even when the person who holds them is presented with new ideas or facts. People who have delusions often also have problems concentrating, confused thinking, or the sense that their thoughts are blocked.

Negative symptoms are ones that diminish a person’s abilities. Negative symptoms often include being emotionally flat or speaking in a dull, disconnected way.”

Sounds like they have met Al Gore.

Reply to  Steve Reddish
February 27, 2019 9:19 pm

At the level of Al Gore, it is more…

psychopathy, a personality disorder characterized by persistent antisocial behavior, impaired empathy and remorse, and bold, disinhibited, and egotistical traits

The poor people that BELIEVE! in Gore’s pronouncements, move into a microhouse, buy a composting toilet, eat only “organic” vegetables, bicycle ten miles one way to get those vegetables – quite likely schizophrenic.

Those that live on a large estate, with a pool heating bill larger than their neighbor’s entire electric bill, jet around the world, pull down several million dollars a year – almost certainly psychopathic, or sociopathic, its very close cousin.

Reply to  Steve Reddish
February 28, 2019 4:32 am

It is true that the left hemisphere is the center of language and logic.

Some very subtle research by David McNeill, amongst others, confirms that thought originates in the right hemisphere, is processed for expression in speech by the left hemisphere, and the meaning integrated again by the right (which alone understands the overall meaning of a complex utterance, taking everything into account). Iain McGilchrist

Among other things, the right hemisphere is the brain’s BS detector because it puts things in context. If it is disabled, a person will believe anything that isn’t obviously self contradictory. Thus the disconnect from reality.

Reply to  commieBob
February 27, 2019 7:01 pm

Since when is refusing to convert to a religion you don’t believe in a psychological disorder?

Must I bring up the Jonestown Massacre? The Branch Davidians debacle? Bloody Mary’s executions of heretics by fire? The Inquisition?

Where does ANYONE working in the field of mental health acquire the right to judge someone mentally impaired or mentally ill for NOT knuckling under to this trash heap of pseudo-science?

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Sara
February 28, 2019 4:33 am

the right to judge someone mentally impaired or mentally ill

Sara, ……. I thought you knew, ………. “it takes one to know one”.

Reply to  commieBob
February 28, 2019 2:32 pm

Actually left brain is not as we would witness corresponding traits of the left wing. The Left ideology is wrapped up in feelings, creativity, and chaos. The right brain is more logical, scientific, and orderly.

February 27, 2019 6:23 pm

What would they prescribe as a cure? Swallow the hockey stick whole!!! Why would you?

R Shearer
Reply to  Firey
February 27, 2019 6:41 pm

Not swallow.

Mike From Au
Reply to  R Shearer
February 27, 2019 9:46 pm

A duck.
The new posture would be that of a duck, if taken hockey stick end first.

Reply to  Firey
February 28, 2019 2:16 am

Bit of a problem here Firey as it seems Dr Orange is infected with the CO2 viral meme herself and it’s a question of physician heal thyself.
I would suggest that both doctor and patient attend an hour a day a session trawling through the sceptical websites such as WUWT, NOTALOT…..etc. when hopefully it will dawn on them both that there is nowt to worry about except other people’s hysteria.
That should kill the virus.

February 27, 2019 6:29 pm

The Earth is not flat. The system is incompletely, and, in fact, insufficiently characterized and unwieldy. Also, science is a philosophy and logical domain that operates with the reproducible observation, self-evident understanding, that accuracy is inversely proportional to the product of time and space offsets from an established frame of reference, forward, backward, and all around.

February 27, 2019 6:37 pm

It’s only a matter of time. Warmunists are already advocating prison for those who openly dissent from the global warming narrative. Sending the rest of us deniers to “Siberia-of-the-Americas” would be next on their list of to-do’s.

I wonder where it will be….

Somewhere inhospitable like the Hudson’s Bay area I would guess.

Reply to  Art
February 27, 2019 7:34 pm


you’ll be happy to know that the above bravery of Dr Orange is not an entirely isolated act of resistance to the creeping Sovietization of punitive eco-psychology. The perpetrators practitioners themselves are among those who’ve expressed concern about the potential for such abuses, even in so August a venue as August’s Wienerschaft conference. Remember this keynote session?
PAPER Medicalizing Dissent:
A Slippery Slope Or Just The Regular Kind?

Day 2, 1030–1230
Glacierview Room

“The discipline known as heresiopathology, best associated with the pioneering work of one of us [S.L.], has made crucial contributions to our understanding of both denial and denialism. It may even lead to a cure one day,” says Dr Richard Pancost, the lead author of a provocative new paper with Professors Stephan Lewandowsky and Lawrence Torcello. But Pancost is the first to acknowledge that such research also raises ethical concerns that cannot be dismissed lightly.

“The prospect of a recrudescence of Soviet-style psychology, whereby there must be something ‘wrong’ with anyone who denies mainstream evidence, gives us all pause. And rightly so,” he explains, “because once we treat denial as a disease, haven’t we opened the door to excusing it? Haven’t we let our fellow humans off the hook, not just morally but (in the long term) criminolegally, for rejecting science?”

This must-see seminar opens with a dystopian suggestion: could ‘skeptics’ at a future ‘Climate Nuremberg’ cheat the noose by pleading recursive fury or conspiracy ideation—thus living out the rest of their days in prison, or even in the luxury of a psychiatric clinic, at the expense of the innocent taxpayer?


Michael S. Kelly, LS BSA, Ret.
Reply to  Brad Keyes
February 27, 2019 9:48 pm

Welcome back (again), Mr. Keyes!

Phil R
February 27, 2019 6:42 pm

Oh, FFS!! This why Psychology, Psychiatry, and other social studies disciplines are considered soft sciences at best, if not pseudoscience. The DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) used to…oh, nevermind…

Reply to  Phil R
February 27, 2019 7:07 pm

With the DSM V, the definitions of various mental illnesses are so broad it can be used to classify almost anyone as mentally ill.

Phil R
Reply to  SMC
February 27, 2019 7:15 pm

Yeah, kinda my point, but didn’t know how to finish it. 🙂 thanks. Also, it keeps changing with the times.

Reply to  SMC
February 27, 2019 8:53 pm

DSM4 is useful – DSM5 is crap.

February 28, 2019 3:15 am

Maybe, but the DSM5 is the standard used now, not the DSM4.

Reply to  SMC
February 28, 2019 3:02 pm

Have you read DSM5? it is gibberish.

Reply to  SMC
March 2, 2019 12:46 am


TO SUMMARIZE, there is NO credible evidence that dangerous runaway global warming will occur due to increasing atmospheric CO2. It has never happened in Earth’s past, despite CO2 being many times higher than present. There is NO full-Earth-scale evidence of increasing atmospheric CO2 driving Earth’s temperature; the only such evidence is that temperature changes LEAD changes in CO2, not the reverse (MacRae 2008, Humlum et al 2013). Every global warming activist’s scary prediction of runaway global warming and wilder weather has FAILED to materialize – a perfectly NEGATIVE predictive track record. The Climategate emails and warming adjustments of the temperature record are evidence of scientific fraud by warming activists.

The scientific evidence is that global warming alarmism is not just false, it is also probably fraudulent. The scientists who lead the global warming alarmist movement are, in all probability, fully aware of this fraud. The politicians who promote global warming alarmism may not understand the science, but are certainly aware of the existence of strong opposition by highly credible scientists.

To date, trillions of dollars of scarce global resources and millions of lives have been wasted due to false global warming alarmism.

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING? One possibility is suggested in the following quotations from “The Sociopath Next Door”, by Dr. Martha Stout (2006):

Many mental health professionals refer to the condition of little or no conscience as “antisocial personality disorder,” a noncorrectable disfigurement of character that is now thought to be present in about 4 percent of the population – that is to say, one in twenty-five people.

According to the (then) current bible of psychiatric labels, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV of the American Psychiatric Association, the clinical diagnosis of “antisocial personality disorder” should be considered when an individual possesses at least three of the following seven characteristics:
( 1) failure to conform to social norms;
(2) deceitfulness, manipulativeness;
(3) impulsivity, failure to plan ahead;
(4) irritability; aggressiveness;
( 5) reckless disregard for the safety of self or others;
( 6) consistent irresponsibility;
(7) lack of remorse after having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another person.
The presence in an individual of any three of these “symptoms,” taken together, is enough to make many psychiatrists suspect the disorder.


February 27, 2019 6:50 pm

I fully expect the Southern Poverty Law Center to determine “Deniers” are … Racists. The SPLC will claim we “Deniers” are purposely refusing to transfer our wealth to poor countries ovvvvv cullller … because we HATE brown people. Once this determination is made … we will be banned by PayPal (sorry, no more tip jars for “Deniers” and conservatives), and a host of other “socially responsible” corporations.

February 27, 2019 6:51 pm

Good to know there are some shrinks that aren’t fascist sociopaths.

February 27, 2019 6:54 pm

“shouldn’t rush to diagnose climate denial as a psychological disorder.”

WTH!!!!!!!!!!!…were they even considering it?

Reply to  Latitude
February 27, 2019 10:04 pm

There you go! This should have NEVER have been a topic of debate.

Phil R
February 27, 2019 6:56 pm

Reporter Olivia Goldhill recently described a talk by psychoanalyst Donna Orange, an adjunct professor at New York University, urging that therapists address “not just the demons of a patient’s subconscious, but the horrors of climate change.”

In my admittedly limited experience with people in these professions, they seem to gravitate towards this area because of “demons” and “horrors” that they may be suffering and want to project onto others.

Who even uses the terms “demons” and “horrors” anymore?

Full disclosure, I did read the reast of the lead-in:

However, I’m leery of medical and mental health practitioners introducing their personal politics into the treatment room. And I’m especially uneasy with the prospect that certain unpopular political views (for example, skepticism about climate change) might be labeled with psychoanalytic diagnoses such as “dissociation” or “regression.”

But that’s still pretty eff’n scary.

michael hart
Reply to  Phil R
February 27, 2019 9:09 pm

Well, the devil is in the details of the global warming religion, and Orange professor doesn’t want to go there.

February 27, 2019 6:56 pm

I think progressive ideation is like gnostic ideation: create in the mind two opposing identities or egos, one moral, one immoral, then associate the moral ego with one’s self and dissociate the immoral ego by projecting it onto those who aren’t “woke”. Calling skepticism dissociation is IMO simply the projection of their own dissociation. The first rule to understanding progressives is to realize that whatever they are accusing the other side of doing is exactly what they themselves are doing.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  icisil
February 28, 2019 4:45 am


This is never more evident that during a US presidential election. It is one of its facets that fascinates foreigners. We used to call it hypocrisy. I am not sure what the branding is now.

Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
February 28, 2019 8:25 am

There’s a cute saying floating around – “If progressives didn’t have double standards they wouldn’t have any standards.”

Wallaby Geoff
February 27, 2019 7:03 pm

I’m amazed that any right thinking person could possibly associate ‘climate denial’ with a psychotic condition. You’d be wondering about the sanity of the doctor.

Michael Carter
February 27, 2019 7:07 pm

Very appropriate that this should come out of the medical fraternity. Health theory has a long history of popular myths that have been proven wrong over time. Those at the coal face of research are very often ridiculed when questioning the popular narrative of the time. There are many examples. I give 2

Remember this?: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/4304290.stm

Prior to this event it was “known without doubt” that stomach ulcers were caused by stress and diet. I still remember the screams of indignation from the profession when these 2 first came out with their findings.

The second example involves a nasty ruminant disease in New Zealand called facial eczema. Up until 30 years ago there was no treatment. A dental nurse with some land and animals somehow through observations came out with the theory that dosing with high concentrations of zinc would prevent it. In spite of constant ridicule from our scientists she kept hammering away in news papers until after some years our scientists decided to test her theory. She was right. Nowadays tens of millions of livestock are dosed with zinc during the vulnerable months saving the industry 100’s millions of dollars each year.



Bob Cherba
February 27, 2019 7:08 pm

So, being a climate change skeptic is a treatable psychiatric disorder, but being gay or transsexual is what, “normal”? Appears psychiatrists and psychologists are getting kookier all the time.

Simon Jean
Reply to  Bob Cherba
February 27, 2019 7:45 pm

But according to psychiatry, believing in one or many gods is normal.

Reply to  Simon Jean
February 27, 2019 8:58 pm

Separation of logical domains. Few people restrict their observation and speculation to the narrow scientific logical domain. And there is a modern habit of conflating logical domains.

Reply to  Bob Cherba
February 27, 2019 9:02 pm

Sex is genetic. Gender is physical and mental (e.g. sexual orientation) attributes arising from phenotype, environment, and indoctrination (e.g. choice). Homosexual, neosexual, etc. are all in the transgender spectrum. Normal, no. Tolerable, as they are not progressive conditions, probably.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  n.n
February 28, 2019 6:26 am

Actually gender is just behavior, masculine and feminine, not male and female. Though in the media today they use gender instead of sex. 10+ years ago the word “transgender” didn’t exist, it was always “transsexual”, which requires surgery, hormone treatments, etc. But “transgender” is simply a change of behavior.

Reply to  Bob Cherba
February 28, 2019 7:25 am

This is good news. We can always say that our gender is climate change denialist. They have to accept that because it´s totally normal and they have to respect our gender.

Now I see Orange as “the mental rapist”.

This is so weird world…

Dave O.
February 27, 2019 7:32 pm

Anybody who tries to link every possible weather event to climate change is nuts and, unfortunately, is not a treatable disorder.

February 27, 2019 7:40 pm

In undergrad engineering and grad school looking for easy elective courses I was able to take 27 semester hours of psychology/behavioural sciences courses including learning theory, behavioral theory and psychoanalytic theory classes. Learned two things. Two out of three of my various professors had pretty serious behavioral problems of their own and the only correlation with a person with psychological problems getting better was when they discovered that they had a problem, irrespective of whether they saw a shrink or not.

Reply to  JimG1
February 28, 2019 4:38 am

IMO majoring in psychology for a lot of people is a twofer: get free therapy for their mental problems while getting a college degree.

Walter Sobchak
February 27, 2019 8:02 pm

Fortunately, my psychiatrist is a Ron Paul supporter. He is not into socialism.

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
February 27, 2019 10:09 pm

Fortunately? So you’ve confirmed that, well… you know.

4 Eyes
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
February 27, 2019 10:47 pm

Fortunately I don’t have a psychiatrist

February 27, 2019 8:28 pm

I remember from my college days that most of the young ladies from the psychology department I dated were more than slightly off. The most sane ones were from the R.N. program and pre-med.

February 27, 2019 8:36 pm

not just the demons of a patient’s subconscious, but the horrors of climate change.

So if the client has no client change demons in their subconscious, the therapist should plant some?

David Chappell
February 27, 2019 8:55 pm

“Donna Orange, an adjunct professor ”
Isn’t adjunct professor inflation speak for a part-time assistant lecturer?

Reply to  David Chappell
February 28, 2019 5:46 am

In short, YES. Adjuncts are the part-time slave laborers of academia. We pay them by the course taught and give them no benefits or retirement plans in most state universities. Sometimes we’ll give four or five of them an office to share, but most times we don’t even provide that.

Flight Level
February 27, 2019 10:13 pm

It was called “psychopathological mechanisms” of dissent.
Please read carefully. While your medication allows coherent understanding of visual information.

February 27, 2019 10:58 pm

“… unpopular political views (for example, skepticism about climate change) …”

There is a fundamental flaw here :

Science has NOTHING to do with political views except for brainwashed non scientists or snake oil salesmen.

John V. Wright
February 27, 2019 11:17 pm

Donna Orange. Hubris.


Serge Wright
February 28, 2019 1:26 am

Putting this in simpler terms, those who believe that the world will end in 12 years consider themselves as sane. If you disagree with their prophesy then they label you a denier that needs mental treatment.

Gerald the Mole
February 28, 2019 2:03 am

Yet another move that damages the doctor/patient relationship. In the UK doctors are now being paid £55 for each case of dementia that they diagnose!

Reply to  Gerald the Mole
February 28, 2019 5:49 am

I suspect there has been an exponential increase of dementia in the UK.

At £55 a pop, when everyone over 60 has been diagnosed with dementia, they’ll start diagnosing it in those who are 50 to 60. And when those have all been diagnosed with dementia, they’ll start finding it in the 40 to 50 range.

Once government programs get started, they are hard to stop. I’m guessing that it won’t be until grade-schoolers start being diagnosed with dementia that people will suspect something is amiss.

E J Zuiderwijk
February 28, 2019 2:43 am

After the psychiaters’ War on the Weak of the 1950s, from which they clearly have learnt nothing, we will now get the War on the Recalcitrants.

Perhaps such renegades should be named and persued, threatened with public flogging followed, perhaps, by quartering on the village square. Those psychiatrists, I mean.

Eamon Butler
February 28, 2019 4:17 am

It’s a bit disconcerting that an organisation, studying, or claiming to be expert in, the Human mind and how it works, fail to see their own reflection in this obvious psychological disorder of their own. Why do they feel they have an authority in a field of ”Science” outside of their own area of expertise? Especially one that is so complex and multi disciplinary as Climate Science, when even those heavily involved within it, have difficulty agreeing on its terms and conditions.

Bruce Cobb
February 28, 2019 5:24 am

Yeah, and here I was, wondering how far we as a society should go in treating the psychosocial delusion of CAGW Belief. Would, for example, a series of electro-shock treatments be sufficient, or would years of intensive therapy be necessary? Perhaps both. Clearly, children who’ve known nothing else but a wrong-headed, disasterous Belief system which punishes people for simply wanting to lead a comfortable life, and in the case of poor countries, any sort of decent lifestyle will have severe anger issues once they realize they’ve been lied to.
In another vein, just how far, as a society, should we go in punishing the perpetrators of this disasterous Belif system? Tar and feathering was the usual method in bygone years, but perhaps that would be going a bit far.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
February 28, 2019 7:56 am

Tar and feathering is very mild compairing what they want to do to us. They want us in prison or in gaschamber. They are very very evil people.

February 28, 2019 7:43 am

“Tar and feathering was the usual method in bygone years, but perhaps that would be going a bit far”

Not nearly far enough, Bruce.

February 28, 2019 8:31 am

No one has reviewed the professional bona fides of Donna Orange.

She has a PsyD. This is a “doctorate in psychology.” A “psy-dee” is different from a PhD in Clinical Psychology. And, is different from a M.D. Psychiatrist.

Of these three “terminal” level degrees, only one provides training in how to be a scientist: the ins and outs of hypothesis testing, research design, measurement, statistical analysis. As well as subject content: human psychology, normal and abnormal. That is the PhD. PhD trains a researcher/practitioner.

A “psy-dee” is a doctoral level degree that is an alternative to the PhD. PsyD trains practitioners, not researcher/practitioners. A PsyD gets trained enough in research stuff to be fairly OK at basic understanding of research principles used in the supposed development of evidence-based mental health care. Generally, a PsyD is not very strong at giving a critique of a peer-reviewed psychology article, such as one testing effectiveness of some intervention, or validating some new measure, or validating the existence of some new concept.

By time a PsyD completes their “dissertation study,” and gets enough clinical hours to get their state license, and so be set for professional practice forever, they have largely forgotten all of the sciency stuff they had to learn along the way.

This is often the case for PhD psychologists who complete the degree and go into clinical practice. But at least a PhD psychologist received a full training as a scientist / researcher.

So, Donna Orange by training does not know how to use research / science principles to empirically investigate whether “deniers” might have a mental problem.

As a PsyD, she most likely did not learn “psychoanalysis.” she has done advanced, specific training in psychoanalysis, and has a respectable certificate in this. This is the normal way to become trained in ‘psychoanalysis.’ But in her essay, she is loosely using psychoanalytic constructs such as “regression” and “dissociation.” The characteristics that would show that either of these two , of the many, defense mechanisms, were being employed by a person are far from being demonstrated.

Besides that weak case that there is some unhealthy use of defense mechanisms to ignore or avoid facing the supposed reality of “climate change,” the most fitting defense mechanism, if all of this were true, would be “psychotic denial.”

If she were presenting a case in a case conference, to her psychoanalytic peers, her nomination of “dissociation” and “regression” would politely be undercut, and someone would note this likeliness of “psychotic denial.”

As it is she is just slinging around words as part of the ongoing multi-prong cultural attack from the Ivory Tower Totalitarians who believe they know better than the rest of us, and are offended that we don’t just shut up and submit to the rule of our totalitarian overlords because “science.”

Finally, she has a PhD in Philosophy. Philosophy, specifically, “epistemology,” undergirds all of science. Or, should. Each aspect of science, research design, hypothesis testing, measurement, probability analysis / estimation, modeling, etc., has an underlying philosophy regarding how numbers gathered from measuring phenomena in the real world, inserted into a data matrix, and analyzed in one way or another, with resulting output, informs us about the real world.

If – big if – her focus in her Philosophy PhD were on “empiricism,” then we might feel like we really had a strong scholar on the case.

Her dissertations (PsyD, PhD in Phil) are not focused on “science.” Her focus seems to be on emotionality, subjectivity, post-modernism, subjective perspectives, and such. So, it seems that she is just the type of post-modern, relativism-focused “scientist” where grounding in the real world does not matter that much.

What might a “psychoanalyst” bring to this discussion? The discussion of how people can believe things in the face of strong contrary evidence? Psychologists, including clinical and social, have a long, strong track record in this area.

After the Holocaust was exposed, the world was shocked, but also puzzled. How could so many go along with such evil? How in their minds did they live their day-to-day lives in knowledge of this horror? Or, how was such evil sold to the population as something good?

This spurred a great movement of profound investigation and great discovery.
We got Stanley Milgram’s exploration of “Obedience to Authority.”
We got Zimbardo’s “Stanford Prison Experiment.”
We got Solomon Asch’s Conformity” experiments.
we got Festinger’s concept of “Cognitive Dissonance.”
We got Cialdini’s Principles of Persuasion.”
And more.

To get up to speed quickly, get an old, inexpensive copy of Aronson’s “The Social Animal.” You will see that psychologists have used “science” to understand and inform how something like Hilter’s Holocaust could happen.

This used to be common fare for undergrads, obtained in your psychology or sociology class. Not any more.

Nowadays, all of that scientificness has been hijacked for political ends. They are hiding their political motives in “science” so that the average guy supposes they are “right.”

They are not following principles of science, and they are not interested in science. It is all about power.

This is like “religion:” when you get caught up in the ritual and recipe, you lose sight of God, and the love, guidance, and expectations he has for you.

Despite the alphabet soup of credentials, this woman could not explain to you how her propaganda is or is not in lines with what any old school professor of epistemology would recognize.

Reply to  TheLastDemocrat
February 28, 2019 8:35 am
Simon Jean
Reply to  TheLastDemocrat
March 1, 2019 4:34 pm

Nice post, thanks.

Gordon Dressler
February 28, 2019 9:06 am

Wow . . . I was really, really, really worried over the exact psychological issue that this article discusses. Now I can sleep a bit easier. Thanks!

Shane O.
February 28, 2019 9:50 am

Hmm – my experience is pretty much the opposite. I remember somewhat vividly when I was about 10-12 years old, being terrified of global cooling and the coming ice age. Once that farce was better understood and resolved, my threshold for any widespread pronouncements about (man-made) disasters increased dramatically. I’d say that was when my skepticism towards all things environmental was born.

February 28, 2019 12:28 pm

Just tell us the number you are looking for to pay for major infrastructure and social spending agendas. Wouldn’t that be a lot easier than wrecking professions and attacking straw men? Let’s coexist.

Have a seat on the couch and let’s talk about it.

Jonathan Griggs
February 28, 2019 3:35 pm

This is a very interesting article to me personally. My wife just returned from a visit to her family where she learned that her little sister wants to follow in the footsteps of the likes of John Cook, researching the connections between people’s mental state/politics and their refusal to accept the general consensus on climate change. I have been a skeptic since 2009 (a believer before that) and my wife holds degrees in both biology and geology so she is naturally also a skeptic.

It was laughable and yet somewhat scary to think that her little sister would be researching our “cognitive dissonance” on CAGW. Apparently researching all of the facts to form our own opinion doesn’t count as a valid reason to her.

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