Guest essay by Eric Worrall
h/t JoNova; What happens when climate panic turns into despair? Their fellow travellers accuse them of “climate denial”, of course.
Breaking up over climate change: My deep dark journey into doomer Facebook
THURSDAY 7 NOVEMBER 2019 5:00AM
Things came to a head at dinner one night earlier this year, when my girlfriend suggested the chat was too depressing.
She wanted to keep living her life as normal, and I wanted to freak out.
And then we broke up.
‘Welcome to our world Mr Franzen’
The phrase ‘doomerism’ was popularised in the commentary around Jonathan Franzen’s 2019 article in the New Yorker, in which the famous American novelist argued we have no chance of averting catastrophic climate change, and we should just admit this
The essay was titled, “What if We Stopped Pretending?” and it argued that Green New Deal progressives were, in fact, the ones in denial.
“All-out war on climate change made sense only as long as it was winnable,” Franzen wrote.
The internet tore it apart. Franzen had gotten aspects of climate science wrong and misrepresented the priorities of environmental groups, it turned out.
But his greatest sin, many said, was strategic and moral — he sounded like a climate denier.
1. Climate change is dubious and irrelevant –> no point cutting emissions— Stuart Capstick 🌡️🌏 (@StuartBCapstick) September 9, 2019
2. Climate change is apocalyptic and impossible –> no point cutting emissions
Seems like society's move from denial #1 to denial #2 has happened in barely the blink of an eye😒
But there was one corner of the internet where Franzen was drawing cautious admiration.
That part was doomer Facebook. Members of groups like Near Term Human Extinction Support Group (NTHESG) and Abrupt Climate Change believe they’ve been rejected by the mainstream for speaking the truth — that it’s too late to avert civilisational collapse.
“We get attacked daily, welcome to our world Mr Franzen,” one member wrote.
‘Activism, but without any hope’
I went back to the NTHESG admins with a question: Aren’t you just giving up?
“Climate emergencies have been declared, so what?” one replied.
“Trudeau approved an oil pipeline, and he’s supposed to be the social justice favourite. All this hate against Trump, but he’s no different, just punching with the gloves off.“
“We humans like to think our activism will solve the problem. [But] we don’t take solace in false hopes. That will only betray in the end.“
But other admins disagreed – a rare moment of internal dissent.
Another said: “Like our members, [the admin above] and I have different ideas. Members are split on this kind of thing. I protest. [The admin above] doesn’t.
WUWT covered the Franzen article in September.
It would be easy to write off such despair as the hilariously absurd beliefs of an isolated group of cranks, but there is evidence that a lot of people really do believe the world is doomed.
Last September, a high profile Australian drug rehabilitation specialist testified to a government committee that climate despair is a significant factor driving young people to destroy their lives with hard drugs.