‘Train Your Brain’ on Climate Change? (debate, don’t assume)

From MasterResource

By Robert Bradley Jr. — December 2, 2022

“Dr. Duhaime is invited to liberate her brain to question the premises of climate alarmism and forced energy transformation. Listen to recent climate debates involving Steven Koonin. Read Alex Epstein’s Fossil Future. Sponsor a Harvard University discussion/debate with both. ‘Train Your Brain’ the right way.”

It is a grand intellectual ruse. Part of it is magical thinking: that wind, solar, and batteries can substitute for mineral energies and thus “save the planet.” The other part is the “everyone knows” shared narrative: catastrophic climate change is occurring because of man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

In the New York Times’s “Climate Forward,” Somini Sengupta recently interviewed neurologist Ann-Christine Duhaime based on her new book, “Minding the Climate: How Neuroscience Can Help Solve Our Environmental Crisis” (Harvard University Press). The question she sets out to answer (per Climate Forward) is: “Why we mortal humans cannot grasp and act on the climate emergency.”

The Times’s “Train Your Brain” begins by introducing the expert.

Dr. Ann-Christine Duhaime is a pediatric neurosurgeon at the Massachusetts General Hospital. She looks at brains. Over the course of a 35-year career, she has looked inside many, many brains. She knows that the human brain is designed by evolution and that it is remarkably flexible, and that it has transformed the planet entirely.

(Yes, this is getting bad when a a pediatric neurosurgeon at the Massachusetts General Hospital is given the privilege of thinking for the rest of us.)

Sengupta prefaces the interview by explaining how Duhaime’s analysis applies “largely to citizens of wealthy countries who, by all accounts, need to make some big and rapid behavioral changes to slow down global warming.” Here are Duhaime’s responses:

Our brain design evolved primarily for short-term decision-making focused on circumstances related to immediate, tangible survival: I do this action, and I get food.

Climate change is difficult because it is longer term rather than immediate. It is difficult to perceive directly; we didn’t need to evolve carbon dioxide sensors for survival. The results of our pro-environment actions remain largely invisible. Additionally, the things that cause climate change are rewarding. Fossil fuels have made our lives easier in many ways. They have also made many people wealthy.

(Make that 8 billion, and more than making life easier–making more people, and longer living, possible.)

Her answer is to “train our brains” to do the ‘correct’ environmental thing, although it might not be in our self-interest. Her ‘eco-team’ experiment tells her that the solution is at hand.

In the experiment, called Eco-Teams, neighborhood leaders got households in their area to create a team. The team got to choose which behaviors to change, such as reducing solid waste, using less energy, or saving water. They were taught how to change those behaviors and how to track their outcomes, like weighing their trash or metering their energy use. The team met regularly. They shared tips. They provided mutual support. They competed against other teams from other areas. They made it fun.

The analysis of this program showed that long after it ended, the participants continued their pro-environment behaviors. They incorporated something new into their self-image. In other words, their brains changed.

To this I speak for the very large majority of Americans who say, Count me out. Our philanthropic time is too scarce for such indoctrination. We do not need to chase the promised “social rewards.” Anyway, when it comes to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, why not support the Greening of Planet Earth with the the byproduct of the most affordable, reliable, plentiful energies?

Ann-Christine Duhaime ends: “Much of the problem will need to be solved by collective action. But this happens at the brain level also. Someone has to start a movement, and others have to be convinced to join in.”

——————

Wrong issue, false cause. Dr. Duhaime is invited to liberate her brain to question the premises of climate alarmism and forced energy transformation. Listen to recent climate debates involving Steve Koonin. Read Alex Epstein’s recent book, Fossil Future. Even sponsor a discussion/debate with these two. “Train Your Brain” the right way.

4.9 27 votes
Article Rating
53 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Frank from NoVA
December 3, 2022 6:10 am

‘Much of the problem will need to be solved by collective action.’

The real problem is today’s movement toward collective action, aka, socialism.

guidvce4
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
December 3, 2022 6:29 am

Eventually leading to more stringent collective action, aka, communism.
Have all the lettered supposedly brilliant folks completely lost their sanity? Ok. The answer is not all of them have, just a goodly number who want to retain their soft paychecks amongst the fellow travelers in academia. That’s my take on the whole thing.

Scissor
Reply to  guidvce4
December 3, 2022 6:44 am

And where government dictates and enforces its truth, by legal violence if necessary.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Scissor
December 3, 2022 9:42 am

I don’t know how legal government violence is, as it’s mostly unconstitutional here in the US.

Scissor
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
December 3, 2022 12:57 pm

Mostly, yes in the U.S. I was thinking of governments in general.

Tanks rolling over protesters in Tiananmen Square comes to mind, but look at what police did to lockdown protesters recently in Canada, Australia and other Western countries.

But, what the U.S. is doing to hundreds of people of the J6 mob is a atrocious.

MarkW
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
December 3, 2022 1:05 pm

If you oppose government, government is authorized to use whatever force is necessary to compel compliance.
While they are usually restricted to only using the amount of force necessary and no more, that restriction has been loosened in recent years for non-minorities.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  MarkW
December 3, 2022 1:22 pm

‘If you oppose government, government is authorized to use whatever force is necessary to compel compliance.’

Authorized by whom? Granted, ‘the State’ has always assumed such authority, but I’m unaware of any instance where the populace actually agreed to being kicked around.

BigJim
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
December 5, 2022 2:11 pm

Yet they keep paying taxes…

David Dibbell
December 3, 2022 6:39 am

What about those trained brains?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-1zr_wgC1E

Could they be the Abby Normal we’ve heard about?

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  David Dibbell
December 3, 2022 1:34 pm

Ha! Don’t give the Davos crowd any ideas!

cognog2
December 3, 2022 7:00 am

Heal Thyself Anne-Christine.
It is quite obvious that all that garbage Propaganda that has infested the airwaves for years has TRAINED her brain. Someone should tell that what she is saying is boring old hat these days, with a touch of parrot thrown in.
Incidentally : Do Neurosurgeons get taught the Laws of Thermodynamics? It seems she is a bit light in that area.

MarkW
Reply to  cognog2
December 3, 2022 7:16 am

I’ve noticed that those on the left have a habit of declaring that those who disagree with them are insane, evil or both.
It’s not a recent phenomena.

PeterD.
Reply to  cognog2
December 3, 2022 7:30 am

It would seem the good doctor is also bit light on when it comes to basic human physiology.
She profoundly stated that, ‘…we didn’t need to evolve carbon dioxide sensors for survival’.
Oh, really?
She clearly wasn’t paying attention during her respiration classes. Our bodies have chemoreceptors that detect carbon dioxide in the blood, triggering the impulse to take a breath when the levels escalate. It is an autonomic response that is fundamental to our survival, every moment of every day. With her neurological background, an understanding of respiration should be about as fundamental as it gets.
The medical fraternity seem to be disproportionately vocal on issues they know nothing about, such as climate alarmism, yet remain tight lipped on medical issues, which they should be yelling about from the tree-tops.

Joseph Zorzin
December 3, 2022 7:07 am

“Dr. Ann-Christine Duhaime is a pediatric neurosurgeon at the Massachusetts General Hospital.”

I see her problem- she’s in Massachusetts, which I contend is the most fanatic climate craziness of any place on this planet. Not a single politician in this state dares to challenge the orthodoxy. Something like 90% of the state legislature is Dem.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 3, 2022 7:11 am

Ann-Christine Duhaime ends: “Much of the problem will need to be solved by collective action.”

But she’d probably deny being a Bolshevik.

Leo Smith
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 3, 2022 7:53 am
Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Leo Smith
December 3, 2022 8:55 am

awesome- thanks for that- I’ll send this to everyone I know in MA

MarkW
December 3, 2022 7:23 am

I was reading an article recently about a survey of conservatives and liberals.
Very few liberals place personal freedom and personal responsibility high on the list of things that were important to them. Much more important was a belief that it was the responsibility of government to provide for the people what they wanted.

Hoyt Clagwell
Reply to  MarkW
December 3, 2022 8:20 am

That is the key difference between liberals and conservatives. Conservative believe the government exists to provide security, opportunity, and regulation so that the people can take care of themselves. Liberals believe the government exists to take care of the people and, if people are unequal, it must be because the government isn’t fairly doling out prosperity to everyone equally. This fundamental misunderstanding of the role of government in America explains virtually all of the protestations and failures of liberalism here. It’s equality of opportunity vs. equality of outcomes. Freedom to take responsibility for oneself vs. freedom from responsibility.
Unlike liberals though, I won’t try to coerce people into believing this. I merely offer something to think about that others may benefit from it.

clougho
Reply to  Hoyt Clagwell
December 3, 2022 9:25 am

Whereas Dr Duhaime relies on ~98% of her income from fees collected from healthcare insurance payments and most likely MA State Medicaid payment (All socialized medicine) and government grants, she is by definition in a socialist world. Would we expect anything less that her opinions are aligned with socialism/communism?

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Hoyt Clagwell
December 3, 2022 9:39 am

Everything you say above is true, but I wish we could all stop playing according to the socialists’ ground rules, especially with respect to referring to ‘socialists’ / ‘progressives’ / ‘collectivists’ as ‘liberals’. It just facilitates their agenda of marching through and destroying all of the Western institutions that were built by liberalism once liberalism overtook the ‘conservative’ regimes of absolute monarchism.

slowroll
Reply to  Hoyt Clagwell
December 4, 2022 9:52 am

Well put. I’m saving this.

michael hart
December 3, 2022 7:32 am

To quote Douglas Adams:

“Bloody hell,” said Majikthise, “now that is what I call
thinking. Here Vroomfondel, why do we never think of things like
that?”

“Dunno,” said Vroomfondel in an awed whisper, “think our brains
must be too highly trained Majikthise.”

Rud Istvan
December 3, 2022 7:34 am

It is not easy to train a brain to ignore reality when perceiving and reacting to reality was it’s main evolutionary purpose. It takes a pediatric neurosurgeon from Harvard to think this might be possible. Perhaps by removing the frontal lobes?
Reality:

  1. Arctic summer sea ice did not disappear as predicted.
  2. Sea level rise did not accelerate as predicted.
  3. Glacier National Park glaciers did not disappear as predicted.
  4. China and India refuse to play western climate alarm games.
  5. Climate models predicting future problems are easily proven already wrong.
  6. The renewables solutions pushed by alarmists are ruinous.
  7. The main consequence of rising atmospheric CO2 has been greening of C3 plants, a good thing not a bad thing.
Rich Davis
Reply to  Rud Istvan
December 3, 2022 12:49 pm

Six out of seven ain’t bad, Rud. #4 is the problem. China and India are playing the game EXACTLY as the wealth redistribution socialist scheme was envisioned.

Mark Whitney
December 3, 2022 7:43 am

The brain training she refers to is a return to a long-established herd mentality. The development of the human brain conferred the non-herd conditions of individuality and creativity. It seems the driving force of progressivism is to maintain a state of conformity above all other considerations. That is the only reason I can find for activities that reduce fitness and survival and increase risk, such as the rejection of useful energy sources in favor of more risky ones that are inherently undependable.
It would also explain the rise of mythology masquerading as science.

Last edited 2 months ago by Mark Whitney
Mark Whitney
Reply to  Mark Whitney
December 3, 2022 8:10 am

As I think about it more, I am reminded of Pavlov’s conditioned reflex studies, only in this case it seems the researcher is also one of the study subjects.

michael hart
December 3, 2022 7:48 am

To quote Douglas Adams:

“Bloody hell,” said Majikthise, “now that is what I call

thinking. Here Vroomfondel, why do we never think of things like

that?”

“Dunno,” said Vroomfondel in an awed whisper, “think our brains

must be too highly trained Majikthise.”

Hoyt Clagwell
December 3, 2022 8:02 am

“Someone has to start a movement, and others have to be convinced to join in.”
Why do they say ‘convinced’ when they mean ‘coerced’?
In my fairly long life I’ve seen that those who try to impose their beliefs on other people against their will are always “the bad guys.”

186no
Reply to  Hoyt Clagwell
December 3, 2022 8:47 am

Duhaime = Do Harm….

leefor
Reply to  Hoyt Clagwell
December 3, 2022 7:50 pm

“Start a movement?” Global laxatives at one.

Uncle Mort
December 3, 2022 8:35 am

Drain your brain with climate change?…

Oh sorry – misread it.

Hoyt Clagwell
Reply to  Uncle Mort
December 3, 2022 2:03 pm

No, you‘re just reading between the lines.

186no
December 3, 2022 8:45 am

The team got to choose which behaviors to change, such as reducing solid waste, using less energy, or saving water. They were taught how to change those behaviors and how to track their outcomes, like weighing their trash or metering their energy use. The team met regularly. They shared tips. They provided mutual support. They competed against other teams from other areas. They made it fun.” She then uses the dead giveaway word – “collective” .

The charming Professor she no vote for GOP; so she thinks top down imposed “collective” action is the way to go (think of Zhivago returning home after the 1917 revolution to his in laws home to find it taken over by the local residents committee and the owners now confined to a couple of rooms – “Yes, that is more fair”, his character says). That was tried very unsuccessfully by Marxist Leninist thugs post 1917, and then retried by Stalin during which latter time millions starved, millions more died….many in the Ukraine coincidentally. Instead of allowing people to stand up for themselves, giving them information and then allowing them to act, she and her despotic acolytes do the polar opposite. Perhaps that is why here in the UK large sections of the public, government provided, tax payer funded education system, shot through with left wing ideologues masquerading as “teachers” for decades, has produced at least a couple of generations who simply cannot think for themselves. The quintessential Marxist Leninist “long game” in action….?

Having had experience of a so called “Neuro” medic – a 100% ethically and morally bankrupt person motivated only by money, its pursuit and f*** everything/everyone else including those who were referred to said individual, I can readily see how she foists her “knowledge” on others and does not ever think she can be wrong – funny how people who CAN think for themselves see straight through her gossamer thin narrative. Another inmate for the new Gulags, which are filling up by the minute as this charade and others are pushed more and more aggressively – with no foundation in truth whatsoever.
E&OE!

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  186no
December 4, 2022 5:24 pm

I’ll bet the team wasn’t given the option to change no behaviors.

kakatoa
December 3, 2022 9:20 am

I recently toured President Garfield library- he too was interested how the brain works as he had a copy of M. L. HOLBEOOK, M.D.- 

Hygiene of the brain and nerves and the cure of nervousness : with twenty-eight original letters from leading thinkers and writers concerning their physical and intellectual habits : Holbrook, M. L. (Martin Luther), 1831-1902 : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

The authors thoughts on

“MENTAL HYGIENE FOR THE AGED. (page102)

How are old people to keep the mind from failing, and even becoming obliterated, before the body is worn out?

Only by cultivating it. As people grow old they should work less, and read, study and think more. The reason why so many aged people have a blank where there should be a mind is generally because the latter is not kept alive and active by culture. The rust gets so thick that thoughts cannot be formed.” 

hit home for me and it sure sounds like he would support robust debates.  

An answer to “Has climate any influence in causing or curing nervousness?” is on page 110.

gyan1
December 3, 2022 9:26 am

Dr. Duhaime allowed herself to be trained like an obedient dog by accepting blatant propaganda without a critical thought.

Dr. Jimmy Vigo
December 3, 2022 9:40 am

Sure, any field of study can be applied to justify any issue, as if when you manipulate scientific principles to theoretically try to proof something that is in reality wrong. For example, I’ve seen claims that CO2 can control the overall temperature of the atmosphere in such a small amount of 0.04% because it acts like arsenic or cyanide in the human body: at very small amounts it can cause a huge change. That’s the defense for CO2, and that convinces them. However, they have the wrong assumption: CO2 does not have in the atmosphere the same role as arsenic, cyanide and even hormones. These substances cause a huge change in the body because they have the structure and function to disrupt or control biological mechanisms by causing structural changes, as in substituting natural chemicals by poisons like arsenic, cyanide. Arsenic has the toxic role of changing the phosphates groups in DNA, cyanide can become acid in the stomach, and hormones are like keys 🔐 that “open doors” in the cell to trigger actions like celular reproduction. You don’t need large amounts of any of these chemicals to cause the huge change of poisoning or replicating. CO2 does not have in the atmosphere such a monumental role. It’s a bad comparison with the wrong assumption that CO2 has the same role as arsenic, cyanide, hormones in the body. They problem is that they truncate or finalize they understanding while ignoring this biological understanding. This happens a lot when people are set out to investigate something by pushing what they want to find, and forget about all that goes against the claim. They only accept what seems good/logical to them. But again, science is not about logical or common sense understanding, because it hides in formulas, equations, measurements and statistics a level of uncommon sense that defies logic. One strong proof is the strange connections in thermodynamics and quantum mechanics running in the background of ”CO2 causing climate change”. This is missing in their assumptions.
Thanks. Dr. JBVigo
Excuse any typos.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Dr. Jimmy Vigo
December 3, 2022 6:39 pm

I’d disagree in one sense; logic and common sense are absolutely sufficient to see through the CO2 fetishism, since there is plenty of empirical evidence that refutes the notion of CO2 as climate driver.

The cyanide analogy ISN’T logical, because it’s a logical fallacy that is used to counter the red herring about CO2 not being able to have an effect due to its small concentration, which is also not logical, since the biggest portion of CO2’s hypothetical effect on temperature is from it’s lowest concentration, after which it quickly diminishes.

There is NOTHING logical about the CO2 fetishism. The so-called “scientists” pushing that point of view are in love with their pet hypothesis, and the lack of supporting evidence doesn’t sway them from what they openly refer to as “The Cause.”

Disregarding evidence they don’t like, cherry picking and adjustment and manipulation of data, and inventing nonexistent positive, amplifying feedbacks are not logical, nor are the prescribed “solutions” that would not fix the ‘problem’ even IF it was real.

It is the LACK of logic and common sense that is at the root of the belief system that is (C)AGW.

Last edited 2 months ago by AGW is Not Science
Bruce Cobb
December 3, 2022 9:52 am

Yes. The human brain’s amazing capacity for flexibility is what allows us to see through ruses and scams, even those on a massive scale like “like change”. Hard to go against the herd, but not impossible.

rovingbroker
December 3, 2022 9:56 am

Her answer is to “train our brains” to do the ‘correct’ environmental thing,

The term “brainwashing” was first used in English by Edward Hunter in 1950 to describe how the Chinese government appeared to make people cooperate with them. Research into the concept also looked at Nazi Germany, at some criminal cases in the United States, and at the actions of human traffickers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brainwashing

Trying to Play Nice
December 3, 2022 10:21 am

“Our brain design evolved primarily for short-term decision-making focused on circumstances related to immediate, tangible survival: I do this action, and I get food.”

I would like to see what Jordan Peterson has to say about this. I’m not an evolutionary biologist or psychologist, but I think developing agriculture over thousands of years shows that we have evolved to make longer term decisions to increase our chances of long-term survival. Maybe she should stick to her hospital duties.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Trying to Play Nice
December 3, 2022 7:04 pm

The more intelligent (and less deluded) among us can see the very real (as opposed to the completely imaginary “climate risk” based on the non-factor of CO2) risk associated with the lack of reliable, affordable energy and source stocks for a myriad of essential products that are the foundation of modern civilization if fossil fuel development is strangled chasing worse-than-useless non-solutions to the imaginary “climate crisis.”

So difficulty seeing long-term risks is NOT the issue; not being fooled into “believing” the crap she thinks of as “fact” is what she is whining about.

doonman
December 3, 2022 10:44 am

A question women neuro scientists never ask or answer is why they insist on hyphenating their names. I think it’s social pressure which must affect their neurons, or they wouldn’t bother doing it.

Nevada_Geo
December 3, 2022 11:17 am

I admire Dr. Duhaime’s ability to take her experience in a field totally unrelated to climate science and jump aboard the “Climate Change Money Train.” She certainly has the right audience – people who feel they can’t think as well as they’d like buy books that pretend to help them with that deficiency. Sitting ducks.

Graham
December 3, 2022 12:13 pm

Our biggest problem is that most politicians have very small brains and very big ego’s.
They get elected by telling the people that they will protect them from climate change and reduce their countries emissions of GHG and then every thing will be sweet .
Electorates are slowly wakening to the truth that the politicians are using the threat of climate change to take their countries to socialism and then communism .
Our Prime minister Jacinda Ardern attended the National Agricultural Field Days near Hamilton in New Zealand and she was not made welcome as her government is attacking agriculture emissions which will lead to a lot of country districts loosing farmland to carbon farming and reducing New Zealands export revenue .
She got what she deserved as the UN has directed that NO country should take action against reducing emissions that affect FOOD production .
What her government is doing is criminal as she is being pushed by the Green party to reduce our agricultural emissions .
Climate change has certainly affected the brains of our politicians as they are incapable of thinking rationally .

Admin
December 3, 2022 12:58 pm

we didn’t need to evolve carbon dioxide sensors for survival”.

WRONG.

Anyone who goes diving knows there is a risk of losing consciousness underwater if you hyperventilate before diving.

Why?

Our body doesn’t sense lack of oxygen when we hold our breath, it senses excess CO2. If you hyperventilate before diving, you rid your body of CO2, it becomes possible for the oxygen in your body to deplete to the point you lose consciousness, before your body’s excess CO2 alarm triggers and forces you to find air.

This is also why inert welding gasses like Argon are so dangerous, if Argon accumulates in a poorly ventilated welding station, someone can lose consciousness from lack of oxygen before they realise they are in trouble.

Last edited 2 months ago by Eric Worrall
John the Econ
December 3, 2022 5:02 pm

“…neighborhood leaders got households in their area to create a team. The team got to choose which behaviors to change…”

Sounds a lot like China’s cultural revolution. All that’s missing is the little red book. Worked out great, at least in terms of abject poverty and body count achieved.

John Oliver
December 3, 2022 9:35 pm

After seeing what lots of medical doctors are willing to go along with during the COVID debacle; well I really don’t have as much respect for their reasoning process as I used too. Many are just high level technicians or follow a menu driven program on their laptops.

slowroll
Reply to  John Oliver
December 4, 2022 9:56 am

I’ve noticed that.

Joao Martins
December 4, 2022 4:15 am

” … The team got to choose which behaviors to change … ”

There is no mention to the limits of the “collectively” imposed change. I recall that such “behavior change” has been a medical practice “collectively” accepted and coherced to “patients“: it was called leucotomy or lobotomy (which was one infamous discovery that earned in 1949 a Nobel prize to my compatriot António Egas Moniz).

(The “technique” is described in novels and movies as “Suddenly, last summer” and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest“, and most of all the real case depicted in “Frances“, directed by Graeme Clifford).

slowroll
December 4, 2022 9:58 am

When you see the term “collective effort”, you know the real motive driving the author. Stop reading there.

Dennis Gerald Sandberg
December 7, 2022 9:08 pm

California’s existential threatening, unprecedented drought is often considered one of the most dramatic examples of devastating climate change. The lack of snowpack in the Sierra’s is the most conspicuous and dangerous feature of this phenomenon.

December 5, 2022:
The Sierra snowpack vital to supplying water for California’s residents, businesses, and farms is off to a strong start.
Recent storms bringing rain to the Valley and other parts of the state are also dumping snow on the Sierra Nevada.
According to the state Department of Water Resources, the northern Sierra snowpack is 155% of normal through Monday.
Meanwhile, the central Sierra and southern Sierra snowpacks are 166% and 216% of normal, respectively.

%d bloggers like this:
Verified by MonsterInsights