An extraordinary essay and photos that demonstrate the difficulties climate scientists have with both climate change “deniers” (especially vicious in the U.S.) and their own tendency to try to “deny” their own deep, conflicted, and depressed feelings about their findings. How can any scientist be “objective” when his or her own person and family are also affected by the subject of study?
Perhaps climate change will be the one issue — its implications so vast that that everything else falls inside of it — that will finally, for good or ill, force humanity to blend left and right brains, intuition and logic, compassion and detachment, self and other, person and planet.
Esquire, via Corbin and Shodo, July 7, 2015
Among many climate scientists, gloom has set in. Things are worse than we think, but they can’t really talk about it.
Among climate activists, gloom is building. Jim Driscoll of the National Institute for Peer Support just finished a study of a group of longtime activists whose most frequently reported feeling was sadness, followed by fear and anger. Dr. Lise Van Susteren, a practicing psychiatrist and graduate of Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth slide-show training, calls this “pretraumatic” stress. “So many of us are exhibiting all the signs and symptoms of posttraumatic disorder—the anger, the panic, the obsessive intrusive thoughts.” Leading activist Gillian Caldwell went public with her “climate trauma,” as she called it, quitting the group she helped build and posting an article called “16 Tips for Avoiding Climate Burnout,” in which she suggests compartmentalization: “Reinforce boundaries between professional work and personal life. It is very hard to switch from the riveting force of apocalyptic predictions at work to home, where the problems are petty by comparison.”