This is the kind of thing that doomsday cult members and their pet media are worried about. Not enough to actually make massive changes in their own lives, such as giving up fossil fueled travel, moving into a tiny home, installing solar panels which cost $10k+, doing away with ice makers, hand washing clothes and line drying them, replacing their AC with fans, and so much more
Jennie Ferrara’s husband brought home the newspaper one day because he thought the front-page story would interest his wife. Instead, it almost made her faint.
The year was 2008, and some of the leading oil companies in the world were announcing plans to extract more oil from Canada’s tar sands – a move that would prove detrimental to the environment.
Ferrara, who is originally from Texas but lives in Denmark, had felt pessimistic about the environment for many years, but the headline that day tipped her over the edge.
“When I looked, just looked, at the front page, I practically went comatose,” Ferrara recalled to Insider.
“It feels like you’re suddenly zooming in on something, your body goes a bit numb and everything around you goes quiet … You lose all energy and question your will to live,” she said.
She is among a growing number of people who have found that the rapidly declining state of the planet is impacting their mental health.
According to the latest research, “eco-anxiety” is more present than ever.
A recent survey published by Yale University found that more than 40% of Americans felt “helpless” about the state of the planet. And according to a 2020 poll by the APA, more than half of Americans said they were somewhat or extremely anxious about the impact of climate change on their own mental health.
You know, if this was about the environment, it might make a bit of sense. But, the climate is not the environment, because the climate is always going to change, and a 1.5F increase in global temperatures since 1850 is not a big deal. Bad weather is always going to happen. What about when it brings on gorgeous weather? Are they freaked by that? Few are freaked enough to actually do something themselves, though. When the original environmental movement happened, yes, states and federal governments did look to pass wise environmental laws, ones that actually protected the environment while infringing on citizens as little as possible (it was later on that extremists got involved and over-stepped their mandates), but, citizens who cared made changes in their own lives. Now? People are very soft and don’t care to make any changes in their own lives.
“We’ve seen a growing number of people who are feeling an emotional response to what’s happening by living in such a changing world,” Leslie Davenport, a climate psychology consultant and therapist based in Tacoma, Washington, told Insider.
Davenport said that part of the reason behind the rise of “eco-dread” is that more people are realizing “how much climate change is impacting us on a personal level.”
It isn’t. Hurricanes happen. Heat waves happen. Wildfires happen (especially when forest management is terrible, there are more buildings in fire prone areas, and people intentionally and unintentionally set fires). Weather happens. Always had, always will. But, these climate cultists really have very little of big concern in their lives, so, they have to invent things to be loopy about, like microaggressions, social justice, and ‘climate change’ anxiety.
Some – like Ferrara – experience very strong physical sensations. They have difficulties breathing or feel like they’re having a heart attack, she said.
Others have more subtle symptoms – they cry randomly, can’t sleep at night, or often feel irritable and on edge.
People who act like 4 year olds should not be allowed to vote nor tell the government to pass laws that raise taxes and the cost of living, along with reducing freedom, liberty, and choice.
In 2019, climate activist Clover Hogan set up Force of Nature, which aims to tackle this. Her team teaches students aged 11-24 about the climate crisis to help them navigate their anxiety and realize their potential to get involved.
“At the end of the day, none of us are responsible or capable of solving the climate crisis alone. We’re not capable of changing it overnight. Yet what we are capable of changing overnight, is our mindset,” Hogan told Insider.
“If we can change the way that we think about the issues, if we can change the way that we respond to those emotions and rather than running away from them, hold space for them and think about the power of them to create change, the more empowered and agency we are going to feel.”
How about teaching them that this is no big deal, that the climate has flipped to warming multiple times in the Holocene alone, and that they should go live their lives and suck it up, things will be just fine? Oh, right, that would limit the ability to get people to get government to pass laws which will go on to control their own lives.