HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » David Corn: It's the End...

Tue Jul 9, 2019, 07:51 PM

David Corn: It's the End of the World as They Know It


It’s the End of the World as They Know It
The distinct burden of being a climate scientist
Story by David Corn; Photos by Devin Yalkin
July 8, 2019

snip//

It’s hardly surprising that researchers who spend their lives exploring the dire effects of climate change might experience emotional consequences from their work. Yet, increasingly, Cobb, Shukla, and others in the field have begun publicly discussing the psychological impact of contending with data pointing to a looming catastrophe, dealing with denialism and attacks on science, and observing government inaction in the face of climate change. “Scientists are talking about an intense mix of emotions right now,” says Christine Arena, executive producer of the docuseries Let Science Speak, which featured climate researchers speaking out against efforts to silence or ignore science. “There’s deep grief and anxiety for what’s being lost, followed by rage at continued political inaction, and finally hope that we can indeed solve this challenge. There are definitely tears and trembling voices. They know this deep truth: They are on the front lines of contending with the fear, anger, and perhaps even panic the rest of us will have to deal with.”

While Americans feel “an increasing alarm” about climate change, according to a survey conducted by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, scientists have been coping with this troubling data for decades—and the grinding emotional effects from that research are another cost of global warming that the public has yet to fully confront. Before you ask, there is no scientific consensus regarding the impact of climate research on the scientists performing it. It hasn’t been studied in a systematic way.

But in a single study, two years ago, Lesley Head and Theresa Harada, two geography scientists in Australia, published a paper examining “emotional management strategies” used by a sample of Australian climate scientists. Head and Harada found that daily immersion in the subject caused anxiety for the scientists, exacerbated by the difficulty of “protecting the psyche from the subject matter of climate change.” The scientists’ thinking was more often “pessimistic than optimistic,” and they tended to use “diverse distancing practices” to “separate themselves from emotions.” They generally said they enjoyed their work, but Head notes that “it’s hard to imagine it’s not something that could cause manifestations down the track. For the most part, these academics are well-established in their jobs and already have demonstrated resilience in a competitive system. But you can’t help but wonder what the burden is doing to people that may or may not be visible.”

Are scientists, then, canaries in a psychological coal mine? Is understanding their grief important because their anxiety could become more widespread within the general population? “That’s why,” Head explains, “I chose them as a research sample.”

Put another way, climate scientists often resemble Sarah Connor of the Terminator franchise, who knows of a looming catastrophe but must struggle to function in a world that does not comprehend what is coming and, worse, largely ignores the warnings of those who do. “An accurate representation” of the Connor comparison, one scientist darkly notes, “would have more crying and wine.”

more...

https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2019/07/weight-of-the-world-climate-change-scientist-grief/

9 replies, 4105 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply David Corn: It's the End of the World as They Know It (Original post)
babylonsister Jul 2019 OP
SHRED Jul 2019 #1
tclambert Jul 2019 #3
SHRED Jul 2019 #4
Pepsidog Jul 2019 #2
SCVDem Jul 2019 #5
CaptYossarian Jul 2019 #6
KY_EnviroGuy Jul 2019 #7
Duppers Jul 2019 #9
orleans Jul 2019 #8

Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Tue Jul 9, 2019, 07:59 PM

1. Look what's going on in Alaska

 

It's here.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SHRED (Reply #1)

Tue Jul 9, 2019, 09:56 PM

3. Fake news! There's no such thing as Alaska. The Chinese made it up.

I mean, c'mon, do you really believe any state could have had Sarah Palin as governor?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tclambert (Reply #3)

Tue Jul 9, 2019, 09:58 PM

4. 😂😂😂

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Tue Jul 9, 2019, 09:42 PM

2. Book marking this post for future reference.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Tue Jul 9, 2019, 10:14 PM

5. I know this story!

 

Jor-El tells the leadership council that the science shows Krypton is unstable and will explode!

Idiot scientist, they say!

You all know the rest.

Sure sounds familiar, doesn't it.

It was 1938. We should know better today.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SCVDem (Reply #5)

Tue Jul 9, 2019, 11:06 PM

6. I wasn't thinking all the way back to 1938.

I was thinking 1968, when the last scene of Planet of the Apes came out and they showed the Statue of Liberty. It's been 51 years and here we are--Repubs bribed by the Kochs (and others) to deny what 98% of scientists have proven to be true. What irresponsible dickwads.

All the flooding, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, and dead sea life are their fault. All the deaths (of humans and wildlife), destruction, and costs to the insurance companies are on them too. The same companies who fought so hard against the ACA because they aligned themselves with the Satanic GOP. Combined, that's a lot of blood on their hands. The same hands that also receive checks from Southern Baptist preachers who don't pay taxes to the government they own.

They will all rot in Hell.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Tue Jul 9, 2019, 11:28 PM

7. It's not just the climate scientists. There are millions more mentally affected.

Those who spent entire careers trying to control air and water pollution along with millions of scientists concerned with protecting plant and animal species now feel much of our efforts were wasted, as the plutocrats have taken control of virtually everything. And, they don't seem to give a damn. It is very depressing to observe.

Deregulation and defunding of climate and environmental control and research is precisely opposite to what's needed at this crucial time. The right's demeaning, backward 19th century attitude adds insult to injury.

Mankind has built his own self-sustaining suicide machine using the finest tools laissez-faire capitalism can buy.

Let's all remember to ridicule our favorite right-wingers and corporate offenders often.....

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to KY_EnviroGuy (Reply #7)

Wed Jul 10, 2019, 03:01 AM

9. Recently brought up GW with a neighbor

Who replied, "Well, there are some things we can control and some things we can't."

Translation: It's in gawd's hands! I think a lot of people feel that way because of their religious upbringing. "Give me that old time religion." It's God's will or God will save us - "I have no responsibility for this."

As my mother used to say, "How did we cause it?"

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Wed Jul 10, 2019, 12:40 AM

8. wow--great article. thanks for posting this

i'm no scientist but this topic has been a very important part of my life for the past thirty years.

i feel the sadness about what i perceive as the impending doom of climate change. i feel a weird relief that i won't live to see the brunt of it (at least i hope i don't). i feel a tremendous sadness for my daughter who is married. she says she wants to have a child but goes back and forth on this issue--because of climate change. AND YET, in spite of what i have taught her since childhood, she continues to do things that are in direct opposition of what is beneficial for the environment (such as driving a gas guzzling suv, recycling maybe or when it is convenient, not interested in the reduce/reuse/recycle lifestyle, not interested in a vegetarian diet, water and electricity waster, blablabla).

i imagine it's very difficult for these scientists who become emotionally invested -- and how could they not? i would guess it was their love and concern for this planet that lead them into this particular scientific field.

again, thanks for posting this article.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread