The strategy of scaring people into action on climate change has backfired totally, so writes Kathrin Burger of the German leftist TAZ daily in a piece titled: Horror Scenarios Promote Depression.
Psychologists say that many who have been listening excessively to climate alarmists are now ready for therapy. Photo: public domain – Marc NL
It turns out the alarmists, with all their climate doom and gloom, have only succeeded in spreading depression among themsleves and those around them.
It’s only normal that people who surround themselves with incurable pessimists also eventually become pessimistic themselves, and eventually get depressed or mentally ill. This is what’s happening within the climate movement in Germany, enviro-psychologists say.
Alarmism as a mental disorder
It can be convincingly argued that mental illness is indeed a chronic problem among many climate alarmists and their followers. Many are paranoid that a trace gas is causing a climate catastrophe. They even blame bad weather on the Co2 trace gas, with some even going so far as to blame earthquakes and war on the man-made CO2 molecules in the air. Seemingly educated scientists are obsessed with a coming climate catastrophe to the point where they even refuse to believe any data showing to the contrary.
And now that many western societies have been exposed to climate pessimism and alarmism for a good 25 years, it’s little wonder we are finding reports confirming that all the climate doom-saying is causing more depression globally, so writes the German leftist online TAZ. The problem with the environmental movement, experts are finding out, is that it is making everybody mentally sick and depressed rather than making them more environmentally aware and responsible. People are becoming complacent when it comes to climate-related action.
In the TAZ article, author Kathrin Burger admits that all the fear-mongering indeed has been a very poor method of motivating people to change their lives:
Florian Kaiser, environmental psychologist at the University of Magdeburg says: ‘With threatening scenarios you’ll likely not get anyone to change their views.'”
The TAZ writes that all the scare scenarios are in fact leading to a phenomenon dubbed: “Doomer Depression“.
The TAZ, of course, takes the position that the planet is in big trouble, and that this message needs to be communicated in a new way – in a way that makes the message less depressing and more effective at motivating people to change their lives. Nowhere does the TAZ write that the alarmism itself may have its very roots in mental disorder, i.e. the CO2 paranoia and obsession mentioned above.
Here’s an excerpt of what the TAZ claims:
One problem is that climate change is hardly detectable and so people have a psychological distance to it. Apocalyptic scenarios are, however, of little help in overcoming that distance. The overly drastic prognoses that were used especially in the 1980s only amplified the sense of helplessness. ‘Because stability is a fundamental desire of every person, thoughts that have to do with situations of collapse often get suppressed,’ states a strategy paper of the Greens in Saxony.”
The TAZ writes that communicating the message that climate change is real and that humans need to accept drastic lifestyle changes remains a major challenge for the movement. Many people just are not reacting to it.
People are not responding to the message
The real challenge is to find a way to shape people’s perception so that they do embrace the message communicated by the environmental cause. Psychologist Kaiser is quoted by the TAZ as saying:
Pro-social people, those who are inclined to help others, are more accessible for ecological argumentation and are thus more open to dedicating themselves to the environment. However, those who do not count themselves as being among the altruistic are very difficult to reach.”
From the social engineers’ point of view, the problem lies with the human raw material that they have to deal with. The movement would be far easier if only everyone had the right mindset and political view from the start. Consequently many believe that the place to start is to shape the young minds of schoolchildren at an early stage.
School indoctrination has failed
One strategy used by social engineering experts is the indoctrination of children at schools…the farms for growing future environmentalists. Germany for example has attempted in schools for 25 years to indoctrinate its children to become more environmentally aware and responsible. For the results of that experiment, the TAZ quotes Ulrich Gebhardt, child development researcher at the University of Hamburg (emphasis added):
After 25 years of environmental education at schools, the conclusion is sobering: ‘Education for sustainable development‘ has had no effect.'”
And all this time we thought schools were for teaching things like reading, writing, and mathematics. For once in my life I’m glad that schools have, in a way, failed. If anything, this shows that parents are by far the most important force in bringing up children. Good news.
So if horror scenarios and indoctrination are failing to motivate people into action and are only causing the side effect of people getting depressed, what strategy is now being pursued in Germany to combat the environmental movement’s side effects, i.e. depression and complacency?
Rather than re-examining the climate data and concluding there really isn’t an imminent catastrophe coming, the alarmists still continue to insist it’s real and are now coming together to produce “positive visions” in group therapy – a sort of Alarmists Anonymous. The TAZ quotes psychologist Gerd Weßling of the Transition Town Bielefeld:
The inner and outer transition depend on each other. In this initiative it’s about meeting on a regular basis, often with psychologists, where the members have the chance to express their desperation and hopelessness.”
For the rest of us who have avoided the doom of gloom of the climate alarmism, my advice is that you continue doing so. Visiting skeptic sites like this one will keep you optimistic about the future and a lot happier.