Skeptic brains ’emit fear signals that can disrupt attempts at rational thought’

Yup. That’s how a Canadian alarmist explains PM Stephen Harper’s lack of interest in global warming.

Charlie Smith writes at

… Recently, I came across a neurological and psychological explanation why seemingly intelligent people like the prime minister don’t want to wrap their minds around climate change.

Keep in mind that Harper is the son of an accountant who worked for Imperial Oil. He probably grew up in a home with a high regard for the fossil-fuel industry.

Author William Marsden explains in his recent book Fools Rule: Inside the failed politics of climate change (Alfred A. Knopf Canada) that the when the brain is confronted with tiny changes to familiar patterns, it “quickly emits fear signals that can disrupt attempts at rational thought”.

Quoting McGill University neurologist Lesley Fellows, Marsden notes that there are parts of the brain that enjoy learning new things, but other areas summon anxiety when familiar habits are disrupted.

“Climate change poses a complexity of stressful challenges with which few people know how to deal,” Marsden writes.

Fellows explained to Marsden that “nebulous” threats, such as climate change, are not handled nearly as well by the brain as are immediate threats…

Read the entire commentary.

9 thoughts on “Skeptic brains ’emit fear signals that can disrupt attempts at rational thought’”

  1. So those of us who are saying “everything’s okay, no need panic” are motivated by fear.

    That totally makes sense.

  2. I’m gonno go with an explanation of this article as alarmist projection of what ails them. Out on a limb that is being sawn off, it is their brains that are emitting something disrupting rational thought in them. The alarmist boomerang.

  3. “nebulous”
    Synonyms: unclear, vague, imprecise, hazy, unformulated, tenuous, ill-defined, indefinable

    The correct “rational” approach to a “nebulous” threat isn’t to immediately completely buy into the threat, deny any possibility that said “nebulous” threat may not exist or be a severe threat, or invest everything you have in combatting said “nebulous” threat at great expense and great burden to the populace.

    The little lefty undid his own argument.

  4. See the new book Rational Thinking, Government Policies, Science, and Living. Rational thinking starts with clearly stated principles, continues with logical deductions, and then examines empirical evidence to possibly modify the principles.

  5. Ever notice how the leftys write studies trying to explain climate skepticism? They never write about why alarmists completely accept climate lunacy. Without that balance, it calls their study into question.

  6. ‘“nebulous” threats, such as climate change’… At least he got some of it right, including the use of the word ‘nebulous’, which means ‘cloudy’. Sort of like in Svensmark’s hypothesis. Is the author a closet skeptic?

  7. So, being skeptical about globalwarmingclimatechangeclimatedisruption is a genetic defect causing brain function. The defect is then exacerbated by your father being an accountant for an oil company. My father was a farmer, so I really must have the genetic defect. Wonder if I’m due disability payments. I suppose if the payments are large enough I’d believe these folks know things and can control the climate.

    I can’t believe that anyone would write, much less publish, that drivel outside The Onion.

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