TIME: We Are All Climate Change Deniers

A clinical psychologist writes at TIME:

Our denial is understandable. Our species is not equipped to respond to the threats posed by global warming. Humans are built to find food and shelter, reproduce, and enjoy each other. We are genetically programmed to react to threats by fleeing or fighting, and at first, our environmental crisis does not seem to allow us to do either. We’re better at dealing with problems that are concrete, close-at-hand, familiar and require skills and tools that we already possess. Our global storm is invisible, unprecedented, drawn out, and caused by all of us. We have Paleolithic arousal systems, Neolithic brains, medieval institutions and 21st century technology—not a good mix for solving our climate problems.

And so we feel paralyzed and our belief that we are powerless can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. In a crisis that seems impossible to confront and but too scary to ignore, many people live in a state that psychologist Stanley Cohen calls “willful ignorance.” We both know and don’t know what is going on.

Barf more…

11 thoughts on “TIME: We Are All Climate Change Deniers”

  1. This article is a good example of the observation that people go into psychology to learn if they’re crazy and stay in it if they are.

    Anyone who has moved about the USA, knows that climate change makes little difference. Moving a few hundred miles south from Missouri to Louisiana makes for a change in the mean annual temperature of about 9°F (5°C), which is a common projection of the change caused by anthropogenic global warming. It’s no problem!

    The USA from south to north spans a mean annual temperature difference of more then 70°F (48°C) from southern Florida to northern Minnesota. Yet humans live and thrive in both those states and all the ones in between. The food crops are different in each state but if the temperature increases they’ll switch from citrus to bananas in Florida and from spring wheat to winter wheat in Minnesota.

    The histories of the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age in Europe show had well humans adapt to climate change and this was when there was no air conditioning.

    People don’t deny that the climate changes but their experience shows it is nothing to worry about since they easily adapt to it.

  2. No wonder psychology is in such poor regard. How does this poor woman carry his logic into the real world and deal with the constant barrage we receive about the End of the World – The Climate Channel, Earth Magazine, Science Channel, all run and re-run narratives about the end of the World. How does he square that with our Paleolithic brains not being able to deal with major problems? Sounds to me like we seek them out. There is a great book out called Encyclopedia Paranoica which catalogues all the things one could worry about, had one the inclination and time.

    Also note her repeated use of religious terms, such as “believe”. One more expression of Environmentalism as a fundamentalist religion. She probably got paid for this piece. But it was in TIME, The Magazine For People Who Can’t Think.

  3. Classic psychological projection. You fix one of the sentences within the article by striking through two of the words, thusly:

    ” … I’ve learned not to argue too long with people who d̶o̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶ “believe in” human-made climate change. I figure it’s impossible to reason someone out of a position that they didn’t reason themselves into. …”

  4. Ms. Pipher says: “many people live in a state that psychologist Stanley Cohen calls willful ignorance”. She really hits the bull’s eye describing her own state of mind.

  5. Do you really think she is being that utterly stupid on purpose? She does deny and dismiss the human ability to adapt and survive about anywhere and under about any conditions. If we get the magic 2° C “climate change” over the next century, I’m willing to bet that not only will our species survive, it will thrive, unless we fall prey to silly folks like Ms. Pipher.

  6. Articles like this makes me wonder if people like Ms. Pipher are that disconnected from reality or just poor propagandists. I’m 66. I’ve lived in Eastern North Carolina, New Orleans, Michigan and Virginia. We’ve been through droughts, heat waves, floods, hurricanes, cold snaps and blizzards. We’ve gone from almost no A/C, insulation or efficient heating, to pretty much the opposite. It seems that people in all those places have done a reasonably good job of surviving and thriving despite major weather events. I’m just amazed that silly doomsayers like this do not recognize this.

  7. “Our denial is understandable. Our species is not equipped to respond to the threats posed by global warming.”

    Last year, I responded to the Camping Doom and the Mayan Doom with ease. Did our clinical psychologist
    FREAK OUT ?!?!

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