SoftestPawn’s Weblog

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Hippy-diagnosed Madness

Posted by softestpawn on March 8, 2009

The Psychological and Political Challenge of Facing Climate Change conference has the climate skeptics worried. Spiked, for example, are very concerned that the authorities are treating dissent as a disorder.

So let’s have a look. The conference blurb starts with the usual generic eco-concern:

“Man-made climate change poses an unprecedented threat to the global ecosystem and therefore to ourselves…”

and then, not understanding how to cope with ‘threat’, makes several leaps of logic – presumably using the whacky Precautionary Principle – to decide that:

“… The future depends on how proactive, imaginative and courageous we can be in dealing with our addiction to fossil fuels. “

…and the required call to action:

“The task of achieving action that is sufficiently rapid, determined and concerted faces daunting psychological and political obstacles – but we cannot afford to be daunted. We must seek out every means of co-operation, information-sharing and support at our disposal. “

But if we take a look at the meat of the conference, it looks more like a mutual hippy hugfest than some scary authority:

“By bringing together a group of people who are uniquely qualified to assess the human dimensions of this human-made problem…”

…so they can feel all special. Of course ‘unique’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘any good’, but it certainly looks like there’s no one qualified quite like this lot:

“Includes, in the main auditorium from 13.45 – 14.15, a poetry recital, Strange Sisters Say it for the Planet.”

The speakers include George Marshall and Mary-Jane Rust who make a professional living out of ‘studying climate denialism’; nothing pre-assumed there obviously. The workshops include:

The Psychology of Inspired Action: “When facing issues like climate change and peak oil, what helps us respond in empowered and inspired ways?” by a self-help fan of Gaia

Eco Fascism: “Until we recognise the need to mourn the loss of an illusion: our idealised version of the American Dream, which has enticed us all, if only out of envy of the fantasy of an ever-plentiful, all-nurturing breast [Garden of Eden]” by a ‘psychodynamic psychotherapist’ and anyone can call themselves that.

Embodying Ecopsychology: “This workshop will use simple experiential exercises to help you connect more deeply with your own embodiment, and hence with the beauty and fragility of the other-than-human world.” by a craniosacral therapist, an ‘alternative’ treatment.

Environmental Constellations: Constellations, with the help of a trained facilitator, are a potent way of harnessing the individual and collaborative skills that are latent within a group and can lead to surprising experiences of development and healing.” Go live! No, really. It’s part of the treatment. Go live!

So. No real ‘threat’ there to rational debate in the Real World;  it’s just a bunch of academic hippies with unsupported ideals who believe they’re smarter than everyone else, and there’s nothing new about that.

In the meantime, more news about the lack of news in the Boston Globe, and journalists recover from global warming activists after pointing out the obvious.


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