Thursday, September 15, 2022

Making Young People Crazy

One would be hard pressed not to be worried. Schoolteachers, therapists, the media and even many corporate honchos are ginning up climate change hysteria. Yesterday, a dopey executive, the founder of a company called Patagonia, decided to give all of his money to a trust that would devote itself to the war against the weather.

We will have a few words to say about this nonsense in time, but, for now, we note that our nation has been hard at work destroying its children. It has taught them that climate change is an existential threat, one that requires complete and total hysteria. As you might guess, if mental illness is the answer, then clearly someone has misidentified the problem.

But, that is not all. And you are probably more than happy that you are no longer young. Our schools have been transformed into indoctrination mills, where failure to to the party line will get you expelled. You no longer care to learn, but you devote yourself to learning what is the correct opinion, that is, the orthodoxy.

You no longer know the gender of your classmates and you are in some doubt about your own. You cannot remember everyone’s personal private pronouns, so you prefer to ignore people you do not know very, very well. 

And now, the Washington Post reports that we have rendered large numbers of college students hysterical and anguished over climate change, and, lo and behold, we do not have enough trained therapists who are capable of treating them.

This would be comic relief if it were not pathetic:

In early 2020, weeks before anxiety about another crisis roiled the globe, a small group of students gathered in a room at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire for a counseling session on worry and grief related to global warming. For an hour, during the first such session at the institution, the students talked through fears and frustrations of a world impacted by climate change.

Note well, these overgrown children are learning how to express their feelings. They have no real use for facts, but they have imbibed the prevailing orthodoxy. One sympathizes, because they have no choice in the matter. Believe or be expelled. If not expelled, be shunned by all right thinking students and never get a job.

As for those who are leading these counseling sessions, consider the case of a dope named Lauren Becker:

Lauren Becker, a former student who had worked with the university’s counseling services to make these sessions happen, sat in one day to observe. But at the end of the session, she said she left feeling even more hopeless than before.

It was hard to feel as though there was a “level of understanding of how dire the situation is,” Becker said.

Note the last phrase carefully. If you are not as hysterical as she is, you do not understand the situation. Whatever makes you think that this overgrown adolescent is a world authority on what will happen to the climate tomorrow or next year or in the next century?

Becker’s problem is her mindless belief in the extremist view, view that she cannot question or evaluate. And that, of course, is the problem.

In a reasonably competent therapy, one that is conducted by a cognitive therapist, the goal is to have balanced judgment. Aaron Beck invented cognitive therapy by teaching his patients to evaluate the evidence. That is, if their minds were beset by automatic self-deprecating thoughts, of the kind-- I always fail; I can’t get anything right; no one loves me-- Beck told them to write down the thought and then to write down three pieces of information that tended to sustain the thought and three pieces of information that refuted it. Thus, the goal was balance, not hysterical overreaction. And it emphasized something that patients might know something about, not something that they knew nothing about. 

For the record, and we have mentioned these points often in the past, many of the nation’s leading climate scientists do not believe that we are suffering a climate crisis. And yet, a dopey post-doc in Wisconsin is totally persuaded that the situation is so dire that anyone who does not accept that it is as dire as she thinks it is cannot possibly help her.

And besides, as we have also reported, and we did not conjure this fact, but the truth is, there is no such thing as a scientific fact about tomorrow-- and that includes, the climate, the weather and the sunrise.

Of course, therapists cannot be of much help because they do not know anything about climate science. And yet, if universities do offer course work in the field, it is most often taught by true believing climate change fanatics. Most of the most serious work is now produced by retired professors.

There is a critical need among young people for climate stress counseling services, psychological experts say, especially in university settings. But many therapists and counselors aren’t trained to provide students with this specific type of support, in part because of a lack of research about climate stress as a distinct phenomenon. Still, several universities across the United States are beginning to fill this gap: Some are starting to offer climate stress therapy for students in the form of pilot programs, while others are discussing what might be possible through existing campus counseling services.

It is certainly not encouraging to see that universities are starting to offer more climate stress therapy. If the solution to the hysteria is balanced judgment, offered by people who are climate scientists, then teaching therapists how to nod knowingly when their young patients explain how dire the situation is-- is the problem, not the solution.

Of course, we do not want to validate extremist thinking and hysterical overreaction. And yet, that is what these therapists will do.

Climate stress therapy, experts say, is an effort to validate these emotions, help clients process their responses to climate change and provide coping strategies.

Dare I say that it is extremely sad. These young people have been rendered dysfunctional and stupid by an academic establishment that promotes groupthink, that punishes deviations from the prevailing orthodoxy and does not much care if their efforts have produced epidemics of mental illness.


Anonymous said...

If you eliminate children, then eventually you eliminate people and like that's good for the planet, right?

IamDevo said...

Chouinard is a fraud. To the best of my understanding, what he has done is transfer the non-voting stock to a "non-profit" while retaining a controlling family interest in the voting stock, thus enabling him to keep vast sums of money in the family. Meanwhile he gets a huge tax write-off.
Chouinard wants to "save" those exotic pieces of Mother Earth that please him and those well off "ecotourists" who buy his overpriced wares and the like, who believe that this planet should be their private nature reserve, starving humanity be damned. A pox on them and their REI-shopped wardrobe, all of which is worn as pure virtue and status signalling advertisement for their superior morality.
Chouinard is entireley of a piece with other supposed saviors of the planet like Ted Turner (remember him?), Bill Gates (don't even get me started on that hypocritical fraud) and most recently, those kindhearted residents of Martha's Vineyard who have recently replaced their "All are Welcome Here" yard signs with "NO TRESPASSING."