Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Global Warming: Denial is a Thing

Roy Spencer is one of the small number of climate change deni skeptics who is also a climatologist. 
He is an Intelligent Design believer, and mistakenly provided data that seemed to show that global warming was not happening, only to discover later that the orbit of the satellite that was providing was decaying and invalidating the data.

In a recent post  Roy complains about the term "denier", and says that those who use the term are "Global Warming Nazis". 

I have responded in his comments section, and have copied my comment here, in case anything happens to my comment on Roy's blog. 


As a retired psychiatrist, I would like to respond.

Denial is a real, common and well-recognised psychological defense mechanism that denies painful thoughts, truths, realities, facts, feelings and emotions, associated with aversion to dealing with same.

I regularly dealt with denial in my consultations.

It happens with alcoholics who refuse to accept that they are alcoholics. It happens with skeletal young women who refuse to accept that they have an eating disorder.

We all do denial to some extent, for instance, in forgetting dentists’ appointments.

Anyone who knows an individual who is in denial can see that they have a problem, except when some friends and acquaintances may be sucked in to the individual's belief system.

Every argument, fact or emotional pleading is countered by the individual in denial with “No, but what about x y and z?”

The condition can be resolved, but it needs enormous investment of supportive care, knowledge, wisdom and patience on the part of the community, mediated mainly by psychiatric services.

The critical factor in resolution of denial lies with the subject experiencing the unpleasant reality that is being denied. The alcoholic may need to experience loss of job and family before they join AA. The smoker may need to experience his heart attack before he gives up.

So denial in individual psychology is generally accepted among scientifically trained psychiatrists as a recognisable mental condition.

I leave it to you to decide whether the fossil fuel industry's pain in contemplating loss of profitability might possibly push them in the direction of denial.

1 comment:

Shohel Hossain said...

Global warming is now a great problem for this planet. It brings different kinds of natural disasters.
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