That’s not me saying that. It’s New York Magazine.
Every year brings a new batch of data regarding the progression and likely effects of climate change, and the results are almost always worse than previous models had predicted. In fact, they’re frankly terrifying: rapid and accelerating deterioration of the Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets that will yield massive sea-level rise and submerge coastal cities; paralyzing drought on continental interiors that will lead to Dust Bowl–style famine; and incredibly powerful floods and storms that happen more frequently — five times as often now, in fact, as in the 1970s.
Most of the worst predicted outcomes will occur down the road. In the meantime, though, the people making these predictions — climate scientists — are dealing with a heavy psychological toll, as a piece in Esquire by John H. Richardson points out. They are living, as Richardson puts it, a “surreal existence.”
One psychologist who works with climate scientists told Richardson they suffer from “pre-traumatic stress,” the overwhelming sense of anger, panic, and “obsessive-intrusive thoughts” that results when your work every day is to chart a planetary future that looks increasingly apocalyptic. Some climatologists merely report depression and feelings of hopelessness. Others, resigned to our shared fate, have written what amount to survival guides for a sort of Mad Max dystopian future where civilization has broken down under the pressures of resource scarcity and habitat erosion.
The article goes on to quote some notable “climate scientists” and the meany pants treatment they have received in their roles as latter day Jeremiahs and Cassandras.
Michael Mann, renowned as the Jerry Sandusky of Climate Change, snivels about alleged mean words directed at him. Never mind that he conspired to foist of fraudulent data on the world in order to destroy peoples lives and livelihoods for not greater reason than masturbatory release for the amusement of his colleagues. Some chick named after a cheese, Camille Parmesan, whined that Rick Perry removed her analysis of Galveston Bay from a report throwing her into ‘professional depression.’
There are two reasons that they are depressed. It isn’t Weltanschauung or Weltschmerz or one of those other cool German words we associate with really smart people or mental illness. The sociopaths among them see the government grant dollars gravy train drying up as it becomes increasingly obvious that your pet cockatoo tossing heads-or-tails is at least as accurate as any climate model currently in existence.
“[By] 1995, the greenhouse effect would be desolating the heartlands of North America and Eurasia with horrific drought, causing crop failures and food riots…[By 1996] The Platte River of Nebraska would be dry, while a continent-wide black blizzard of prairie topsoil will stop traffic on interstates, strip paint from houses and shut down computers.”
Michael Oppenheimer, published in “Dead Heat,” St. Martin’s Press, 1990
“We have 500 days – not a day more – to avoid a climate disaster. We must face up to climate disruption, climate chaos. The scientists, several of whom are present here, have said it: ‘you’d have to be blind not to see it’” M. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, 14 May 2014 about France hosting the major climate conference in December 2015.