Environmentalism and Psychology: A Marriage Made in Hell (Part 1 of 2)

People who disagree with my political perspective sometimes tell me, ‘You shouldn’t comment on social or political matters. That’s not appropriate for a mental health professional.’ The people who say this are always liberals, and never non-liberals, i.e. never libertarians, Objectivists, conservatives or anything like that. (Proving my point, once again, that most liberals simply cannot stand dissension.)

You can better believe these same people never question or criticize the comments and official positions of organizations like ‘Psychologists for Social Responsibility.’

Surprise, surprise: This organization has come out for legislation to limit or eliminate the activities of industrialized civilization for the sake of ‘the environment.’

Since most mental health professionals are politically irrational to begin with, it’s interesting to take a few moments to critically analyze their particular approach to the subject. These mental health professionals call for the usual things all environmentalists demand: Cuts in carbon dioxide emissions, increased arbitrary authority by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to selectively stop any activity it deems improper, elimination of coal and nuclear production, and increased taxes to pour confiscated capital into a ‘green economy’ to produce technologies that are presently not profitable because they don’t work and people don’t want them.

The great majority of psychologists, psychotherapists and the like, whether or not they’re concerned with ‘social responsibility,’ are not experts on meteorology, geology or science. But, in a way, that makes sense, because environmentalism is not based on science either. It’s based on politics.

Al Gore, the self-proclaimed guru of the whole climate change movement, is a retired career politician who now makes millions in profits over fear stoked up about the environment, and who, by all reports, lives a lifestyle more lavishly dependent on carbon emissions than most could ever hope for.

This group of environmentalist psychologists rationalizes its recommendations as follows: ‘The psychological responses to those effects can also be devastating. Many Americans are already anxious about what climate change portends. The greater risk is that millions of people will develop severe and persistent anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, aggression, and other troubled behavior if the U.S. does not quickly lead the way to dramatically reduce carbon emissions.’

One wonders: What will the emotional state of Americans become when air conditioning and heat become too expensive? When the food supply is threatened as business tries to keep up with impossible government-mandated standards for carbon emissions? When flying on airplanes becomes too expensive to make vacations possible, and when driving becomes a luxury that fewer people enjoy at all?

Outlawing or restricting carbon emissions is like outlawing breathing. Life as we know it will seriously deteriorate and perhaps even end for the more economically vulnerable.

Liberal socialists love the environmentalist movement because they see it as an attack on capitalism, profit and private property—things from which they personally benefit, but inexplicably and irrationally detest.

Conservatives who oppose the Obama Administration’s ‘cap and trade’ legislation (an effort to tax all of business for the ‘privilege’ of using carbon-based energy), do so on economic grounds. They argue, for instance, that the tax will bankrupt what’s left of American business and capitalism and risk turning America into a third-world country.

They are right, of course, but most people do not yet grasp what that would really mean. Life as we know it would be over. Some of us would starve or die from the reversal of modern civilization.

Imagine going back in a time machine to the 1950s; or the 1920s; or the 1800s. Is that what people want? I don’t think so, but that’s the kind of thing that the environmentalist legislation will lead to if it’s ever enacted.

Concludes in tomorrow’s column.