Copenhagen

The news from Copenhagen is mixed.  Josh Marshall is downright gloomy, and concerned.  The talk is all politics and few seem to recognize that global warming is happening to people now in the small scale universe of the human mind.  Climate change is a psychological problem as much as it is geological and meteorological. My paper in Psychoanalytic Dialogues suggests that the same technical and mechanical innovations that are upsetting the balance of the earth are also disrupting the mind’s equilibrium.  The Earth is Faster Now conveys indigenous narratives about arctic how climate change has transformed a community and its people. While it might be easier to accept the fact that people far away in colder climates experience the psychological dimensions of warming, it is harder to grasp that  climate change has also already affected modern, western, urban, suburban and rural individuals, even in the United States.  Technological change (fast paced stimulation, constant stimulus gratification), carbon emissions, environmental contaminants, and decreased access to land and outdoor spaces have created children and adults who think, feel and understand reality differently than generations past.  The differences in thought structure may render them incapable of both perceiving global warming’s threats and acting to alter their course. These differences in thought structure may also promote behaviors that continue to promote the destruction of our ecosystem. Climate change is not only about politcs. It is about the everyday life of the human psyche.  As long as solutions continue to only consider matters of state and economy, I’m not sure anyone can inspire the changes in human consciousness necessary to confront this problem and take care of our struggling planet.

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