Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Begging the question

An event sponsored by something called "The Tavistock and Portman" ("Leaders in Mental Health Care and Education"):
Sally Weintrobe will examine the unconscious motivations behind people’s responses to climate change. She will explore some of the underlying reasons for the current level of denial of climate change and will suggest ways forward towards greater engagement.
Yeah, engagement.
The overwhelming consensus of scientific opinion is that the warming the Earth has observed over the last 50 years has been due to an increase in greenhouse gases directly caused by human activities. Predictions for the likely effects of this warming vary from the disastrous to the apocalyptic.
Where's "Meh"?
People’s reactions to potentially hazardous problems are often acute and even exaggerated. Predicted pandemics such as swine flu cause panic and induce rapid changes in people’s
behaviour. . . .
How'd that work out, anyway? And what behavior changed, besides various Asians, as they always do, wearing surgical masks in public for a while, at least long enough for the MSM to video them?
Yet faced with overwhelming evidence of a likely global catastrophe the vast majority of populations have their heads in the sand. Why is this?
Because it's an idiotic panic exactly like Swine Flu (except much, much bigger)?
Is it ambivalence and apathy? [Yes.] Or are people paralyzed by feelings of anxiety and helplessness? [No. You may reverse those answers at will.] What are the biggest barriers to individual’s [sic] taking action? We must look at the reasons people are not acting in order to understand how to get people to act.
Can't wait to pay my 75 pounds to find out, Sally, how you're going to get people to act, you stupid, self-righteous bint. Bioline:
Sally Weintrobe works as a psychoanalyst. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Psychoanalysis and Chair of its Scientific Committee. She has written on the topics of greed, entitlement and grievance and her latest paper is on climate change denial.
Couldn't find the paper. Psychoanalyst. Freud was the greatest fiction writer of the 20th century. But I did find this abstract, from Dame Sally's "Links between grievance, complaint, and different forms of entitlement":
The author argues that different kinds of object relationships underlie the phenomena of grievance and complaint. Grievance is addressed to an object held responsible for a failure of idealisation, and the object is scolded or punished for this failure. Nursing grievance can restore the ideal object in phantasy and block mourning the ideal. With pathological grievance the self is seen as ideal and awareness of dependence on the libidinal other is denied, as are the passage of time and the transience of experience. An attitude of narcissistic entitlement to be special and exempt from ordinary reality is seen as intrinsic to the more persistent and pathological forms of grievance, and this narcissistic entitlement fuels grievance. Turning to complaint, the author argues that complaint is addressed to an object that is less idealised; there is more open acknowledgement of the need for and dependence on the other to realise liveliness. Complaint is the voice of the authentic lively self and intrinsic to complaint is a sense of lively entitlement. The author presents clinical material to illustrate these themes, and to show movement between complaint and grievance. Some technical difficulties in working with grievance are discussed.
Makes sense to me.

(oops, forgot to h/t a commenter at WUWT. Who cares who it was (still no permalinks); just go to the best blog in the 'sphere and read, read, read.

Update 11/17/10: Read this post.

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