CONGRATULATIONS, YOU HAVE A CLIMATE DESPAIR
IF YOU HAVE EVER BEEN ASHAMED OF A PLASTIC TUBE IN A COCKTAIL, CONGRATULATIONS, YOU HAVE A CLIMATE DESPAIR
I'll introduce you closer to a new nervous disorder
Congratulations, friends: we have another fashionable reason to feel a global sense of shame and guilt. Maybe you are still not tired of the old ones — weak earnings, shattered personal life, bad relationships with parents and colleagues, poverty, war, illness, loneliness. Well, nothing new — the more, the better, as it is said. Welcome with applause: a new guest on the show of our painful and hopeless existence - climate fuck up!
Frame from the movie "Pulp fiction"
While writing this essay, Time magazine named environmental activist Greta Thunberg a person of the year, so it's now official: attention to environmental issues is no longer a headache for a bunch of scared intellectuals — it's now an agenda for the entire developed world. Thatt can not but please, because even without resorting to statistics on carbon dioxide emissions or the number of batteries thrown into the trash, each of us intuitively feels that all this is important, something needs to be done about it.
It is hoped that the uproar will affect national governments and large businesses and they will radically change their strategies in the field of waste production and disposal. We can believe that the minds of millions of people will begin to change and the poor of Nepal and India will no longer have the material to build their box houses along the roads (they build them out of garbage). In the meantime, it is the duty of every decent person to start with themselves: replace a plastic bag with a fashionable eco-bag, sort garbage, fly less, buy less and, as without it, experience more panic attacks.
In the article "Climate Despair" Is Making People Give Up on Life, Vice author Mike Pearl talks about a new nervous disorder of citizens — climate despair. If you at least once felt a twinge of anxiety when you drank juice from a disposable plastic tube or forgot your eco-bag at home and bought a bag for food, welcome to the club!
Frame from the movie "Breakfast at Tiffany's"
With a mild form of climate despair, people experience such minor pricks of guilt, with a severe form, they do not want to live and have children, because - what's the point? the planet will end anyway.
"I began to feel despair at 18, when I began to understand how much the Earth is changing. Then I had a total panic attack about the fact that the glaciers were melting, the polar bears were starving. I called my mother and told her that life doesn't make sense," Maisie Rohrer, a 22 — year-old researcher at new York University, says in the article. According to Maisie, it is no longer possible to reverse the effects of human influence on the planet, and the human race deserves to be destroyed.
This despair can begin in children from school time. Do you remember, in the TV series "Big little lies", Renata's daughter in the classroom experiences a panic attack during the teacher's story about the impact of animal husbandry on the environment? The parents take the girl out of school and ask the teacher to slow down, but he replies that he did not say a word of untruth. Greta herself experienced a similar episode: at the age of 11, she became depressed after they were shown films about plastic in the ocean, polar bears, and other harbingers of environmental disasters.
The article about climate despair received more than 700 comments on Facebook - both ironic and serious. The main line of eco-concerned — the Earth is over, nothing can be done, you need to at least not invite new creatures to this planet (in the sense of not having children). The line of their opponents, ecosceptics: that's great, do not bring, the ways of natural selection are mysterious.
Katerina Georgou, a London-based therapist, explains: anxiety disorders due to climate change are usually experienced by people who are already prone to anxiety disorders. The problem of climate change can become a trigger that will start a panic process, but the real causes of impotence and despair lay not in glaciers. How to deal with the panic caused by the fact that the world is going to hell? Who would have thought: "Reduce the time of viewing news and scrolling social networks," - advises George.
Riot of well-off children
In this essay, I purposely do not write about the ecology itself — I do not provide frightening data, I do not undertake to judge whether Greta's activities were produced by someone, I do not discuss whether it is possible to save the Earth in fact and whether it should be saved at all. After all, all this has nothing to do with the topic of "climate despair" — overflowing with fear, rage and impotence of young people in front of what they can not control.
Greta Thunberg became a symbol of such feelings. This is not about ecology. Greta became a conductor of rebellion - the eternal rebellion of teenagers against adults. You couldn't — we can! You broke it — we will fix it! But the most surprising thing about this revolt is that for the first time it affects not the social, but the ecological field. This is no longer a revolt of the poor against the rich, pacifists against the military, atheists against the Church. This is a revolt in the spirit of our globalized age: for the entire planet. This is a revolt of well-off children with unlimited access to information and a blurred sense of territorial boundaries. And no matter how naive it is, isn't it wonderful that the world (at least a developed part of it) has reached the point where the role model for teenagers on instagram becomes an environmental activist?
On the other hand, the world is not symmetrical. And while there is still a problem somewhere to earn a piece of bread or take part in a peaceful meeting, the rhetoric of a girl from a developed country in the spirit of "you stole my childhood" (from Thunberg's speech at the UN climate summit) can sound annoying. And the talk of environmental alarmists about "it hurts to be human at this moment in history" (from an article in Vice). As the question is not whether they have sufficient grounds for such concern. The question is, has there ever been a time in human history when there was no cause for concern?
The famous comedian George Carlin wrote a Save the Planet sketch in the 1990s, the main question of which is:
"We do not know how to take care of ourselves, we do not know how to take care of our loved ones, but most of all we care about how to save the planet?!"
What does it mean when translated into the language of people who fall into climate despair:
"Even if you are worried about saving the planet, you must first learn to take care of yourself and your loved ones."
And guilt and shame for all humanity will not help save the planet - they will only help pharmaceutical companies.