Psychology

In terms of differences among people, psychological research reveals that people who exhibit lower levels of complex thinking or higher levels of death anxiety or stronger desires to share reality with like-minded others tend to justify existing institutions and arrangements more than others. In other words, people who—for either chronic or temporary reasons—are especially eager […]

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After his thought-provoking podcast discussion with David Roberts, I will need to read John Jost’s two books on how our psychological needs for stability and respected position in the social order drive us to defend the status quo political, legal, and economic order as natural and just, regardless of our personal position in that social […]

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It is being reported today that a study at Imperial College London “modelled the spread of the disease in 185 countries and territories between December 2020 and December 2021, [and] found that without Covid vaccines 31.4 million people would have died, and that 19.8 million of these deaths were avoided.” That is a staggering, historical […]

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With economic instability, the Ukraine war, and increased fossil fuel prices there is a disturbing trend toward nations deepening their fossil fuel dependence. For instance: Chinese premier calls for more coal production as electricity demand soars: Records for electricity usage broken in Shandong, Henan and Jiangsu after early summer heatwaves UK close to deal with […]

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Pain is a natural outcome of being told—and experiencing—that wildfires, hurricanes, and floods are becoming more ferocious due to the climate crisis, and that droughts are getting more serious and lasting longer. It is reasonable to get worried when the World Bank foresees that 140 million climate migrants will be fleeing ecological catastrophes and the […]

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Our study also showed that the psychological distress young people experience over the climate crisis isn’t just about the degrading state of the environment. Rather, it is linked to perceptions of government betrayal and being lied to by leaders who are taking inadequate climate change action while pretending otherwise. Wray, Britt. Generation Dread: Finding Purpose […]

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Sources writing about the fossil fuel divestment movement sometimes seem to think that 350.org and “Fossil Free” are distinct organizations, despite the footer at https://gofossilfree.org/ reading “Fossil Free is a project of 350.org”. In part, this may be because of how easy it can be with 350.org to confuse branding with organizations. The clearest example […]

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I have seen a lot of discussion about Jonathan Haidt’s recent article in The Atlantic about how social media has broken US politics. It contains some important criticisms of the progressive left, as well as the authoritarian right — particularly about their demand that all speech and thought should conform to their ideological agenda. On […]

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While outside the area of climate change policy, the concept and slogan of “defunding the police” is revealing about important dynamics between progressive activist politics and policy-making by those who actually win power. As The Economist reported in 2021: The critical division is over whether or not the plan is a pretext to “defund the […]

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United Nations secretary general’s remarks on the ongoing release of the IPCC’s sixth assessment report are remarkable for their directness and candour: “Climate activists are sometimes depicted as dangerous radicals,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres during the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) news conference on Monday. “But the truly dangerous radicals are the countries […]

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