I saw this ridiculous article on the front page of the New York Times: “Climate Change Enters the Therapy Room/Ten years ago, psychologists proposed that a wide range of people would suffer anxiety and grief over climate. Skepticism about that idea is gone” by Ellen Barry. I wasn’t going to post on it, though I was tempted to ask, “Why is this pathetic, paranoid women made crazy by exactly the kind of climate change hysteria propagated by the Times worthy of such attention, or any attention at all?” However, I’m buried in more useful issues already. Then Ann Althouse, for some reason, blogged about it, with a long quote including “They came wrapped in plastic, often in layers of it, that she imagined leaving her house and traveling to a landfill, where it would remain through her lifetime and the lifetime of her children. She longed, really longed, to make less of a mark on the earth. But she had also had a baby in diapers, and a full-time job, and a 5-year-old who wanted snacks. At the age of 37, these conflicting forces were slowly closing on her, like a set of jaws…”
As she often does, Althouse just teed up the thing for her commenters to swing at. Had I written about it, I would have concentrated on how the Times, like the rest of the media, takes no responsibility for its role in driving once normal people like the woman in the story nuts. The exact same phenomenon is occurring regarding the Wuhan virus. The mindless terror the news media seeded about Donald Trump–still is seeding–is another example.
But what impressed me about Ann’s post were the comments, 130 of them last I checked. They were almost all the same. Maybe I missed a dissent or two, but essentially they followed this reaction, in varying degrees:
You spend twenty years telling people to be hysterical about climate change you get people hysterical about climate change. The simple fact is, developed nations are better for the environment than developing nations, and the US is better than almost everyone else. There are more people alive today than ever before, and they have a higher standard of living than ever before. Poverty, the default state in history, is at an all time low. Fossil fuels did that.
Where were the climate change advocates? That cult is, I thought, one of the defining characteristics of Blue America. Ann doesn’t let her commenters argue with each other, so they weren’t fearing any beat-downs. Althouse has always been regarded as middle-progressive, but if there are any typical progressive climate change obsessives among her readers, they sure ducked this one. Althouse also doesn’t allow any comment to post automatically (unlike Ethics Alarms, which gives established commenters a pass), so I have to assume the progressives simply didn’t dare to defend climate change anxiety—which, in my experience, is very common among the woke.
I wonder if the so-called conservative “echo chambers” or “bubbles” are really just enclaves of rationality that have evolved as the Left jumped the shark over the last few years, or as Bill Maher put it, “went mental.” The true-believers can’t hold their own in most debates, and they won’t venture into environments where pure faith and talking points aren’t good enough.