…in a climate-disrupted world, argues Bob Doppelt in Transformational Resilience
Walking along the Water of Leith a couple of years ago, Dave Key, Margaret Kerr and I wondered if we were the only people who were fearful of what a society affected by climate change might be like – how would people individually and collectively respond to what was likely to be a challenging situation? It seemed to us that questioning the “one more push and we’ll crack climate change” orthodoxy was rarely welcome, perhaps because it opened up all kinds of personal fears and dissonance.
That conversation came vividly to mind as I read Transformational Resilience, where Doppelt writes:
it seems difficult to see how the rise in global temperatures will be limited to the 1.5° threshold. To the contrary, as of now, temperatures seem likely to rise by at least 2°C, and possibly much higher.
and that the negative impact of climate change on society and natural systems:
will be indisputably traumatic and exceedingly stressful, producing significant effects on the human mind and body.
He argues that this will lead to:
unprecedented levels of anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, suicides, and other mental health problems for individuals worldwide. These woes will, in turn, produce a boatload of psycho-social-spiritual maladies, such as increased interpersonal aggression, crime, violence, hopelessness, and more, that undermine the safety, security, and health of people all around the planet.
He then draws on his experience as both a consulting psychologist and environmental scientist to explain that:
traumatized individuals and groups exist in a fear-based self-protective survival mode that turns their focus inward, inhibits their ability to learn, and can all but eliminate their concern for the welfare of others or the natural environment. This will make it even more difficult to motivate people to slash their greenhouse gas emissions, prepare for climate impacts, and do their part to reduce climate impacts to a manageable level.
So far, so depressing.
However, Doppelt offers hope, presenting a range of evidence that: Continue reading “Shifting from Me to We will increase personal and social wellbeing…”