Monday, October 30, 2017

Climate Change and the Human Mind:  A Noted Psychiatrist Weighs In

Author Robert Jay Lifton has probed the psyches of barbaric Nazi doctors and Hiroshima survivors.   Now, he is focusing on how people respond to the mounting evidence of climate change and is finding some reasons for hope. 

Robert Jay Lifton (Credit: Click to Enlarge.
Psychiatrist and historian Robert Jay Lifton has delved deep into the some of the darkest issues and most traumatic events of the 20th century with his research into the mindset of Nazi doctors, terrorism, the experiences of prisoners of war, and the aftermath of nuclear attack, which he chronicled in Death in Life:  Survivors of Hiroshima, winner of a National Book Award.

Now, at the age of 91, Lifton has turned his attention to climate change.  In his new book, The Climate Swerve:  Reflections on Mind, Hope, and Survival, Lifton argues that we are living through a time of increasing recognition of the reality of climate change, a psychological shift he refers to as a “swerve,” driven by evidence, economics, and ethics. 

In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Lifton talks about how far into this swerve we are, how natural disasters are critical in changing people’s minds about climate change, and the losing battle the Trump administration is fighting by continuing to deny the science behind global warming.  “It’s becoming more and more difficult to take the stand of climate rejection,” he says, “because there is so much evidence of climate change and so much appropriate fear about its consequences.”

Read more at Climate Change and the Human Mind:  A Noted Psychiatrist Weighs In

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