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Tears for the climate (or to boost their social status?)

 The Tear Stained Flogs of Climate Science

The unstoppable Tony Thomas has collected the tears of climate scientists the world over as they wallow in their self-inflicted heartache. For anyone who hasn’t come face to face with the raw emotional PR power of a crying scientist, check out Quadrant.

In particular, this new study:

The $2.5 million dollar study of The Emotional Labor of Climate Scientists

.. let’s get back to the psyches of Australia’s top warming spruikers. Geographers Professor Lesley Head (Melbourne University) and Dr Theresa Harada (Wollongong University) have published a breakthrough paper in the peer reviewed journal Emotion Space and Society.  It’s called  “Keeping the heart a long way from the brain: The emotional labour of climate scientists”.[4] This includes insights about climate-panic people’s “emotional labour” from “feminist perspectives” in which the scientists combat “a strong climate denialist influence”. The authors, straight-faced, found that our climate scientists use emotional denial to suppress the consequences of climate change. Guilt-free, they can then continue “extensive use of long-distance airplane trips throughout a scientific career”.

The authors accept, no questions asked, that 33-50 per cent of the world’s petroleum and over 80 per cent of coal should be left in the ground. Even so, they fret we’re set for maybe 6 degC warming and transformation of society. From this bland starting point, they sample four female and nine male Australian climate scientists — half of a group of 26 rated “the nation’s leaders in this field”. Tragically, the names of this band of bedwetters are withheld. The 13 interviews are wrapped with references to  nearly 70 prior academic papers.

The study took at least three years.  The scientists were surveyed from mid-2014 . The paper was submitted in May 2015 and re-submitted after revisions in July 2017. It was funded from part of an ARC research grant of $2,467,256 [you read that right: nearly $2.5m] for “cultural dimensions of environmental sustainability and human-environment interactions, including climate change.”

The interviewees’ particular terror was the “strong climate denialist movement [that] was a source of pressure and a cause of anxiety”. Into the bargain the  denialist discourses were “seen to undermine the legitimacy of science authority”. The authors seem unaware that Australia’s leading “denialist”  is Joanne Nova, one-time professional science educator and now a housewife in outer  suburban Perth with a global reputation. Her only resource is her intellect and her only income is from her blog’s tip jar. No $2.5m taxpayer grants for Joanne…

As Thomas says — “note the elistism”. I would add — “note the narcissism”. Could Dr Ailie Gallant be the only homo sapiens that cares?

# Dr Ailie Gallant, Monash: “I often feel like shouting… but would that really help? I feel like they don’t listen anyway. After all, we’ve been shouting for years. How can anyone not feel an overwhelming sense of care and responsibility when those so dear to us are so desperately ill? Perhaps I’m the odd one out, the anomaly of the human race. The one who cares enough, who has the compassion, to want to help make her better. Time is ticking, and we need to act now.”

Or could it be she cares so little about the rest of her species she can’t be bothered even listening to them? And she has so little interest in saving the world she won’t even seek to find out why skeptics are skeptical?

Imagine if she did? She might not be so afraid.

Read it all at The Tear Stained Flogs of Climate Science

 Tony Thomas’s new book, The West: An insider’s tale – A romping reporter in Perth’s innocent ’60s is available from Boffins Books, Perth, the Royal WA Historical Society (Nedlands) and on-line here

h/t Tony, Tom and Marvin

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