JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Eco-psychology: NEW Free helpline, handbook, for climate change mental illness

After thirty years of Green-Blob disaster porn, there are casualties.

Climate change [propaganda] takes a toll on our minds

Psychologist Susie Burke tells the story of a woman who came to her for counselling after having her first child. Not because she was suffering from post-natal depression, but because she was “struggling with the enormity of what she had done.” She felt she had brought her child into a “world she knew was going to be a lot harsher and a lot less safe,” Burke told DW.

“She came to me when she was overwhelmed by this distress; questioning whether she had done the right thing. The fear she had for his future was really huge.”

Look out for the new hotline (Can someone find this number?)

Burke is an Australian psychologist and academic who specializes in eco-psychology. She treats people suffering mental illness as a result of climate change, and also recently set up a free hotline called the “Climate Change Psychological Support Network,” where Australians can call a qualified psychologist to talk through their feelings about environmental change.

Look out for the handbook:

‘The Climate Change Empowerment Handbook’ is a handy […]

Cricket will be sport hardest hit by climate change “fundamentally changed” by summer rain

Forget the plight of snow skiers who won’t know what snow is — it’s cricket that will be hit hardest.

That’s why the sport must take notice of a report published by Climate Coalition, …

The document names cricket as the sport that will be hardest hit by climate change in England, stating that “wetter winters and more intense summer downpours are disrupting the game at every level”.

God forbid. This is a death spiral:

.. Glamorgan Head of Operations, Dan Cherry, …warned that climate change could “fundamentally change the game”.

“The less cricket we play, the fewer people will watch it, the less they will come to the ground and pay to enter, the less chance there is for young people to be inspired,” said Cherry.

This change, it seems, has already begun.

Wait til you see the evidence:

In international cricket, 27 percent of England’s home one-day internationals since 2000 have been played with reduced overs because of rain delays. The rate of rain-affected matches has more than doubled since 2011, with five percent of matches abandoned completely.

By crikey. That is a six year weather […]

Old GOP voters are skeptics, so it takes 20 years to recover from education and wise up to the media

From Jo: Bookings close this Sunday.

Hope to see you in Sydney the weekend after next!

I’ll be speaking with Ian Plimer at the ATA Friedman18 conference.

It’s a great line up of speakers on May 25-27, or come for the Gala dinner.

Get a 10% discount with the code Nova18.

On Climate, There’s A Sharp Generational Divide Within GOP

USNews, Alan Neuhauser

A Pew survey exposed a stark gap between younger and older Republican voters on global warming and energy policy.

 

Neuhauser doesn’t mention it but the implications are pretty dire — look how long it takes to recover from school:

Republican millennials – people roughly ages 22 to 37 – are far less likely than older generations to support the use of coal, oil and other fossil fuel sources. By one count, while three-quarters of Republican baby boomers and older generations supported more offshore oil and gas drilling, fewer than half of millennial Republicans felt the same way.

At least most Republicans grow up:

Among [young and old] Democrats, by contrast, there was only a small divide.

If half the population is shifting in the same direction […]

Meteoranxiety — pre traumatic stress about climate change that hasn’t happened yet

More support for snowflakes.

Are you feeling stressed about imaginary man-made climate change that hasn’t even happened yet? Thanks to taxpayer funds, there is a virtual reality event that may help you (or not). The Bureau of Meteoranxiety is on in Melbourne this week. This experimental, untested technique doesn’t look like it gets to the nub of the problem.

If victims spent 45 minutes with a friendly skeptic instead, they could be cured for life. Where is the grant for that?

Image credit: Michael Tartaglia

Are you feeling stressed about the end of the world? If yes, you might want head to this Next Wave event. An immersive live art experience incorporating VR technology, Bureau of Meteoranxiety by Perth-based artists Alex Tate and Olivia Tartaglia will allow participants to work through their fears of climate change by exposing them to “experimental visual therapies and sensory remedies” and providing “new language and coping strategies to help stay above the metaphorical and literal flood line”.

Blindside: Bureau of Meteoranxiety.

Book your tickets for Melbourne (or pick an airline and fly somewhere else).

Hannah Francis of The Age tells us the treatments seem “counterintuitive”. […]

Study: Skeptics are more environmental — believers do less but want government to solve it instead

Ain’t that the way? When it comes to taking individual action, skeptics are more environmental than the people who call themselves “environmental”.

A new psych study shows that skeptics are more likely to use cloth shopping bags, catch public transport and buy eco-friendly items. Hall et al somehow got 600 people to fill in a survey up to seven times in one year about their belief in “climate change” and their self-reported action. They found there are three types of people: the “highly concerned” about climate change, the “cautiously worried” and the “skeptical”. The “highly convinced” believers may tell the world we have to act, but they were more likely to use plastic bags themselves and drive their car. They were more likely to want government policies to magically solve the problem. Skeptics meanwhile, were more passionately against government meddling than any group was on any issue. It was the single most definitive score.

Skeptics (blue) were more likely to reuse shopping bags, buy eco-friendly things, and catch the bus and train. The highly concerned (red) were more likely to recycle goods and otherwise support government action.

 

Researchers were pretty much baffled by their results and admitted as […]

No kidding – humans happier on sunny days, perfect temp is 25C, freezing days similar to terrorist attacks on US mood

New research looking at three and a half billion social media posts from tens of millions of individuals showed the very unshocking result that people are happiest on sunny clear days around 25C. Facebook and Twitter comments on those days used more positive, fun terms. Days below 20, above 30, that were cloudy or had a humidity above 80% put people in a less happy mood. So did terrorist events, and the effects of weather were pretty comparable. Temperatures that are below freezing put a real dampener on expressions of positive sentiment. (The next ice age is going to be no fun.)

Peak positive occurs in the mid to high twenties and on days with zero mm of rain.

The effect of temperature and rain on Facebook and Twitter moods in the US.

Some people have a sunny disposition, others have cloudy faces and everyone over two knows what those expressions mean.

If our aim is to maximize human happiness and productivity, shouldn’t the UN Weather Control Committee (IPCC) be aiming to reduce freezing days and maximize the zone of 25C days on areas with the highest population density?

Judging by this awesome Hedonometer graph, during the hottest ever […]

Conservative voters are blind, with deficient mental software, says psychologists

The implications are staggering, half the population fail at blink tests, and can’t see newspaper headlines about “climate change”. If only we could make them see by using rhetorical and psychological trickery to get past their faulty filters, the world would be saved. Please send us another grant!

The research you’ve been waiting for:

Why some conservatives are blind to climate change

Naturally, this self-serving, circular, and poorly researched piece is brought to you by The Conversation. Where else?

The big insight looks like pattern seeking and confirmation bias to me:

When we modified the test to measure people’s attention to climate change, we found people who are concerned about climate change are better at seeing climate-related words, such as carbon, right after the first target than those who are less concerned.

When we analyzed the data, we found a pattern: Conservatives who were less concerned about climate change were less likely to see climate-related words than liberals who were worried about the issue.

In short, conservatives showed climate change blindness.

Or in another hypothesis, conservatives had better filters for pointless news stories with a prediction success rate lower than random chance. From experience, […]

Our electricity crisis is “the cost of virtue signalling”

Let’s get “certainty” — dump the RET.

Chris Kenny in The Weekend Australian puts almost all the pieces together. This is self-sacrificial, pointless, and the RET is the problem because the subsidies allow renewables to drive out true baseload generation. The so-called hunt for “certainty” is a hunt for high prices because no one will speak the obvious “Dump the Renewable Energy Target”.

Dumping green folly will secure energy future, reboot economy

We are an energy-rich nation. Last year we exported 388 million tonnes of coal (valued at $35 billion) to supply affordable and ­reliable energy to countries such as Japan, China, South Korea and India. Our liquefied natural gas exports are doubling from 30 million tonnes a couple of years ago to almost 80 million tonnes (valued at $42bn) by 2019.

Australia also remains one of the largest exporters of uranium…

While we happily export our energy advantage, we have deliberately sacrificed it at home.

Turnbull — doing exactly the wrong thing after Trump won:

Astonishingly, less than a day after Donald Trump won the US election promising to abandon Paris, Malcolm Turnbull announced Australia’s ratification. The Prime Minister thumbed his […]

Climate grief group has nine step program

I nearly headlined this: Climate grief group meets at someone’s house, Grist covers it. That’s pretty much all this program is. No one even counts to nine in this story.

Depressed about climate change? There’s a 9-step program for that.

Imagine Alcoholics Anonymous mixed with an environmental humanities course, and you’ll begin to get a sense of the “good grief” group started by Schmidt. Its goal is to help people cope with what’s been called “climate grief” — anxiety, sadness, depression, and other emotions provoked by awareness of the planet’s march toward a hotter,… future…

What she found was that feelings of sadness and anxiety, and even literal nightmares, were common. Last year, with the help of her partner, Aimee Reau, Schmidt developed a nine-step program for building resiliency loosely modeled on AA…

But this is big:

About a dozen people attend each session and 50 subscribe to its mailings.

If I get 12 people to my house, and have 12,000 subscribers, do you think Grist will write it up?

Perhaps they have some good results?

Perhaps not:

Schmidt, who now works as an outreach coordinator at the environmental group HEAL […]

Infamous Milgram experiments repeated: Only a few will stand up against authority

The Milgram Experiment. Image Wikimedia.

The chilling Milgram experiments have been replicated, and yet again, 9 out of 10 are willing to inflict electric shocks and pain on another person. In these infamous experiments the power of a white lab coat was enough to get more than half the participants (26 out of 40) to deliver a fatal shock (the participants didn’t realize the shock was faked, and the victim an actor).

This willingness to obey authority is both a great strength of humanity when authority is worthy and yet leads to the darkest abyss when it is not.

By nature, we are largely empathetic creatures: most people really don’t want to cause pain, they get quite upset themselves in the process. Yet many people will override this inbuilt ethical wiring if a person in a position of authority insist they do. It’s time we talked about ways to train people to resist. There is hope as outlined below in a different study from last year.

Conducting the Milgram experiment in Poland, psychologists show people still obey

Press Release: The title is direct, “Would you deliver an electric shock in 2015?” and the answer, according to the […]