May 05

All of the latest public opinion polls have indicated that the public is not alarmed at all about global warming, doesn’t believe it exists, or if it does it’s that it’s not caused by man.  Moreover, a computer model commissioned by GORE LIED indicates that disbelief in man-made global warming will completely disappear by 2020.

That’s not to say that there won’t be a few dead-enders, of course – and here’s one.  Meet Gillian Caldwell, who writes at HuffPo:

I have spent my lifetime face to face with some of the most brutal and inhumane acts ever committed, but nothing has been as traumatizing for me as trying to get action to tackle the climate crisis.

As a long time human rights defender and prior Executive Director at WITNESS, I helped produce and direct films on rape as a weapon of war and amputations in Sierra Leone’s recent bloody conflict, I conducted an undercover investigation into the Russian mafia’s involvement in trafficking women for forced prostitution, I investigated hit squads in apartheid South Africa, and I spent countless hours in editing rooms watching first hand images of death, destruction, and devastation.

But spending my days and nights trying to get our country to tackle global warming is more emotionally demanding than any job I have ever done.

When I was at WITNESS, people used to say “The work you do must be so difficult. How do you manage?” to which I would respond “Well, I can see the results. And it’s not as bad as environmental work would be!” What I meant when I said that five years ago is that I felt overwhelmed by our inexorable march to “pave it all” — parking lot by parking lot, McDonald’s by Wal-Mart.But seeing former Vice President Al Gore give his now famous slide show at the TED conference in 2006 convinced me that nothing mattered more than tackling global warming, and that climate change had massive humanitarian and human rights consequences. There was no looking back, so in mid-2007 I leapt, knowing that I was headed straight towards my deepest fears and concerns.

As I started to immerse myself in the science and early impacts of global warming, I became increasingly distraught. But I soldiered on, hoping against hope that I would be so busy in an ambitious new start up campaign at 1Sky, and so relieved to be trying to do something about it, that I would not be overwhelmed with existential angst and despair. Looking back on the last year and a half since I started as 1Sky’s Campaign Director in the fall of 2007, my wish has generally come true. But since President Obama’s inauguration and the 2009 clock started ticking on the countdown to Copenhagen, I feel myself slipping. And I know I am not alone.

So when Dr. Lise Van Susteren, a psychiatrist and co-convenor of last month’s conference at the National Wildlife Federation on the Psychological Aspects of Climate Change asked me to videotape an interview (part 1 | part 2) with her that would be played before the heads of the American Psychiatric Association and the Centers for Disease Control, I agreed. And in spite of the fact that I found myself weeping at several points during the conversation and know it never bodes well for a woman in leadership, I let her play it during the plenary session in conference.

I did that because I believe that I and many other people around the world are suffering from “Climate Trauma.” It’s my own term. I am not a mental health professional, but I can identify plain as day the symptoms I recognize in myself and in my colleagues traumatized by our work to tackle climate change.

Gillian, you’re not a health professional? No problem – Al Gore isn’t a scientist either, but that didn’t stop him.

If you’re interested in reading the symptoms of Climate Trauma, and tips on how to deal with it, you’ll have to visit HuffPo.

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4 Responses to “HuffPo’s Gillian Caldwell has come out of the closet. She’s suffering from “Climate Trauma”.”

  1. Lemon says:

    Seems fitting that the eminent psychologist she mentions won an award for treatment of mental illness…

    Dr. Spencer Eth, vice-chairman and medical director of psychiatry and behavioral health services at Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers was honored this week by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) as one of its 2008 Exemplary Psychiatrists.


  2. Mrs. P. says:

    The only “climate trauma” I’m experiencing is due to having my pocket picked in the name of nonexistent AGW. I hope Ms. Caldwell does get some professional help – I think her problem stems more from not having her self-serving martyrdom validated by public opinion than from her fears about the climate. Anyone that undertakes a major life change because they saw a slide show by a snake-oil salesman has some serious issues they need to address. But I guess it will give the whiners and the hypochondriacs one more thing to blame on global warming.


    • Klockarman says:

      Mrs. P:

      Excellent comment! That’s the comment of the day.

      Thanks for reading the blog.


  3. Karl says:

    Reading this of this woman’s “trauma” over climate change makes me realize what a gulf there is between skeptics and these true believers. I went to the actual Huffington site and read the post and the comments afterward. There are number of people that feel the same way as her. They could be shown all the data that logically sets out the facts–that “global warming” is not a crisis, but they could not be convinced. These people are the equivalent of religious fanatics.


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