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Posted by: atowhee | November 26, 2017

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF CLIMATE CHANGE DENIAL

Robert Lifton explains why he thinks climate change has been so strongly rejected and denied in America.  A psychologist who has studied genocide and nuclear war for decades, Lifton finds parallels with this exceptional threat to mankind. Click here to read entire interview.

A crucial section of interview: “There are many forces in capitalism that contribute to resistance to climate truths. We’ve seen in it in the major corporations. But it goes beyond capitalism per se, in my view. You get versions of socialism and capitalism in China, or different forms of government in Russia or in Europe, but all of them contribute to climate damage. So capitalism and the way it functions has to be looked at critically, especially high capitalism and extreme capitalism.

“There are those, for instance like [former New York City] Mayor [Michael] Bloomberg, who’d do their best to save capitalism by rendering it more wise in relation to climate change. It’s a problem that goes beyond capitalism, but versions of extreme capitalism which are focused on fiduciary principles, you protect your investors and therefore you must take the fossil fuels out of the ground, even though if we took them all out of the ground it would do us in and threaten the whole human future, that kind of extreme capitalism is deeply dangerous.
“… If we were to carry on now simply as we are, in these mixtures of capitalist greed and failure to act and the enormous, exaggerated exploitation of fossil fuels, if we were to carry on and change nothing over a period of decades, within the century we would do ourselves in. We don’t have to do anything to change, just do what we were doing. I call this the ultimate absurdity.

“With nuclear weapons, you’ve got to build the weapons. You got to actually use them in a nuclear war, maybe create nuclear winter which could result in death of all people on planet, but you have to bring in these objects and set them off. You don’t have to do anything like that with climate. Just do as we’ve been doing.”

Interviewer: This gets a bit into the concept of “malignant normality,” as you laid out in the book….

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