August 10, 2015

Fear of passivity At times Zizek suggests that it's better to do nothing. This doing nothing resonates with a certain passivity, perhaps better described as impassivity. With climate change, is it the case that passivity is what is feared? from here: For the post-Cold War generation, the primary global threat comes not from action, but inaction. Last year, the American Association for the Advancement of Science warned that within a few decades, climate change will have “massively disruptive consequences to societies and ecosystems,” including widespread famines, lethal heat waves, more frequent and destructive natural disasters, and social unrest. Despite the litany of warnings like these, governments have utterly failed to take meaningful action. At this point, climate change can be limited or accelerated, and humans can adapt to some degree, but significant damage to the planetary ecosystem can no longer be averted. According to Washington, D.C.- based forensic psychiatrist Lise Van Susteren, the expectation of climate-change disasters is causing “pre-traumatic stress disorder.” In an interview with Esquire in July, she explains that the symptoms look much like those of post-traumatic stress disorder: “the anger, the panic, the obsessive, intrusive thoughts.” Signs of pre-traumatic stress are increasingly evident among those who stare at the problem of climate change head-on: climate scientists, climate journalists and climate activists. The Esquire piece profiled a number of climate scientists and activists who experienced profound psychological trauma in the course of their work. ... Paul Ehrlich is an ecologist at Stanford University and the coauthor of a recent paper...

Jodi Dean

Jodi Dean is a political theorist.

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