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June 08, 2013

Extreme Weather and Extreme Denial

After the GOP's successful theft of the 2000 Presidential Election, Al Gore became an evangelist for the related causes of climate change and global warming, phenomena I’d first become aware of in the Eighties after reading that meteorologists were concerned about rising CO2 levels in air being sampled from above Hawaii's Mona Loa volcano. Their fears were vaguely disquieting, but I soon found other issues to replace them.

Gore’s post-presidential campaign changed all that. I bought Inconvenient Truth, watched the video, and read most of the book. Since then I've followed weather news with increasing interest as extreme weather events have proliferated, even as the media, politicians, and many others have refused to notice.

It didn't take long for me to become a believer in the reality of climate change; or to appreciate the ubiquity of denial as a technique for dealing with all kinds of unpleasant news.

To Al Gore's very appropriate concerns, I’ve added a few of my own, mostly related to my own consuming interest: the insanity of American drug policy and the needless damage it inflicts on innocent people everywhere. I’ve long since decided that support for our drug policy is a litmus test for intellectual honesty: speaking out against it is the only honorable course for concerned people. That many more people oppose it than believe in it is evident from the increasing (but anonymous) support for “medical” use of cannabis, but I fear that- like appreciation of the dangers of climate change- it’s occurring way too slowly to bring about effective change.

The main reason for that admittedly dreary judgement is the sheer size of the Earth's human population. Once one realizes how much inertia is built into our genome by behavioral traits that appear to be shared by a majority of humans, one realizes that the only “demand reduction” able to reduce our energy consumption enough to mitigate the weather damage already in our future may be rapid depopulation, a concept global political leaders are clearly unwilling to address- if they think about it at all. In the meantime, evidence that Gore is right keeps piling up. All one has to do is tune in to the weather channel fairly regularly. I have yet to hear any mention of a “Tornacane” season, but we have clearly entered one; whether or not (pun intended) it’s been given a name.

One way to spot denial is the absence of questions that should be generated by official claims or reported facts such as: if why cannabis is so dangerous, why is it still so popular?” More evidence of pot's appeal surfaced in affluent NY suburb when a single mom was unmasked as a very clever pot entrepreneur. What I also recognized from the article is that while her cleverness, botanical ability, and management skills seem outstanding, her childhood had been all-too similar to those experienced by many of my applicants of both genders: blighted by the emotional absence of their biological fathers.

Also typically: the absent daddy doesn't seem evil, simply unaware of the enormous impact of his physical absence (or lack of interest) on a vulnerable young psyche.

The nugget that remains buried in my study of pot use is the critical importance of the biological father to the future emotional health of their children. I'll be more specific in future entries

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at June 8, 2013 05:44 PM