Lise van Susteren is mentally ill. She says so herself. And she should know, because she’s a psychiatrist.
She’s suffering from Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which she contracted from listening to climate scientists: “.. everything the scientists are telling us, given how late the hour is, and how grave the consequences… what we are hearing about civilisation and climate change”
as she explains in an interview here:
I’m familiar with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a treating psychiatrist … and I was recognising that I had some of those same symptoms in anticipation of, or envisioning, what I had been hearing awaits us on climate. It was really a diagnosis I was making of myself…
I’m thinking of it as a condition… if you saw a family having a picnic on railroad tracks… and you had a train coming out of the tunnel, if you were pre-occupied with getting them off the tracks.. And if you couldn’t think of anything but that, that wouldn’t be very surprising. And if all of your effort went into doing this to the exclusion of everything else, and you were worried about their future, and whether or not they were going to be out in time, that would all make sense.
Indeed it would. If someone told me that there was a family having a picnic on railroad tracks, I might indeed drop everything and head to the railway tracks. On the other hand, if the same person told me that a family was going to have a picnic on the railway tracks in twenty years time, or that the frequency of people having picnics on railway tracks was increasing, I might not drop everything, but I would certainly start questioning the sanity of my informant, especially if that was my job.
Right after the picnic analogy, the interviewer brings up the subject of scepticism:
Do you think that some of the climate scepticism, the climate denial that we see, is also a manifestation of this?
Well, no. That would be a separate sort of entity. Denial and resistance…. I’ve been in the business long enough to understand that people can know things consciously, they can know things unconsciously..They’re not saying climate change is a hoax… They’re dancing around the issue. These people know full well what’s going on, and for those who have chosen to bury the reality, I always find the same set of reasons, or among them. It’s because they want to have power, preserve their power….Then there are people who make money by suggesting that climate is not a problem, or is not as big a problem…
Or there are people – I’ve found this is a real interest, because it says something about some of the men whom I have encountered, either directly or from afar, who are loath to acknowledge that climate change is a problem – and it’s often an issue of feeling emasculated. I have to say that these are typically men who might, deep down inside when you flip that hood up, have some uncertainties about their masculinity. I’m just going to come right out and say this, and the idea that Mother Nature – “Some damn woman is going to push me around…” or that, “I’m some kind of a girly man with fears about the weather”, it’s just not going to happen …
She doesn’t say any more about these men she’s encountered “either directly or from afar.” The first male that comes to mind expressing sentiments about not letting “some damn woman push me around” is Michael Mann, on the subject of Judith Curry. But it can’t be him. Beneath his tough strip bark exterior Michael is well aware of his softer, feminine side, as is shown by his comparing himself to a gazelle, and a weaker member of the herd at that, an easy prey to predators.
Then there are the sort of existential issues which are the Pandora’s box. Climate change is kind of a metaphor for ageing and death. And in our society, our culture, there’s not much room to talk about this, and when you bring up climate at a dinner party, or climate change, or what’s going to happen, it lands with a thud. I can shut a dinner party down in seconds, or empty a room.
Well fancy that. Our own George Marshall said exactly the same thing. Imagine if they were ever to meet. They might form the ultimate weapon, a kind of human neutron bomb, freezing humanity rigid while leaving the petits fours intact for them to nibble while they exchange disaster scenarios.
Lise is not just any psychiatrist. She’s a forensic psychiatrist in Washington D.C. There’s a photo of her being arrested at the White House during a demonstration against the Keystone pipeline. I bet the trial was fun. Did she call herself as an expert witness to testify that she was unfit to plead? And did the judge reject her evidence on the grounds that, you know..?
There’s a lot more, and a full analysis would undoubtedly reveal more than you could bear to know about the motivations of Lise and millions like her. For example:
…a general rule is that in trying to persuade people to take an action.. it’s a two-step process. The first step is, “Here’s the problem.” Don’t sugar coat it. Tell them so that they can see the urgency and the need to take action. If you don’t tell them that it’s a problem… I get into arguments with people sometimes, they want me to just talk about clean water and air and the image of something positive. But where’s the urgency if we don’t have a problem?
Clean water? What’s the problem with that? Dirty water only kills millions a year via malaria, dysentery etc. But what’s the death of millions compared to climate change? Flip the hood up on someone who worries about clean water and you’ll find some girly type interested in saving lives instead of saving the planet.
[Hat tip to Paul Matthews, who informs me that the idea of Pre-traumatic Stress Disorder comes from the Onion.]