Global warming causes mental illness?

Posted by: Phineas on August 30, 2011 at 1:01 pm

**Posted by Phineas

Is there nothing that can’t be blamed on a harmless gas that serves mainly as plant food?

From the Sydney Morning Herald:

RATES of mental illnesses including depression and post-traumatic stress will increase as a result of climate change, a report to be released today says.

The paper, prepared for the Climate Institute, says loss of social cohesion in the wake of severe weather events related to climate change could be linked to increased rates of anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress and substance abuse.

As many as one in five people reported ”emotional injury, stress and despair” in the wake of these events.

The report, A Climate of Suffering: The Real Cost of Living with Inaction on Climate Change, called the past 15 years a ”preview of life under unrestrained global warming”.

”While cyclones, drought, bushfires and floods are all a normal part of Australian life, there is no doubt our climate is changing,” the report says.

Emphasis added, because that bit is key to the whole fantasy built by this article — that dangerous man-caused climate change is leading to an increase in mental illness.

First, let’s remind ourselves of something. According to one of the high priests of the Cult of Global Warming, Dr. Phil Jones, former Director of the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia (1), there has been no statistically significant warming since 1995. Another, Dr. Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, once wrote in an email:

“The fact is that we cannot account for the lack of warming at the moment and it’s a travesty that we can’t.”

So, I ask the article’s author and the Climate Institute, where is the “unrestrained global warming?”


But let’s get back to the article’s thesis. It rests on two pillars:

  1. That changing climate (2) and severe weather events can lead to stress and various mental illnesses.
  2. That these events and therefore the mental illnesses can be attributed to anthropogenic global warming.

I have no disagreement with the first point, nor am I making light of the mentally ill. Fire, drought, earthquake, hurricanes, tornadoes… all these and other disasters can lead to the loss of property, loss of a job, injury or even the death of loved ones. Sure, all this can lead to stress and possible mental illness. I’ve seen it myself in the wake the wildfires and temblors that periodically ravage California.

So, sure. A connection between natural disasters and mental illness? No problem.

But it’s in the second point that Erik Jensen Health of the Sydney Morning Herald and the Climate Institute take a Wile E. Coyote-like leap off the cliff of logic. First for assuming anthropogenic global warming exists when it is very much in question. (See also Carter and Plimer.) And second for listing event after event with the underlying assumption that AGW must be the cause, while never presenting a skeptical viewpoint and without ever investigating if these events fall outside the norms of Australia’s climate history, whether as recorded by human observers or seen in the paleoclimatological record.

This wasn’t an article about science or even the problems of mental illness. It’s just unchallenged assertion after unchallenged assertion, all meant to scare the reader by invoking the dread demon Climate Change. It was nothing more than a fire-and-brimstone sermon at an Al Gore revival meeting:

“Repent, ye racist greenhouse gas-spewing sinners, lest your communities collapse and your children go nuts because of your crimes against Gaea! THOU SHALT DE-CARBONIZE!!”

The SMH should be embarrassed for running such tripe.

via WUWT

(1) Also a key figure in the Climategate scandal. (See also)
(2) Of course the Earth’s climate (really, a range of regional climates) is changing. We live on a dynamic planet that has never been in a steady state. But there is no evidence showing that any changes now occurring are beyond what has happened in the past. It’s not CO2, folks, it’s the sun.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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7 Responses to “Global warming causes mental illness?”


  1. joated says:

    After seeing Al Gore’s latest rants, I’m inclined to believe this rediculous study.

  2. Dave Dooling says:

    More likely we have become spoiled by modern life. It takes the edge off of a lot of Mother Nature’s normal bitchiness so we are caught off-guard when she really lets loose. The stress is caused by the pushback when we realize that Earth is not regulated or made comfortable for us.

  3. Tim Barnes says:

    I dunno, global warming sure has made Big Al crazy.

  4. Zippy says:

    I’m more apt to believe that the media itself creates mental illness, along with reality shows like The Bachelor/Bachelorette and Dancing with the Stars. We live in a time of deep delusion of grandeur.

    I’m apt to think along the lines of what Dave Dooling says: We tend to believe that we are invincible and that Mother Nature is disrupting our ability to feel in control.

    After this past week with the recent earthquake and hurricane Irene, I sat back and wondered what early pioneers did .. they had little warning and had to make the best of it without the resources we have available to us today. Whether they were depressed or not, they did what they had to do.

  5. H Hazell says:

    I work in a data driven profession and can clearly state that a plot of global mean temperature to the growth of major league sports teams clearly shows that global warming is the byproduct of MLB, NBA, NFL and MLS expansion. And yes, my head hurts. Thanks to Al Gore, I have an explanation.

  6. Lorica says:

    Global warming causes mental illness?

    ….. Or the lack there of!!!!

  7. Carlos says:

    The sun came up this morning, right on schedule. It must have been due to AGW because, as the sun rose in the morning sky the outside ambient temperature began to rise, and by 4PM it was ridiculously warm, considering how cool it was at 6AM.

    Thank the meteorological gods that we’ve got the Goracle on our side, who chases the sun away each evening.