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OPINION

Your Taxes at Work: ‘Eco-Anxiety’ Counseling

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

US Fish and Wildlife Service employees are struggling to cope with feelings of trauma and loss over the world’s changing climates and imperiled environments. Their work repeatedly confronts them with ecological changes, but even a sense of “anticipated loss” perhaps decades from now requires compassionate help. Or so the FWS and American Psychological Association tell us. 

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The FWS is thus offering paid leave to employees who attend “eco-anxiety” and “climate grief” training. When the House Natural Resources Committee called the sessions a colossal waste of money, the agency downplayed their cost and scope. But naturally the “woke” programs don’t end there. 

FWS Director Martha Williams is also pushing diversity-equity-inclusion-LBGTQ programs as the agency’s “number one priority” (or perhaps number two, after climate change). Employees can take as much paid time off as needed for DEI and “gay pride” programs and eco-anguish counseling. 

There’s no word about programs to help employees deal with widespread habitat and wildlife destruction that will result from millions of wind turbines, billions of solar panels and tens of thousands of miles of new transmission lines, due to “net zero” policies implemented in the name of averting the “climate crisis.” Apparently no programs offer paid leave to participate in “conservative pride” campaigns or study Earth’s historic ice ages, warm periods, little ice ages and decades-long droughts. 

That’s hardly surprising. The FWS and Interior Department were getting eco-centric and anti-fossil-fuel when I worked there 35 years ago. Like American and Western society in general, their culture has simply gotten more noticeably and intolerantly devoted to extreme environmentalist agendas since then. 

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Movies, television and news stories, constant instruction in what to think, rather than how to think, an absence of religion and ethics in many schools and homes, and incessant themes of inequality, victimhood and global doom foster widespread tension, anxiety and depression. They leave too many children, teens and adults unable to cope with life and setbacks, less respectful of authority and human life, inured to violence, and aggressively intolerant of opinions that differ from their own ideologies and agendas. 

Even before they were forced to endure Covid-induced lockdowns, nearly 20% of Americans were taking antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs, some linked to precipitating acts of violence; a third of high school students experienced prolonged anxiety, depression and hopelessness; and almost one in five teenagers had contemplated suicide

Social isolation, minimal physical and outdoor activity, video games and reading self-selected online media have amplified depression and “chronic incapacitating mental illness” in America and many Western countries. Also hardly surprising, the problems are increasingly blamed on climate change. 

Climate grief is real,” self-proclaimed experts insist, and it’s spreading rapidly among young people. “The future is frightening,” 77% of 10,000 young people ages 16-25 from the USA and other countries told “climate anxiety” and “climate depression” investigators. Many children have climate nightmares. 

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“The climate mental health crisis” already affects people who have “lost everything in worsening climate infernos,” claims a NASA scientist and climate activist who’s certain we face “the end of life on Earth as we know it.” He’s not alone in being convinced that every extreme weather event and ecological calamity today is due to or made worse by fossil fuel and agricultural emissions. 

“I don’t want to be alive anymore,” wailed a four-year-old who’s clearly been indoctrinated already. “The animals are all going to die, and I don’t want to be here when all the animals are dead.”

Parents fantasize about killing their children, over fears of a “climate-ravaged future.” Parents, teens and even children increasingly consider suicide. 

At least one psychologist has based his entire practice on addressing climate psychoses. The Climate Psychology Alliance provides an online directory of “climate-aware therapists,” and a “peer support network” offers grief therapy modeled on twelve-step drug addiction programs. 

There’s only one real solution to this epidemic, other “experts” insist: Governments must “take action now” to “end the climate crisis,” to eliminate “the death knell of climate chaos” that threatens us. Otherwise the epidemic of anxiety, depression, pills, climate grief and suicide will steadily worsen. 

This is nonsense, insanity. We don’t have a climate crisis. We have a climate fear-mongering crisis. 

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We don’t need to “fix” exaggerated and over-hyped climate problems. We need to end the junk science, the indoctrination dominating news stories and classroom discussions about energy and climate change, the censorship that prevents alternative, reality-based facts and voices from being heard, the massive government funding of one side of this crucial debate. 

Claims of “unprecedented” temperatures and extreme weather, floods and droughts have no basis in real-world evidence. The “climate crisis” exists in greenhouse-gas-focused computer models, headlines and hype, not in reality. There is no unprecedented upward trend in the frequency of violent US tornados, or US landfalling hurricanes, for example – though the 12-year absence of Category 3-5 hurricanes hitting the United States between Wilma (October 2005) and Harvey (August 2017) is an all-time record. 

Unfortunately, viewpoints, evidence and experts challenging climate crisis claims are too often banished from school curricula, news and social media, and government policy discussions. 

President Biden’s “national climate advisor” worked closely with Big Tech and news organizations, to suppress facts about climate change, fossil fuels, and the acreage, raw materials and mining required for wind, solar and battery power. Meta (Facebook), YouTube, pre-Musk Twitter and other companies routinely help to deplatform, demonetize and censor anyone contesting crisis-promoting claims. 

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The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change “summaries for policy makers” often misrepresent scientific findings and advance frightening but unsupported scenarios about Earth’s future climate. The IPCC also ignores studies that demonstrate how increased atmospheric carbon dioxide improves plant growth and wildlife habitats, how climate has changed repeatedly throughout Earth’s history, and that eliminating fossil fuels would result in extensive ecological damage from wind, solar, battery and transmission line mining and installations.

China, India and other countries are rapidly expanding their oil, gas and coal use, to improve their economies and lift billions out of poverty. China dominates raw material and “green tech” supply chains, making the West increasingly reliant on China for energy, economy and national defense needs – via Chinese mines, processing plants and factories that operate under minimal standards for pollution control, habitat destruction, and slave and child labor. As a result: 

* Nothing the United States, Europe, Canada and Australia do will have any effect on global fossil fuel use or greenhouse gas emissions. 

* Western foreign and domestic policy options will be restricted by reliance on adversarial nations for pseudo-renewable energy materials and technologies. 

* Prices for energy, goods and services will skyrocket, because every megawatt of wind and solar must be duplicated with backup batteries or generators. 

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* Politicians and bureaucrats – egged on by loud, often violent mobs – will increasingly dictate our energy consumption, living standards, home sizes, vacations, and what we can eat, drink, drive and buy. 

These are the real existential threats to democracy, society, humanity and planet. Parents, voters, legislators and judges concerned about our future must take action now to stop this insanity. 

Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of books and articles on energy, climate change, environmental policy and human rights.  

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