Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder

There is some increasingly interesting and grim research on the psychological consequences and affects of rapidly changing environmental conditions and global warming available. This is a summation of a report by Van Susteren and Coyle, reblogged from Climate Progress:
We spend vast amounts of time and personal energy trying to calculate the most urgent threats posed by climate change. Washington, D.C. psychiatrist and climate activist Lise Van Susteren, however, says the most insidious danger may already be upon us. She’s not talking about heat, drought, floods, severe storms, or rising seas. She’s focused on the psychological risks posed by global warming.
Van Susteren has co-authored a report on the psychological effects of climate change that predicts Americans will suffer “depressive and anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders, substance abuse, suicides, and widespread outbreaks of violence,” in the face of rising temperatures, extreme weather, and scarce resources. Van Susteren and her co-author Kevin Coyle write that counselors and first responders “are not even close to being prepared to handle the scale and intensity of impacts that will arise from the harsher conditions and disasters that global warming will unleash.”
There is currently no organized discipline for the study of the psychological risks of climate change, yet it is already taking a toll on many people who tackle this issue. Surprisingly susceptible are those who might seem to be immune.
“The climate deniers? I always say they‘re really too stressed to hear the truth,” said Van Susteren. “We see this kind of thing in my work all the time, where people who aren’t ready to hear the truth about something will simply say it doesn’t exist.”
Those who do acknowledge the problem face a different set of issues, particularly those who work on the problem. Lisa Van Susteren coined the term “pre-traumatic stress disorder” to describe the grief, anger, and anxiety clinging to the scientists and advocates whose job it is to gaze into a future that can look increasingly bleak. [MORE]

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Professor of Environmental Humanities

This job opportunity may be of interest to some of my readers. Details here. 
Professor of Environmental Humanities

Shape the new home of world-changing ideas
Bath Spa University is an inspiring place, founded on creativity, culture and enterprise. We are creating a world-leading research centre in Environmental Humanities. We are looking to appoint a Professor of Environmental Humanities who will chair the centre and play a pivotal role in university-wide projects spanning disciplines as diverse as film-making, literature and history, and environmental sciences.

The successful candidate will shape the centre’s research and secure external funding to address interconnected social and environmental issues. Involving environmental education, connecting communities and creating change, this is a unique opportunity which will call on your commitment to sustainable futures, and expertise in such areas as ecological criticism, geography and philosophy.

Discover more and apply at
For an informal discussion of this post, please call Professor John Strachan, Vice Provost for Research and Enterprise, on 01225 876292.

Closing date: 1 October 2015.