Climate Derangement Syndrome – an explanation
BY BEN PILE
The thuggish intolerance and dark, infantile fantasising of people still grieving over the UK’s 2016 referendum result and Donald Trump’s election that same year are now well-understood. Brexit Derangement Syndrome (BDS) and Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) are real things, expressed routinely, without shame, in real life and on the Internet, at all levels of society, as fear, smear and bizarre tantrums.
BDS and TDS are notable because decisive historical landmarks – events – lend their name to the diagnosis. But they epitomise a broader and deeper degeneration of both mainstream and fringe political movements’ grasp of the world (though, sadly, not yet their ability to inflict themselves on it). To adherents, critics of their agendas don’t merely have a different perspective, they have pathologies: they are transphobic, racists, islamophobes, misogynists, xenophobes. Everything I don’t like is literally Hitler. The inability to debate with an alternative perspective is both symptom and cause.
These tendencies seemed to emerge with the rise of campaigns for ‘social justice’, which more often than not had to imagine the object of their grievances. But the political mobilisation of zombies came as no surprise to those who had until then dabbled at the sceptical end of the climate change debate. Climate change alarmism is, perhaps literally, the mother of all derangement syndromes, and should be seen as such.
The reason that climate derangement syndrome (CDS) has not been so obviously easily compared with other derangement syndromes until now is first that, unlike Brexit and Trump, there has been no moment which crystallised it. Second, the debates have seemed more remote and technical than immediate things such as fascism and gender. Third, climate change ideology is already ubiquitous. But it is about to stamp your face into the kerb, and the boot that will deliver this blow is the UK government’s Net Zero policy.
It was conceived by people as intolerant as any Antifa on the search for ‘fascism’. It requires the construction of a global bureaucracy far larger than anything ever conceived of by a European federalist. And it is as determined to alter children’s perception of the world as any trans ideologue. It has a design for your life, and it will give you no choice in the matter.
In 2004, the then chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Rajendra Pachauri asked, “What is the difference between [Bjorn] Lomborg’s view of humanity and Hitler’s?”. Lomborg, otherwise the epitome of liberal European values (gay, vegetarian, bike-riding, social-democrat and green), had suggested that the world’s borders could be opened for the inhabitants of low-lying island states displaced by sea level rise, and that this could be better for everyone than the radical emissions-reduction policies that dominate policy debates.
Pachauri’s equivalence of Lomborg and Hitler would have been crass, were they words uttered by anyone, anywhere. But that even the chair of a global institution established to shed light on what seems to be ‘the greatest threat mankind has ever faced’ is no more capable of showing grace to a difference of opinion than an Antifa thug on an anti-Trump protest tells us that derangement is a top-down syndrome.
As I argue elsewhere, it is a mistake to see the self-indulgent middle class eco-warriors now routinely occupying London’s streets as being their own creation. Their gloomy outlook, and their intolerant, anti-democratic demands are formed in the image of the political establishment’s infantile dysphoria. And so it seems, that with all derangement syndromes, it is the malaise afflicting degenerate institutions that produce degenerate narcissists that cannot tell the difference between a difference of opinion and the emergence of a new Nazi Reich, between a male and a female, and the failure to assert their will on the world, and the end of the world.
“Science” and “facts”, produced by learned research institutions, environmentalists claim, is what drives their view of the world. But as often as this turns out to be true, it turns out that even scientists can get as drunk on ideology as anyone else. It was on the campus, for instance, that the notion that there aren’t two genders was born and made orthodoxy, and where biological facts were reconceived as the expression of pathological fascism – ironically. The desperate recruitment of academia into ideological projects and agendas might go some way to explaining why the lack of intellectual curiosity, the intolerance to dissent, and the intransigence towards criticism now characterises all forms of ‘progressive’ politics.
On the one hand, there is something extremely funny about new progressive’s public meltdowns. Their shrill end-is-nigh histrionics are thin cover for vapid poseurs of all ideological stripes, from the street, through to the cabinet at Number ten Downing street…
… But the less funny side is the real harm that derangement is capable of doing. The harm done to children’s sense of themselves, their outlook and their bodies by trans ideologues is as real as the harm done to them by ideologically driven teachers that have nurtured fake intergenerational grievances, and told kids in their care they have no future on our dying planet. The material harm that will be done to the economy, and to people’s livelihoods by unchecked climate change alarmists is exactly what we would expect if we were to let 16 year old self-harming narcissists run things. It’s time to raise awareness of climate derangement syndrome.
Ben Pile is a writer and researcher. Follow him @clim8resistance