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That’s compassion: Making students mentally ill for your own political gain

Tony Thomas has been reading academic papers so you don’t have to. Dr Blanche Verlie at the Uni of Sydney
explores “the affective geographies of eco-anxiety” and seems to help create victims to study at the same time.  A good business model maybe, but at the expense of mental health.

The more young people suffer, the more useful they are as political activists:

Getting Kids’ Climate Misery Just Right

Tony Thomas, Quadrant

Dr Blanche Verlie, Uni Sydney

Dr Blanche Verlie,Uni Sydney

Verlie correctly concedes that “climate anxiety can intersect with and contribute to clinically diagnosable mental illness” born of “hopelessness, disillusionment or apathy”. But she explains helpfully (if I might paraphrase) that the more kids suffer the better chance they’ll become green activists. In her own words,

climate anxiety is not an illness or disorder, but an appropriate and even valuable source of discomfort that can provide an important lens to help people re-evaluate what is important to them and find meaningful ways to inhabit the world. Education’s remit for cultivating critical thinking and empowerment thus makes it an exciting realm for supporting young people to contribute to what Verlie (2019a) [she is speaking of herself in the third person] terms ‘bearing worlds’: engaging with the pain that the status quo offers in order to transform it.”

She surveyed “educators” and found them feeding the fear:

Verlie found (surprise!) that kids felt overwhelmed, hopeless, anxious, angry, sad and frustrated. Their teachers, having blighted the kids’ joi de vivre with climate doom, then set about “encouraging students to engage with their emotions, validating those emotions, supporting students to navigate and respond to those emotions, and empowering them to take climate action.”

And what a fear it is. This week’s news is just how disabling climate anxiety can be:

Sooking and Snivelling for Climate Justice

Tony Thomas, Quadrant

Dr Verlie provides dramatic quotes from her undergrad students [at RMIT].

Sad Uni student depression photo.

Photo by Zhivko Minkov

♦ I’ve been crying myself to sleep a lot lately. And crying at random times too. It’s not as though I watch a video about climate change, and I cry during it. I mean sometimes that happens. It’s more like, something little happens, like my toast burns, and I have an existential breakdown because I think it’s a metaphor for how the world is burning because we aren’t paying attention.

♦ I found myself dry retching in the shower for over an hour one evening. The contractions of my stomach muscles, sense of my throat exploding, and my whole body convulsing, felt like I was trying to spew up some kind of demon, a wretchedness, a loneliness and desperation, a sense of loss for all that could have been but probably won’t, for that which is but will no longer be.

♦ I feel bitter towards individuals and systems and fail to understand why people are not being charged for climate crimes.

♦ The future, for me, is dark, cloudy, a black hole of uncertainty. I don’t know how it will play out.

♦ I was thinking of the dark, foreboding nature of climate change, its creeping horror masked by invisibility in the here-and-now of hyperconsumptive capitalism. Sometimes I see climate change as a chasm opening up before me, and I stand on a precipice overlooking the deep ravine, teetering on the edge.

At least students don’t feel alone as long as they live in Monoversity World:

♦  I’m so glad I changed into this class – it’s more of a climate change therapy group than a university subject.[3]

Imagine the mental health gains if students were taught critical reasoning instead?

As far as academia goes it’s in the national interest to shut them all down. Turn off the tap. Cut public funding to any institution that doesn’t uphold free speech and teach why Argument from Authority and Ad Hominem reasoning are fallacies in the first term of the first year of every subject.

Tony Thomas’s just-published “Foot Soldier in the Culture Wars” ($29.95) is available from author at [email protected] or publisher Connor Court.

Photo by Zhivko Minkov on Unsplash

9.7 out of 10 based on 61 ratings

50 comments to That’s compassion: Making students mentally ill for your own political gain

  • #
    Maptram

    “♦ I found myself dry retching in the shower for over an hour one evening. The contractions of my stomach muscles, sense of my throat exploding, and my whole body convulsing, felt like I was trying to spew up some kind of demon, a wretchedness, a loneliness and desperation, a sense of loss for all that could have been but probably won’t, for that which is but will no longer be.”

    I did a survey this morning about one of the companies that makes hand wash products. It was said that washing hands in cold water cleans the hands as much as washing in hot water, but uses less power, thus saving the planet from CO2 emissions. I responded to the survey questions in an appropriate manner.

    If a student found him or her self dry retching the shower for over an hour, I assume the shower was running, and the water hot, so not only were there CO2 emissions, but a lot of water was wasted as well.

    Then again it sounds like something out of a fiction story, so it’s probably plagiarism.

    341

    • #

      Or maybe food poisoning.

      361

      • #
        Bruce

        “Freelance” pharmaceuticals?

        Too many vodkas?

        All of the above?

        Uni students……..

        A s a student, i saw several incidents that required “emetic assistance” to ward off fully-blown alcohol poisoning at social events. A couple of young hopefuls who came back from a break in the “Hippy Trail”, utterly different and often downright weird. More mundane “departures” involving skydiving, “unfortunate” motorcycling activities, etc.. Open-water SCUBA diving seemed mundane in comparison. Darwin smiled, ruefully; often.

        There but for the Grace of God, and the witnessing of people indulging in self-destructive activities, went I.

        00

    • #
      cohenite

      Of course it’s fiction. Alarmists know no limit to how low they would sink, even in effect abusing children by peddling this hysterical nonsense of the imminent end of life on this planet. We have seen this in the latest rubbish from the IPCC with their communist leader Gutteres gibbering about a

      Code Red

      . There are numerous examples of how alarmists have used children to sensationalise their lies; here are 2 examples:

      1 This is the infamous 10:10 video showing an activist teacher interacting with her class:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-Mw5_EBk0g

      2 This one is the angry kid video which was used in Jo’s essay on misanthropy; and of course the alarmists are misanthropists:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BY7875_rv1s

      Jo’s essay on Misanthropy:

      https://www.abc.net.au/news/2010-10-07/warming_to_misanthropy/39750

      160

      • #
        Alan

        Wow can’t imagine the ABC allowing articles written by sceptics to ever appear again, even surprised they haven’t “lost” it. Notice that the last article to appear by either was way back in about 2011

        120

        • #
          sophocles

          Alan said:

          Wow can’t imagine the ABC allowing articles written by sceptics to ever appear again, even surprised they haven’t “lost”

          They will. They will have to because: Warming Is Over, it’s now cooling. (Over July/August, it’s been freezing here in NZ)

          As the cold comes in and sticks around (I see Aus is not its usual balmy self this week) people will just have to get used to it: Warming is over, that’s so last year. 😀

          Cooling is IN!

          Just to add to my good feelings: another — yes, another — La Nina has been declared. That’s more cooling …

          30

          • #
            cohenite

            The alarmists will never admit they are or were wrong; they will simply claim they were right and what they were advocating worked. Sophistry is an art form and alarmists have perfected it.

            30

            • #
              sophocles

              Of course. But we can sit back and laugh at their stultiloquy. They won’t be able to change fast enough to keep up, giving us plenty of amusement.

              00

      • #
        Kalm Keith

        Thanks Anthony and Jo; we’ve certainly been on an extraordinary journey over the last ten years.

        That angry kid movie of the boy in the hoodie is probably something that Gretta watched over and over.

        We have a world now conditioned to cowering in fear every time a politician finds a new way to manipulate us.

        40

      • #

        here is a fox news report on how a teacher brags about turning students into far left revolutionaries

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLxkAzD0AwA

        10

    • #
      clarence.t

      “I found myself dry retching … blah, blah, blah…”

      If someone is as gullibly stupid as this poor petal obviously is..

      .. they deserve all the self-suffering and self-flagellation their virtue-seeking can summon up.

      180

      • #
        Klem

        Exactly, sometimes there’s no fixing stupid. However I’ll wager most people who regularly comment on this site were, at one time, climate alarmists. Sometimes there is fixing stupid.

        30

        • #
          sophocles

          I’ll take that wager, Klem!

          I’ve never been pro the crap. I didn’t agree with the Earth Day stance in the first instance, back in the day. I was aware of cycles back then.

          I’ve never argued anything other than the sceptic’s position since I started commenting here.

          Now, how many 10’s of thousands of dollars have you got?

          10

          • #

            Give the young uni students raised in a world of Political correctness a chance to grow out of it.

            It’s the uni staff who exploit their ignorance for their own gains that deserve our scorn.

            40

    • #
      Lawrie

      I hope she turned off the water, particularly the hot water otherwise she is contributing to her own demise.

      20

  • #
    RickWill

    I found myself dry retching in the shower for over an hour one evening. The contractions of my stomach muscles, sense of my throat exploding, and my whole body convulsing, felt like I was trying to spew up some kind of demon, a wretchedness, a loneliness and desperation, a sense of loss for all that could have been but probably won’t, for that which is but will no longer be.

    I trust this person went out to get tested. There have been recent Covid cases in Australia where people have died of Covid without even being assessed for it. Just stayed at home until they could not breathe anymore.

    People who take time off work in Victoria to get tested get paid $450. That has to contribute to the daily testing numbers. What does a cleaner get paid, probably not $50/hour! Would be interesting to find out who has had the most testing payouts and how many – serial testers.

    If you test positive there is a no question payment of $1500 to go home and wait out the 14 days. I wonder how many are actually catching Covid so they can board this money train.

    1110

    • #
      Peter C

      If you test positive there is a no question payment of $1500 to go home and wait out the 14 days.

      This itself is my first criticism of our Covid Management Plan (so called).

      People who test positive are ordered to GO HOME and ISOLATE.
      That is impractical or impossible for many. I think that Covid transmission is mostly occuring in the home.

      Covid people need to go to HOSPITAL. The Covid hospital for most people does not to be our normal hospital. Even hotel hospital would be a good start. Hotels have private rooms and bathrooms and food services and laundry etc. Covid people should be visited by medical staff every day to check on their condition and discharged when they test negative. That might be less than 14 days for many of them. They should also get supportive treatment.
      I don’t have a problem with giving them a payment to replace their income.

      49

      • #
        clarence.t

        Test positive, then you isolate and take a treatment regime.

        But….

        If doctors say they won’t provide a treatment regime,

        … obviously they don’t think you are sick,

        … therefore you don’t need to isolate.

        140

        • #
          Peter C

          The logic is a bit sus clarence, since you ignore transmission (and the timidity of the doctors).
          However I am interested in responses from the 7 red thumbers.

          00

          • #
            clarence.t

            Logic is not “sus”

            Am I sick? Yes or No

            If sick, they should provide a treatment regime.

            If they aren’t prepared to provide a treatment regime, obviously they don’t think I’m sick.

            End of story.

            10

      • #
        Kalm Keith

        Peter, I haven’t thumbed one way or the other, but my own feeling, and possibly that of the reds was that last line.
        Too much money is being thrown around.

        10

  • #

    Wow. Climate change has become belief cult. One manifestation is the current Extinction Rebellion protests in London where the main demand is for a committee of believers to run the country.
    A sure sign of a cult is being unable to understand marginal change. Australia achieving net zero will make a very small impact on global emissions.
    A second sign of a cult is being unable to comprehend another point of view. Developing countries put long-term economic growth and elimination of absolute poverty before conformity to the beliefs of the privileged. Maintaining power at any cost is unfortunately a less enlightened reason for ignoring beliefs.
    A third sign is filtering of evidence according to belief rather than objective criteria. For instance they look at the aims of the Paris Agreement of global net zero and omit Article 4.1. This excludes Developing countries meaning a constaint is put on policy.

    190

    • #
      Neville

      Manic BC I doubt you could measure the difference of our OZ emissions because the entire SH is already at NET ZERO according to the CSIRO. See Cape Grim site Tassie. Therefore the SH is already a NET SINK while the NH is the NET SOURCE and pop there is already 7 billion, while the SH is just 0.8 bn.
      And our Chief scientist Dr Finkel has told the Senate that removing ALL OZ emissions wouldn’t make any difference.

      140

    • #
      Raven

      A second sign of a cult is being unable to comprehend another point of view.

      But is it just an inability or comprehension? I’d have thought it’s a much firmer stance than that.
      In the old days we’d call it plain old fashioned bigotry.

      A third sign is filtering of evidence according to belief rather than objective criteria.

      Yep . . more like a Cargo Cult.

      10

  • #
    UK-Weather Lass

    In other words the lunatics, having successfully taken over the asylum, are now spreading the word that ‘it is okay to be insane’ …

    250

    • #
      clarence.t

      “‘it is okay to be insane’ …”

      And this “person”, most certainly is.

      Nothing borderline, just great wads of irrational self-centered insanity streaming from her every rancid thought.

      Please, someone tell me what “climate action™” actually is, other than a virtue-seeking fantasy dredged up from the depths of ignorance.

      May as well say you are going to take action against Goldilocks, for eating porridge…

      … or the Big Bad Wolf for huffing and puffing.

      130

  • #
    Alan

    On a similar topic, ABC had a segment last night on 7:30 report I think (wasn’t really watching) on very young kids (5-10) with anxiety issues around COVID and lockdowns. What is going on with their parents? Why can’t they explain to them in very simple terms what the situation is and the kids will just get on with things, probably just back to play or watching Bluey. I also nearly asked what is wrong with the journo’s and psych’s interviewed but I think I know.

    140

    • #
      Fran

      According to my daughter, there are adults who actually believe that covid is as bad as ebola. They are the ones frightening their children.

      40

  • #

    True education involves autonomy. Where other values prevail, the young go to education for bread and instead receive stones…

    140

  • #
    Rick

    This generation of ego-centric pussies, whimps and entitlement don’t deserve to survive. Their total lack of awareness and resilience combined with a naivety that leads them to believe the unbelievable renders them subject to the Darwin effect.
    In any real world where self reliance, spiritual and mental toughness, and the willingness to do whatever it takes to survive and thrive, they don’t last past the first obstacle.

    140

    • #
      PeterS

      In spite of the two hysterias currently in play; climate change and virus, I can imagine there is still room for yet another one to create even more fear to test those who have so far resisted the current hysterias. Stand firm.

      120

  • #
    Neville

    I listened to Rita Panahi interviewing Michael Shellenberger tonight and he has polled DEMs and REPs about so called climate change and found that DEMs were clueless, while REPs understood the data and science.
    Big surprise NOT. In fact I nearly always find that LW people couldn’t care less about data or evidence while conservatives always check things out for themselves.
    And Michael is a lefty but he has developed a habit of ALWAYS following the real science and data.

    150

  • #
    TdeF

    What happened to safe spaces? Trigger points?

    Surely Climate Catastrophism has reached the point where vulnerable young women are being deliberately exploited and openly distressed to support an academic career? And it looks like there is a ready market for this appalling manipulation. Greta Thunberg springs to mind.

    You could do this with any subject too, from engineering to medicine, but this is presented as a caring Green religion. And it could end very badly if allowed to continue.

    In the 33 years since man made Global Warming was invented, no one at all has been harmed by Climate Change or man Made Global Warming. No polar bears have died. Really. If it can be proven that someone was harmed, that a storm or bushfire was actually caused by 0.1C warming in a decade or ‘rapid sea rise’, I would love to see the proof. Any proof.

    Is the Australian public actually funding tertiary courses like this which cause visible and potentially lethal distress among the most fragile young females? Where is the balance? Where is the sense of adult responsibility? And this is certainly not the male capitalist patriachy driving this.

    150

    • #
      TdeF

      And it is certainly not education of any sort but a dangerous cult being promoted as education, closer to Scientology, Climate Scientology.

      90

    • #
      Deano

      I wouldn’t want to trivialize genuine mental health problems but, I can’t help think some young folk are easily convinced to express their sense of dispirited hopelessness as it brings instant sympathy and attention. It makes them feel important in a world where they’re usually dismissed with “What would you know? – you’ve only just started living.
      But I copped that as a youth and survived and quite frankly, I now realise I didn’t know much back then!

      130

  • #
    MR166

    If you take children and teach them from pre-K on up that they are destroying the planet and that we are just moments away from a non-recoverable tipping point you will create a seriously depressed child.

    Then all of the social welfare rocket scientists out there wonder why drug use and suicides are up.

    80

  • #
    John F Hultquist

    As I usually do when reading these sorts of things, I wonder what these minds will do when they realize they have been duped?
    I’m projecting a reckoning on Jan 1, 2050.

    50

    • #
      Richard+Ilfeld

      One supposes it could be the taking over of buildings and shouting from the Rooftops:”Don’t trust anyone over thirty”!, which was, as I recall, precisely the behaviour of the grandparents of these snowflakes. Everything they knew was wrong then; “teach your children well, their father’s hell, did slowly go by”. So everything their kids knew was wrong. and now detachment from reality, fully funded by scholarship at our finest institutions of authoritarian mythology; the Hogwarts of Woke as it were, is enjoying a third generation,
      as free of real knowledge as it is of gender, with common sense and real worlg economics a vague and distant rumor.

      Defund the universities.

      70

  • #
    Phil+R

    “Dr Verlie provides dramatic quotes from her undergrad students [at RMIT]…”

    I’m not the best writer in the world, maybe not even the best writer in the company I work for. But I’m over 60, work for a consulting company and have lots of technical writing experience. Also, I did go to college sometime last century and I doubt most college students are better writers today than they were back then.

    My point is that,I think the sentence above could properly be amended to read, “Dr Verlie provides dramatic quotes…”

    The quotes seem to be over-emotionalized, dramatic creative writing, and given the ends-justifies-the-means mentality of environmental and climate change activists today (think the recent story about the liberal activist professor caught lighting fires in California), I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the good Dr. made the quotes up herself (himself/xerselves??).

    80

  • #
    Kalm Keith

    Years ago on one of Jo’s posts John R directed our attention to this:

    https://www.smh.com.au/world/baby-survives-three-days-with-bullet-in-chest-after-parents-suicide-pact-20100303-pgy6.html

    A tragic suicide pact in Argentina that occurred because of the histrionic climate drama industry.

    There has been a constant stream of manufactured “issues of concern” that try to place the general public in a position of bondage to the self appointed saviours for that emergency.

    Recent emergencies have included ;

    # man made global warming and CO2 obsession.

    # transgender hysteria and rainbow aggression.

    and currently,

    # The 2020 arrival of the plague that locks us down and jabs us, Covid19.

    With both Global Warming and CV19 there has been massive transfers of taxpayers money directed to “solving” the non problem.

    Make no mistake, this is world war 3 and our society is in danger.

    60

  • #
    Fran

    How different is the Eco-religion from past protestant religions where children were taught they were born in sin? Those religions also produced hysterical self denigration and flagellation that was whipped up by the adults.

    In regard to the girl who cries all the time, I would suspect she has clinical depression that needs treatment. Depression untreated leads to a large decrease in life expectancy as observed in the Harvard Longitudinal study. Interestingly, the WIKI entry highlights alcoholism and smoking and leaves out Vaillant’s finding that major depressive disorder prior to age 50 led to a 15 year decrease in QUALY years and a 10 year decrease in actual years.

    Many years ago, I started a study on low mood in young adults and the inflammatory response. I had to abandon it when the grad student became chronically ill. The data we did obtain showed that the dermal response to capsaicin was substantially enhanced in subjects with low mood. Other studies in the literature all point to clinical depression being associated with elevated levels of inflammatory mediators, probably the basis of the decreased life expectancy.

    30

    • #
      Phil+R

      Not to make light of your comment or the seriousness of depression, but I had capsaicin on my spaghetti and meat sauce for lunch today, and my mood was pretty good.

      40

      • #

        By sheer coincidence (sorry to go off topic) I was packaging capsaicin in capsules last night. Scoville 68,000. It’s a blocker for salicylate receptors, useful for a friend with salicylate intolerance.

        And on a different tangent David Archibald (skeptic) has combined capsaicin with sulforaphane in research for the anticancer potential which looks very promising but can’t be patented, so no one will fund it further.

        Quite a useful molecule. Capsaicin.

        20

  • #
    Zigmaster

    I actually agree that people should be charged with climate crimes , people like Flannery whose outrageous alarmism has resulted in diverting funds from real water management solutions like dams to useless white elephants like desalination plant. Unless people are held to account without consequences for their dishonest behaviour the traumatisation of our younger generation will continue unabated. The media should also be held to account for continually spreading information that they know must be dubious at best and patently false at worst.

    100

  • #
    Simon B

    Thanks for that, it was a brilliant laugh! Gotta love a straw man poetry reading from Creative Writing 101!
    In the shower for an hour is fine as the wasted water is unimportant in dousing wildfires created by climate change. The new technique is to beat the flames out with a wad of damp Renewable Energy Certificates!

    20