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Burnout! Climate Politics Dizzies the Left (are eco-solutions eco-worse?)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- February 23, 2022

Emily, What you are going through is so rampant in the climate community and a topic of much discussion and concern…. Next week we are hosting an online workshop with an “ecopsychologist” to help folks with climate anxiety….”

There is a lot of talk about climate anxiety these days. Climate activists are witnessing a tripartite boom in oil, gas, and coal, while record wind and solar generation is limited by cost, siting resistance, and intermittency. Bad news all around–for them.

Realists among the climate alarmists/forced energy transformationists have realized that consumers/voters are ultimately going to choose the most economical, reliable energies, politics aside. And with their deep ecology notion of no more than a 1.5°C warming above the pre-industrial, time is running very short under the most optimistic of scenarios.

Emily Aiken Bows Out

Enter Emily Aiken, the publisher of HEATED, “a newsletter for people who are pissed off about the climate crisis.” Anger and cussing have taken over for rational discussions in her articles. She is mad at the world.

HEATED is going on a temporary hiatus,” she announced to her self-estimated 50,000 readers. Continuing:

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about resilience: the ability to remain strong in the face of difficulties. The IPCC tells us that, in order to preserve prosperous and functioning societies, governments must implement strategies to bulk up their resilience to climate extremes. That way, when a bad storm inevitably hits, they won’t be totally destabilized.

But the IPCC’s resilience chapter, like most climate-related discussions about the subject, is only about how to build resilience into our systems. It says nothing about how to build resilience in ourselves….

As disappointed and embarrassed as I am about all this, I’m also really excited to have identified the problem. I know what I need to do to weather this storm—and all the inevitable ones ahead.

A common theme in more than a hundred sympathetic comments was frustration and despair about all things climate (see Appendix below for quotations). Climate anxiety is real.

My Note to Aiken

It is hard to be a CO2/climate optimist where the cancel culture is at work against perfectly fine and logical arguments. Our side knows that. And for her side, the true believers of doom, it must be humbling to see global politics overwhelm “Net Zero”–and the solutions making their own eco-issues.

“The anti-CO2 crusade is all about politics, and politics sucks,” I wrote her yesterday. “What the anti-CO2 crusaders (sorry) have ended up with is:

  • Carbon offsets
  • Greenwashing
  • Biofuels/biomass
  • Nuclear Power
  • ‘Green” Natural Gas
  • Carbon Capture & Storage
  • Rare earth mining at scale
  • Home generators (fossil-fuel-fired)
  • Geoengineering (proposals)
  • Elites with huge CO2 footprints
  • Bigger Government

And for the landscape and seascape:

  • Gargantuan wind turbines
  • Massive solar arrays
  • Long-distance transmission lines

And for the commoners?

  • High rates
  • Less reliability
  • Crony capitalism (wind, solar, batteries, CO2 capture, etc.)
  • Budget deficits and ‘greenflation’


It is not easy being green. But to cure climate anxiety, it is long past time for the parishioners to check their premises and exit the Church of Climate. Surely some, and maybe many more, will consider government failure on par with market failure . And perhaps even some will see carbon dioxide as a greening agent with eco-benefits.

As it is now, their cure is much worse than what they see as the disease.

Appendix: Responses to Aiken

A sampling of Twitter comments follows:

“Burnt out people aren’t equipped to serve a burning planet.” ~ Susanne Moser

We can’t save a burning up planet with burning out people.

… it’s revolutionary because climate writers seldom mention emotions and how exhausting and sad this whole topic is.

The things we typically think of as “self-care” – getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, eating right, yoga, etc etc – they are great and necessary but I’m sorry, IMHO they do not balance out that species are being driven to extinction by greed and that innocent, disenfranchised people are being driven out of their homes because profit.

Thank you for sharing your personal struggle. Indeed, in the face of so much bad news and unwillingness for courageous action by leaders, it is hard to not feel deflated, then tired, then worse, and worse…

… do take care. It’s been a long, hard road the past few years, especially for anyone following climate policy. Thank you for letting us know what’s going on.

Capitalism got the rap too:

… Hopefully the hiatus creates space to find ways to disconnect digitally, time to nap as an act of revolution (the grind is a capitalist trap!) ….

One Comment for “Burnout! Climate Politics Dizzies the Left (are eco-solutions eco-worse?)”


    The schadenfreude is strong in this one.


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