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It is now time for an open display of social abhorrence via stigmatization or taboo-attachment for ecopathic behaviours

 

With the recent release of fifth report of IPCC it is safe to conclude that our world is presently going through a phase of severe deterioration or degradation of the health or wellness of our shared ecosystems which are projected to be moribund; that a stigmatization or taboo-attachment for behaviours that have been until now not only condoned but even subsidised and applauded. There is thus a serious need to revise the social value set. A proposed set of novel sins would therefore be.

Collecting frequent flying points through an obsessive usage of airlines.

Driving a sports car or a massive army grade vehicle like a hummer or even sports utility vehicles (SUV).

A liberal and overly generous consumption of red meats, unsustainably harvested sea foods etc.

Living in a castle-sized mansion that far exceeds the legitimate residential requirements.

Hoarding personal possession in a dramatic excess for a comfortable existence, thus effectively depriving others from use of those goods which in reality is a form of theft. A most frivolous version of this redundant good ownership is owning jewels, diamonds etc.

This can be better grasped by an analogy to the acts of defecating in the village water well from which residents of the village  drew water from drinking and cooking. But the collective human consumption behaviour is seriously more toxic and destructive than mere one at of defecating or urinating in the village well. 

Humanity on course towards Word War III 

An ethnic divide inducing offence has been spilling in the well a bucketful of blood of cow (for Hindus) or pork (for Muslims). The modern day version of the desecration of the planet is injecting tons of GHGs. The aftermath of that is that in a recent  report IPCC a landmark report of 2013 on the impact of climate change has stated that soaring GHG emissions will amplify the risk of serious global anrarchy, rioting and other variants of violent conflicts and possibly Word War III,  driven by serious resource paucities like food, water, shelter, and suffering from ailments of wide variety and displacements triggered by droughts, floods etc.  That is substantially magnified version of the racial conflict that could arise between the Hindu and Muslim residents of the village faced with hatred driven behaviour. 

Reasons why there is no backlash against this serious level of harm to the common ecological wealth are.

A liberal social tolerance and support of this ecopathological behaviour. 

Linkage of this ecopathological behaviour to the employment status of the consumers.

Corporate and political approval and rewarding of this ecopathological behaviour.

Existence (creation) of obscenely wealthy people or families with an enormous and impossible to curb power to engage in ecopathological behaviour with impunity.

Emergence of a culture driven by extreme consumption and extreme lack of compassion.

Under a new category of study called “ecopsychology”, thinkers from a wide range of disciplines have started an honest and penetrating examination of mechanisms guiding our collective behaviour. The resulting image of humanity is not flattering. 

Words such as “psychopathic” are appearing, along with invented derivatives such as “ecopathic”, “ecopath” and “ecopathy”.

As is the case with psychopathic personality ecopathic version too has elements of narcissistic personality disorder.

Ecopathic or ecopathological behaviour. 

Ecopathy is derived from two Greek words, oikos – “house” and pathos – “sickness”, “disease” or “suffering”. The word is sobering because it recognizes that the deteriorating ecological condition of ecosystems of planet Earth and it is the direct result of a reckless indifference and negligence in our human behaviour that we seem incapable of correcting, even though we have known for decades what to do and how to do it. The medical term for this condition is a pathology.

Term ecopathy emerged around 1980 from the reflections of environmentally conscious Buddhist scholars in the West who would have been comparing the importance of compassion in their tradition to its relative absence in humanity’s treatment of nature.

The psychological and philosophical character of Buddhism would have noted that an evil or sick culture of insensitivity to the well-being of the plants and animal species surrounding us could be construed as a fundamental failure in a form of mystic awareness. Animal herein includes all wildlife, domesticated and microscopic species and include primates and humans. As ecologies suffered increasing damage, this absence of empathetic connection should have become increasingly obvious and direly necessary. Although earlier Buddhist thinkers would not have used a term such as ecopathy to identify this condition, the modern use fits fairly well.

Diagnosis of ecopathy

The diagnostic criteria of ecopathy exhibit an impressive parallel with the symptoms of psychopathy. Rather than applying to the social pathology of interpersonal relationships, however, the symptoms of ecopathy apply to our treatment of the natural world although an indirect adverse social impact is undeniable as well. 

The following characteristics that compare the behaviour of the ecopath to the psychopath are a revised version of the components of ecopathic state as derived from the World Health Organization via two environmental writers, Derrick Jensen and Michael Harris:

a callous lack of concern for the feeling or well-being of things other than self or one’s family or another form of small circle of acquaintances in the environment;

a gross and persistent  wanton and reckless disregard for survival of the ecosystems by contempt for ecological norms, rules and obligations especially when engaged in exploitation of natural resources;

an incapacity to maintain enduring or sustainable relationship with the ecosystems or the environment.  

a very low frustration tolerance as expressed as a very low aggression threshold, with expression of the unresolved frustrations through infliction of violence against the environment; combined with a high inclination to blame others or to invent implausible rationalizations (while they are perfectly plausible and rational to the subject) for ecopathological behaviour that has brought the humanity into a potentially deadly conflict with ecosystems. This shallow anger-threshold is a key dysrationalia.

an incapacity to experience guilt and to learn from experience, particularly from threats and punishments from nature or a void of eco-conscience (ECX) or asoliphilia another evidence of fundamental dysrationalia. 

Covert ecopathy:

With the exception of a handful (likely not more than ten thousand all over the planet) of genuinely free from ecopathy there is a category of a few million human adults who appear very genuinely concerned about environmental issues and even appear to be very alarmed and going out to protest and even getting arrested for the cause but still have not shed the elements of ecopathology in their personal lives therefore must be categarized as victims of a covert variant of ecopahty. If it appears that they are being referred to as hypocrites to an extent that is true.

The key hurdle why there is no backlash against the ecopathic behaviour is that humanity has not yet reached the critical mass of awareness and suffering that would permit a wide recognition of the condition, accept that this is a serious condition that ought not to be condoned and that there is an urgent need to cure the pathology.

Elusiveness and incurability of the epidemic of ecopathological behaviour.

A vast majority of human race still remains oblivious or indifferent to the evolving and rapidly evolving environmental crisis, and a sizable majority remain entirely dismissive or even hostile to the existence of this catastrophic climate crisis.  Until this epidemic of ecopathic state that afflicts humanity is recognized step would obviously not be taken to heal people out of it.

Seeking the treatment

The unique aspect of ecopathic personality disorder is that it has been deliberated cultivated  them for past two or three millennia and continued to be fostered. It has roots in human mythology, theology (faith & religion), philosophy, psychology, sociology, economics, politics and corporate philosophy. And via perpetuation and propagation the condition has now inserted itself into human biochemical recesses, human brain functions the genetic code, and in human DNA. That is cool because we can absolve ourselves by blaming the DNA very much like a pedophile could. Curing anything with this deep roots and having engrained itself into DNA sure cannot be easy as if a minor headache or cold.

The most worrisome aspect of the this epidemic level malady of humanity is that its traits are entrenched in human cells, DNA and thus in physiology  and psychology for having been diligently designed and nourished by the evolutionary processes that progressed tandum with the industrialized civilization. Rationally therefore it would be impossible to find a cure without regressing in the industrial civilization completely. A half baked cured through another neutralizing industrial transformation the so called green energy revolution seems a viable solution but whether it would appear on the horizon in time remains to be seen. There sure is some reason to be optimistic there. We would require a gene spicing to modify the defective human DNA to get rid of this condition which is not easy for humans to do so nature would have to do that job.

The manner of engrainment  of ecopathy into industrialized culture has been such that this condition now defines “who we are” and not merely “what we do”, that implies that the possibility of an easy reform without  a drastic genetic modification is impossible. Yes we need to produce or in the alternative nature would have to produce a genetically modified version of humans, just as Homo erectus is a genetically modified version of chimpanzees.

How do we become who we should not be? How do we cure ourselves of this condition and rebuild ourselves to be compatible with the real world out of which we grew from?

It would require an honest admission that we have  developed a serious incompatibility with our ecosystems and that means admitting that we are living seriously unsustainably. An example that would help is when your pet cat or dog has become allergic to you or when a woman cant get pregnant because of allergy to the husband’s sperm. The world or Mother Nature has become allergic or intolerant to human race and the signs of that illness are evolving in form of this emerging climate crisis. We have to shed the allergens or we risk being annihilated just like the hostile genital milieu of the intolerant woman allergic to the sperms destroys them.

In line with the poorly amenable to managements personality disorders, it is widely conceded that humans are incurable ecopaths, 

We are continuing to remain engaged in a relentless industry and enterprise that is effectively contrary to or in flagrant violation of  the limits that nature intended to imposed that we are more than happy to ignore despite the subliminal awareness that disobeying nature is invitation to peril. The first steps to bring that subliminal awareness to a conscious level, admit the truth and end the denial or quasi-denial.

Tragically the myopic and dysrationalic will of humans knows no other way than to keep disobeying laws of nature and devastating the ecosystem. The pursuit of short term and selfish comforts persuades humanity to remain indifferent and oblivious to consequences of its evil action, humans continue to use our ingenuity and cunning to do what we think we must do to get what we want even when what we think what we need and we want is prohibited and making us ill and poses catastrophic long term consequences. Inability to come to our better senses or end our dysrationalia stems largely from the fact that the eventual outcome is hidden in the distant enough future that a vast majority of the human race is able to ignore them and even hide behind the ignorance that we have no idea what future holds despite clear succinct warnings of a calamity from scientists.

Dysrationalia Exotica modelling of ecopathologic behaviour pattern.

As noted that like incurable psychopaths, humans are incurable ecopaths, committed to an relentless efforts against nature’s imposed limits because our narrow willfulness knows no other way is what is best defined as dysrationalia exotica, whereby despite being possessed with superb seeming intelligence and business sense, due to lack of morality or ethics we are seriously dysrationalic in our cognitive processing. That is the battle to push humanity towards sustainability.

 

Cured or reformed consumption addicts would therefore be characterized by these key traits. There are also the traits of the residents of the third world who are forced to live these values out of necessity because they lack the funds to ever dream of consuming any of these and the Buddhist monks, or the followers of Rediluvism,  some die hard ecowarriors, who have chosen a life of ascetism and others who live like them.

Holders of a lifelong no-flying pledge who refuse to board an airplane to travel to any destination.

Become auto-free with the exception of a modest or low emission small vehicle necessary for employment which may be an electric vehicle fed by electricity derived from renewable sources.

An effective vegan with seriously restricted consumption of red meats, and consumer of only modest amounts of sustainably harvested sea foods etc.

Moving out of the castle-sized mansion to a modest residence akin to a hut, thus becoming mansion-free.

Holders of  a life long no-jewlery pledge upon dis-owning jewels, diamonds and clutter etc.

With a presumed inclusion of “no-flying pledge” and “no-jewlery pledge”, these elements can be summated in autofree-vegan-mansionfree lifestyle or “AMV lifestyle” or “expanded AVM lifestyle”. Only the die-hard ecowarriors are legimite practitioners of AMV lifestyle and vice versa.

In an article published on 2 April 2014  , in Ottawa Citizen under the title “Climate change has a marketing problem”  Bruce Philp addresses the (now melting) Everest-sized hurdle faced in selling the cures of climate change crisis to the leaders and the public. No one has yet found a workable way to overcome his hurdle nor has even come even close to that. In a way the problem of selling is a logical impossibility because the task is not too different from selling celibacy to a sex-addict or sobriety to an alcoholic or quitting smoking to a smoker and so on. In that regard there is a significant level of inclusiveness in the term carbon-addiction to ecopathic personality disorder.

While Bruce Philp suggested that environmentalists attempt selling the behaviour change by using the carrot of transformation towards a sustainable and happier society intead of the stick approach of scarign people of the catastrophic consequcnes of climate change. But that is misguided or illusionary given that in the end the answer is in the expanded AVM lifestyle adoption no matter what direction you come from.

Cause of the ecopathic personality disorder.

Overuse and excessive reliance on heuristics are at the root of development of ecopathic personality disorder.

Heuristic (/hjʉˈrɪstɨk/; Greek: “Εὑρίσκω”, “find” or “discover”) is defined as experience-based techniques tools or tricks for learning, discovery and problem solving, that gives a speedy solution which is not guaranteed to be optimal and often is flawed, and the magnitude of flaw worsens with the size and speed of the solutions demanded of a person. Heuristic are popular where the exhaustive search is impractical or not desired or the person is just too lazy to resort to them but it becomes a folly when they are not resorted to despite the clear need for the detailed version of cognitive processing.  Heuristic methods are like assembly line production that sacrifice quality in exchange for speed but do help with finding a fairly satisfactory solution via mental shortcuts to ease the cognitive load of making a decision. The need for reducing cognitive load or to conserve cognitive energy is driven by the volume of issues faced by an average human in a day to day living. They are used by rats in maze learning to get the cheese with speed given that wrong turns inflict pain of electric shocks on the test rats. Common examples of heuristics is using a rule of thumb, making educated guess, resorting to intuitive judgment, stereotyping, or reliance on common sense or use of common logic. They work perfectly well under ordinary day to day living and help conserve plenty of cognitive energy and resources. The problem with heuristics is that they tend to fail when the person is faced with an exotic issue  especially with the average or even above average intelligence person. It is dysrationalic or irrational to resort to heuristics when in exotic circumstances just as it can be fatal mistake to use the same driving instructions to the vehicle or the mind of the driver to arrive home from work if the person is now in a different city. Only the top most 0.001% (one to ten in a million) intelligent people (the “demiEinsteins”) have that surplus abundance of the cognitive energy that they are in the habit of regularly deploying the diligence without resort to the short cuts that they do not fall victim to the dysrationalic conclusions.

Here is why it is plausible that I (Pat) qualify to be a demi-Einstien or one in a million intellectual.

One in a hundred college or high school graduates made it into medicine, and of them one in a hundred makes it to neurology and amongst the neurology residents of North America I ranked in the top one percent. So the chances of finding another person equivalent to me intellectually would be 0.01x 0.01×0.01  or 0.0001 or one in a million.

 

Pradeep K. Verma MD

 

 

 

 

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