X-Message-Number: 31793
From: David Stodolsky <>
Subject: Re: Closed comments? (LMU)
Date: Fri, 3 Jul 2009 14:01:16 +0200
References: <>

On 2 Jul 2009, at 11:00 AM, CryoNet wrote:

> Provacative comment/question you made here:

> "I can only conclude that some politicians actually want global
> warming to be a serious threat to humanity. I wonder why?"

> PS.  If your question of "why" _can_ be answered at all, the
> understanding will come out of evolutionary psychology and perhaps
> fMRI.

You don't need either of these, the psychological and political  
dynamics are already understood. The psychology can be analyzed using  
terror management theory. My guess is that due to the disintegration  
of traditional religions, many are desperate to find a new myth that  
can inject meaning into their lives. One such myth is that the "end is  
near" due to "global warming". We already have studies that show that  
environmentalism can function as a self-esteem enhancing belief:


The nature of death and the death of nature: The impact of mortality  
salience on environmental concern

"Results demonstrated that heightened mortality awareness ... fostered  
environmental concern among those who do acquire self-esteem from  
environmental action."

This result shows that the it takes a research degree and direct  
contact with a natural environment to overcome the pessimism that has  
been foisted upon the public by the mass media:

Myth of Environmental Fragility


The politics of the situation can be seen to be an extension of the  
war on the poor, that has been the center piece of the neo-liberal  
program - now discredited among the public, but still being promoted  
by politicians. The cap and trade scheme results in cash extracted  
from consumers being transferred to large corporations. There is no  
evidence that this scheme has led to any environmental benefits. What  
is has done is created a new market that can generate profits for  
financial institutions, such as stock brokerages, etc. In general,  
"green" taxes are highly regressive, since they are consumption taxes,  
which fall more heavily on the poor - they absorb a larger percentage  
of their income. However, if you can convince people that the end is  
near and the only way to avoid it is by paying such regressive taxes,  
there is less political risk.

So, the psychology is clear and politicians have long known that  
terrorizing people is one way to ensure acceptance of unpopular  
measures. These dynamics result in substantial political risk for the  
cryonics movement. The dynamics continue to promote the idea that  
there are "too many people" - after the "Population Bomb" turned out  
to be a dud - and therefore that cryonics is selfish and immoral. This  
is one the main objections to cryonics according to the Badger (1998)  
survey. This is supported by Kogan, Porter, and Tucker (2007). The  
income transfer effect also damages the growth of cryonics, since it  
makes cryonics less affordable, thus impossible for many.


David Stodolsky
  Skype: davidstodolsky

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