Since the Biden administration promised to eliminate all fossil fuels, climate change activists have transitioned from seeking to use the government to control society into a collective group possessed by an illusion based on excessive fear that climate change is destroying the planet. This climate collective believes that by dismantling society, the government can prevent the end of the world.
Researchers refer to such collective fears as mass hysteria. They consider it a psychogenic illness, “a condition that begins in the mind rather than the body.” It exposes itself when a group of people starts feeling anxious, sick, or crazed at the same time, notwithstanding the absence of any physical reason for their condition.
A recent The Lancet study of 10,000 young people, ages 16 – 25, found that 59% were extremely worried about climate change; 84% were at least moderately worried. The respondents suffered from sadness, anxiety, and anger and felt powerless, helpless, and guilty. The authors conclude that climate anxiety is so great these young people believe humanity is doomed, all they value is being destroyed, and they are hesitant to have children. Illustrating the impact of climate hysteria is the belief by the young people that government could protect them if it would listen to their feelings, validate and respect them, and implement their views, i.e., do what they demand.
Episodes of mass hysteria have been recorded since the Middle Ages. There have been Witch trials, dancing plagues in which the participants could not stop dancing until they were so tired they died, and screaming trances. In modern political times, there was the Red Scare hysteria over the perceived threat of communism. Before the Covid pandemic, there was the Y2K hysteria over the belief that when clocks struck midnight on January 1, 2000, all computer systems would fail to recognize the year, and society would collapse due to massive electrical outages.
Influencing today’s climate collective is a federal government and media that pound into the heads of these young people that society’s use of fossil fuels causes every problem in the world. If an area of the world is too hot or cold, it’s climate change. Forest fires, storms, floods, and draughts are due to climate change. The oceans are getting warmer, species are dying, and humanity faces more health risks due to climate change. Climate change even causes poverty. The fact that the earth is much cleaner today than a century ago is irrelevant to those possessed by climate hysteria.
Pulling together these desperate report findings is a recent National Institutes of Health study on “Covid-19 and the Political Economy of Mass Hysteria. While the study focused on how the political system and social media negatively impacted the public mind during the Covid pandemic, its findings apply to situations in which large segments of a population believe, without any injury, they are continuously exposed to dangerous conditions.
The authors of the NIH study describe mass hysteria as “a large group of people get[ting] collectively very upset” by negative information. “This threat [negative information] evokes fear and spreads in society. Symptoms can also spread.” This spread of emotions and anxiety through impacted groups is called “contagion,”
Once an infected group is in a state of mass hysteria, the government can “impose measures on the rest of the population, inflicting almost unrestricted harm,” including abrogating civil liberties. The authors describe how the federal government used lockdowns and distancing to decrease psychological resistance and create greater hysteria. The government’s actions, combined with news agencies and social media, promoted massive negative news campaigns that deteriorated psychic health by intentionally scaring those in the already anxious population.
The authors conclude that the combination of a big government that eliminates information that competes with its desired narrative and the negative information spread by social media make society more prone to the development of mass hysteria.
The Biden administration uses climate change to create the anxiety that causes mass hysteria. President Biden regularly informs the public that “Climate change is the existential threat to humanity…Unchecked, it is going to actually bake this planet. This is not hyperbole. It’s real.”
Biden emphasizes a “Whole-of-government-approach” to climate change is mandatory since it touches every aspect of society and all things made by society.
By implementing a whole of government approach, Biden makes climate change the top federal priority. Policy changes are made in every aspect of governing to address climate change, including new taxes, zero-emission cars, regulating hundreds of appliances, the electrical grid, power plants, mining, oil production, manufacturing generally, and international relations. Biden’s message to these young people is that climate change is so harmful every aspect of society must be regulated to save the planet. Unfortunately, the Lancet study finds the anxiety is so deep the government’s whole-of-government response is insufficient.
The media follows its climate change narrative as a means of ingratiating itself with the government. By November 2021, U.S. news coverage of climate change reached an all-time high. Key to the coverage increase was a change in describing it from global warming to “more intense words and phrases to describe the phenomenon, such as “climate catastrophe” and “climate emergency.” These new terms were then incorporated into the tacking algorithms to increase term coverage by 50%. As an expert noted, “Our [that] language helps describe the realities of our [the climate collectivists] world.”
Within two years, the Biden administration created a deep-rooted mass hysteria about climate change among young adults. The anxiety is so great there is nothing the government can do short of shutting down society to ease their pain. Biden’s quest for power and its media partners in deception has created a widespread mental health crisis within the population segment that will soon be some of the leaders in the United States. Intentionally creating hysteria in a nation is not responsible governing or reporting.
William L. Kovacs has served as senior vice president for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, chief counsel to a congressional committee, and a partner in law D.C. law firms. His book Reform the Kakistocracy is the winner of the 2021 Independent Press Award for Political/Social Change. He can be contacted at wlk@ReformTheKakistocracy.com