Watching tv last week, I came across The Running Man from 1987, the one with Arnold Schwartzenegger.
In the year 2019, America is a totalitarian state where the favorite television program is “The Running Man” — a game show in which prisoners must run to freedom to avoid a brutal death. Having been made a scapegoat by the government, an imprisoned Ben Richards (Arnold Schwarzenegger) has the opportunity to make it back to the outside again by being a contestant on the deadly show, although the twisted host, Damon Killian (Richard Dawson), has no intention of letting him escape.
Anyway, I got caught up in it out of curiosity. It also scared me a bit because certain components rang true, like competition for resources and the culture of greed and instant gratification. I started to kinda freak so I do what I do these days…I found a TED talk!
Britt Way discusses the ways climate change affects your mental health. Common themes between the movie and TED talk: fear, fatalism, hopelessness. Here are the notes I took as I watched, some are quotes as indicated.
- PTSD and suicidality increase after disasters like extreme weather events like Katrina, Sandy, Irene…
- Young people are questioning whether they feel it’s right to bring children into the world given what they will face
- “Bangladeshi child adds 56 metric tons of carbon dioxide to their parents carbon legacy over their lifetime while an American child, in comparison, adds 9441 to theirs.” So we also have to think bigger than just ourselves…
- Climate change “multiplies the stresses that marginalized communities already face.”
- Did you know that there are climate psychiatrists? They specialize in PTSD associated with weather events, but also “climate linked pre-traumatic stress.” Whoa!
As always, I find climate change scary and overwhelming, so I believe that those climate psychiatrists are for real! She closes with the following, and it’s important!
We cannot afford to treat the psychological impacts of climate change as an afterthought (just) because the other issues, of science, technology and politics, and economy, feel hard and while this somehow seems soft.”
I know what she means…the objective content is easier to swallow than the subjective, though no less important.
Update!! Since writing this a couple days ago, I’ve been seeing hearing and reading other things that sparked more…I’m sure you’ve all heard of Greta Thunberg by now…I am so impressed by her. Learn more here
She’s amazing because of the stand she is taking, the lengths she will go to, and the support she is giving, but also, she is showing the world that her diagnosis doesn’t limit her, calling being different a STRENGTH. And she is so right!!