Mind Over Matter

I’ll say this for the Guardian website – it’s the gift that keeps on giving. I did a double-take when I read an articlei there today, with the heading “EU officials being trained to meditate to help fight climate crisis”. Briefly I found myself wondering if it was 1st April, since both the headline and the article itself read like a spoof. Then I remembered that it’s May, even though the temperatures outside feel more like early April.

From start to finish, it’s one long catalogue of pointlessness in the brave new world where mindfulness apparently trumps reality. Straight away, we learn:

Brussels officials are being trained to meditate to help them tackle the climate crisis as part of a new wave of “applied mindfulness” that seeks to take the Buddhism-inspired practice “off the cushion” and into hard politics.

EU officials working on the 27-country bloc’s green deal climate policy are attending “inner green deal” courses intended to foster a deeper connection among decision-makers and negotiators tasked with tackling the crisis. The courses incorporate woodland walks near Brussels and meditation sessions, including one that invites participants to feel empathy for trees and animals to boost “environmental compassion”.

How lovely. How could anyone object? Shockingly, some managers are reported at showing impatience at being asked to meditate, because instead they want to get down to business, presumably regarding meditation as being a waste of time. I’m not sure what’s worse. Thinking that meditation can solve the world’s “climate crisis”, or thinking that getting down to business can solve the world’s “climate crisis”.

If anyone ever feels the need to kowtow to the overwhelming wisdom of those who write IPCC reports, perhaps they should meditate on the fact that:

A recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlighted the need for “inner transitions” and the potential of meditation to encourage lower-carbon lifestyles.

As if that isn’t bad enough, we then learn that all this isn’t confined to the hallowed halls of Brussels and the report-writing nerve centre of the IPCC. Not at all. It turns out that the mindfulness epidemic has reached Westminster too:

Some UK MPs are backing a policy report launched this week that argues examining the human heart and mind is the “missing dimension” in the global response to the climate crisis.

The report, overseen by the Mindfulness Initiative, which supports the UK parliament’s all-party group on mindfulness, says tackling climate breakdown has too long been framed as a problem of technology rather than compassion and empathy, and this is holding back humanity’s ability to move faster.

Technology? Pah! If only we all showed compassion and empathy, the “climate crisis” would be over tomorrow. Seriously, I don’t know why somebody didn’t think of this earlier.

As well as Caroline Lucas, it turns out that Christina Figueres is a fan. So much so that we are told that she believes that “her practice of “deep listening”, which is related to mindfulness and emerges from Buddhist teaching, was “the key” to the successful [Paris] agreement.” It must be good stuff, this mindfulness. Apparently it can turn the reality of failure into a belief in success.

But back to the EU. It seems that officials are to learn mindfulness practices before being presented with the “raw” facts “about the climate emergency. They then explore how they personally relate to problems that can seem overwhelming.”

So much for science. It looks more and more like a cult with every passing day. I don’t know about you, but while the EU, the IPCC and sundry MPs might think this is useful, I’m left with the overwhelming feeling that if these people are in charge, then we’re all doomed.

Endnote

i https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/04/eu-bureaucrats-being-trained-meditate-help-fight-climate-crisis

via Climate Scepticism

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May 4, 2022 at 02:06PM

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