Today's news coverage includes two riveting stories - a white-supremacist massacre of peaceful Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand, and a worldwide (involving 100 countries) series of student strikes demanding immediate and urgent government action to combat growing climate disruption. The first is, ultimately, a story of nihilistic despair - terrorist murderers perversely believe that violently … Continue reading Despair and hope converge in need for a “next system”aligned with social work’s vision
New York Times columnist David Leonhardt opined yesterday (Dec. 30) that "the story of 2018 was climate change." Leonhardt explains: "The past year is on pace to be the earth's fourth warmest on record, and the five warmest years have all occurred since 2010. This warming is now starting to cause a lot of damage. … Continue reading Can anyone doubt that climate change is the story of 2018?
Increasingly, even the "optimists" among climate change realists are concluding that massive disruptions to both the natural and social worlds are a certainty. Even if rapid and effective government action somehow manages to avert the very worst effects (whatever those might be, but we can't rule out runaway climate feedback loops spelling the extinction of … Continue reading How will social work respond to the impacts of climate disruption?
You'd be hard pressed to find much major media discussion of the climate crisis in Mississippi. (Let's stop talking about climate "change," by the way; it's already a crisis that can only intensify with time). So imagine my surprise at seeing the Clarion-Ledger today run a front-page story on the failure of both senatorial candidates, … Continue reading Might Mississippi be finally waking up to the climate crisis?
USM School of Social Work faculty & students attend & present at the 47th Annual Alabama-Mississippi Social Work Education Conference.
Two disaster stories have dominated headlines over the past couple of days – 1. Hurricane Florence barreling in to the Carolinas, killing at least eight, flooding communities, and leaving at least a million people without power; and 2. Thousands of Boston area residents fleeing for their lives as a series of gas explosions set scores … Continue reading Decaying infrastructure puts everyone at risk
Everyone enjoying a healthy relationship with reality knows at least three things about climate change - (1) it's real, (2) it's happening far more rapidly than anyone had anticipated, with devastating consequences, and (3) our only hope of staving off ever-worsening impacts (including, quite possibly, our own species' extinction) is to radically reduce the emission … Continue reading Do Trump and Fellow Fossil Fuel Fanatics Have a Death Wish?
Heat records are being set all over the world this July, and people in large numbers - mainly the young, the elderly, and the poor - are dying because of it. Yes, climate change kills. The link between heat-trapping gases and global warming is proven far past reasonable doubt, and it is absolutely unconscionable that … Continue reading Soaring temperatures are killing people around the world right now
Virtually buried under the avalanche of stories on the post-Trump-Putin summit fallout is this gem by journalist Somini Sengupta in today's New York Times - Summers are becoming so hot in South Asia that people are already dying in big numbers, and soon cities may be too hot to remain livable for hundreds of millions … Continue reading “Russia, Russia, Russia,” but hardly a big media mention of building climate catastrophe
Social workers know denial when they see it. One of the most common – and surely the most seductive – of psychological defense mechanisms, denial as it were cheats reality, permitting us to keep old behaviors and habits of mind intact, no matter how damaging they are in the long run. Sadly, denial is the … Continue reading Denying reality is not an option