Most close observers of the dynamics of climate change recognize that the human mind is both the instigator of climate chaos, and paradoxically both the only hope and biggest obstacle to breaking the climate curve.
Our presumed evolutionary bias for immediate gratification, our loyalty to our tribe more than to our species, our Western ethos that we are the lords above all other forms of life, our relative indifference to threats occurring ‘over there’, all make the collective inaction problem of climate change extraordinarily challenging.
We’ve also seen that ‘facts’ have limited or negative pervasive power with large segments of the population and that even among those ‘bridesiders’ or climate gradualists many factors including the ‘distraction dilemma’ act to prevent action commensurate with the magnitude of the threat.
One path to softening and perhaps overcoming these quasi- innate obstacles is to consider whether society should support – or perhaps even mandate – the carefully supervised use of psychedelics. And that is because of the profound and unmatchable ability of many a psychedelic experience to lead to instant sweeping change in consciousness, a change that leads to a diminution of fear and a deep understanding of our connection to all of life. Recent clinical trials at Johns Hopkins, NYU and UCLA have demonstrated these profound effects. See this New Yorker article by Michal Pollan for more on the promise of psychedelic therapy as well as articles from a special edition of the MAPS Journal entitled Psychedelics and Ecology.
Widespread climadelic therapy has great promise to reverse the climate doom and climate inertial many feel, and encourage the kind of long zoom holistic approach to life described by the writer Steve Johnson. Psychedelics remarkable ability to awaken our collective empathy, our biophilic connectedness and visceral appreciation of the wonder, preciousness and miraculousness of our world can help us engage climate chaos with courage, hope and understanding.
Even if climadelic therapy does not lead to transformational climate action, why would we not want more peace, love, courage and understanding as we enter the post normal climate era?
Perhaps climadelic therapy is just what the Psychopocene era is calling for.