Watch out for the carborexics!

Psychiatrists in the US have identified a new disease.  They have described what they call “Dark Green Carborexics”, who they say are not so much eco-campaigners as “obsessive/compulsive” types. 
 
In their determination to reduce the perceived dangers to the environment of CO2 emissions, they are verging on a zero-consumption life-style.  Driving cars on recycled vegetable oil is perhaps the least weird thing they do.  They may sleep together in a heap to preserve warmth (perhaps emulating the Eskimos who fight sub-zero temperatures with “Three-Dog Nights”).  They may wee on the lawn to save the precious water that they would otherwise flush away.  They will grow their own organic vegetables.  They will as far as possible avoid consumer goods, and perhaps buy only second-hand when they have to buy.  Some are targeting ten percent of the emissions of the average home.
 
Students of this phenomenon find that these Dark Green Carborexics have an undue influence on friends, relatives and neighbours.  They are highly critical of others who fail to conform to their norms.  Elizabeth Carl, an American psychologist and specialist in obsessive-compulsive disorders, says “If you’re criticising friends because they’re not living up to your standards of green, that’s a problem”.
 
I have long thought of the green movement, with its misplaced concern about carbon emissions, as a new religion.  Like a religion, it is intolerant of dissent.  It predicts Armageddon if we don’t follow its precepts.  In a bizarre recapitulation of the “Indulgences” sold by the mediaeval Church, it even offers “Carbon Off-Setting” so that you can wash away your environmental sins with money, and sleep easy of nights.
 
But looking at the attitudes of some of the climate campaigners I come across in the European parliament, I think that the carborexic obsessive-compulsive disorder is a better metaphor.  Or even, maybe, not so much a metaphor.  More a clinical description.

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