Two years ago, Camille Parmesan, a professor at Plymouth University and the University of Texas at Austin, became so “professionally depressed” that she questioned abandoning her research in climate change entirely.
Parmesan has a pretty serious stake in the field. In 2007, she shared a Nobel Peace Prize [note: no, she did not. the IPCC won the prize, not her.] with Al Gore for her work as a lead author of the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In 2009, The Atlantic named her one of 27 “Brave Thinkers” for her work on the impacts of climate change on species around the globe.Did she get into science to do science? Or to change the world?
She is not depressed because she can't do science. Parmesan does not claim she could not pursue her chosen field. She is apparently an honored member of her field and a sought after speaker. It is her poltical agenda that is not winning. This is not science. This is politics.
Lise Van Susteren, a forensic psychiatrist based in Washington, D.C. — and co-author of the National Wildlife Federation’s report — calls this emotional reaction “pre-traumatic stress disorder,” a term she coined to describe the mental anguish that results from preparing for the worst, before it actually happens.This used to be called "being a worry-wart." It was recognized as a character defect, to stress about the future, to worry about 100 things when only one can possibly happen. It used to be considered neurotic, now it is a badge of honor, to be hounded by worries and fears.