The Situationist

Some Situational Effects of the BP Gulf Disaster

Posted by The Situationist Staff on September 1, 2010

Excerpts from EurekaAlert:

Anger, depression, and helplessness are the main psychological responses being seen in response to the catastrophic Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and they are likely to have long-lasting effects, according to an interview in Ecopsychology, . . . .

The anger being expressed in response to the recent BP oil rig explosion and resulting spill of millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico is “a way of masking the really unfathomable and profound despair that is just under the surface as we watch this catastrophe unfold,” says Deborah Du Nann Winter, PhD, Professor of Psychology at Whitman College (Walla Walla, WA). In an interview published in Ecopsychology and conducted by Editorial Board member Susan Koger, PhD, Professor of Psychology at Willamette University in Salem, OR, Winter predicts a great deal of chronic depression, withdrawal, and lack of functioning among not only people directly affected by the events in the Gulf, but also people nationwide and globally who identify or empathize with their circumstances.

* * *

With the hope that the BP spill, with all the damage and suffering it is causing, will stimulate renewed environmental activism and changes in attitudes and behaviors, Winter says, “this disaster is probably just the kick in the pants that the environmental movement has needed.”

* * *

The interview is available free online at www.liebertpub.com/eco.

For a sample of related Situationist posts, see “Inequality and the Unequal Situation of Mental and Physical Health,” “The Situational Consequences of Uncertainty,” “The Situation of Solitary Confinement,” “Our Carcinogenic Situation,” “The Psychological Toll of Automobile Traffic,” “The Disturbing Mental Health Situation of Returning Soldiers,” Juliet Schor, ‘Colossal Failure: The Output Bias of Market Economies’,” Juliet Schor on the Situation of Consumption,”Denial,” The Need for a Situationist Morality,”

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