Is Green activism based on good intentions?
Or is something darker going on.
Climate activists and other Greens claim that they care more about the natural environment than other people. They also claim that other people who disagree with them are:
shills for fossil fuel companies.
These claims are apparently so self-evident that they offer no evidence to support their claim.
Worse, I have noticed that most Greens take very few actions to actually protect the natural environment. They spend almost none of their free time working to protect wild or rewilding habitats. And, no, I do not count any of the following activities:
Posting on social media
Taking part in climate protests
Donating money to Green causes
Voting for candidates who claim to care about the environment
Running for office
I mean actually working with your hands to protect or rewild wild habitats like the old Conservation movement used to. I may disagree with those people on some issues, but I respect that they actually do the hard work rather than just complain.
The climate does not care about your politics. And sweet words are not a substitute for action that creates positive results.
So is it possible that Greens are not as moral as they claim?
Is it possible that their claims of “good intentions” actually mask much darker motivations?
There is an important psychological study published in a respected journal that claims yes. The dark side of environmental activism will be published in the Personality and Individual Differences journal in March 2024. The link points to a free digital copy of the abbreviated version.
The Abstract of this article is fairly clear:
In times of growing concerns about climate change, environmental activism is increasing. Whereas several studies have examined associations between environmental activism and the Big Five personality characteristics, the potential “dark side” of environmental activists' personality has been neglected.
Accordingly, this study examined associations between environmental activism, the dark triad traits (i.e., Machiavellianism, psychopathy, narcissism) and left-wing authoritarianism (i.e., antihierarchical aggression, anticonventionalism, top-down censorship). Data came from 839 employed individuals in Germany. Results showed positive associations between environmental activism and Machiavellianism, narcissism, antihierarchical aggression, and anticonventionalism.
Most of these associations remained significant after controlling for Big Five characteristics, demographic characteristics, political orientation, and right-wing authoritarianism. These findings suggest that environmental activism, in addition to its potential positive outcomes, may also have a dark side in terms of activists' personality.
Environmental activism is positively related to (a) Machiavellianism and (b) narcissism.
Environmental activism is positively related to (a) antihierarchical aggression and (b) anticonventionalism.
The Results section confirms the hypothesis (though the digital version is truncated)
Table 1 displays descriptive statistics and intercorrelations of the study variables. Results of the regression analyses (Table 2) showed that the dark triad traits and the left-wing authoritarianism dimensions together accounted for 41 % of the variance in civic environmental actions (51 % with control variables included), 26 % of the variance in participation in environmental activism (31 % with control variables), and 19 % of the variance in support for environmental activism (35 % with...
The Discussion section gets right to an important finding in other studies.
Previous studies have proposed and found positive relations between political activism and the dark triad traits (Bertrams & Krispenz, 2023; Rogoza et al., 2022) and left-wing authoritarianism (Costello et al., 2022; Krispenz & Bertrams, 2023). This study advances this literature by demonstrating positive associations between environmental activism and two of the dark triad traits (i.e., Machiavellianism, narcissism) and two dimensions of left-wing authoritarianism (i.e., antihierarchical
For those who are not familiar with the concept of the Dark Triad, here is your assigned reading. Warning: it is not pleasant.
The Dark Triad consists of all the psychological traits that you do not want to be anywhere near:
My guess is that this study is only the beginning of a wave of psychological studies documenting Leftist ideologies with negative psychological traits and mental disorders.
You have been forewarned!