Back in June, I came across a post by Linda Cockburn on her blog, Living the Good Life. Linda studies environmental law and her blog focuses on issues of sustainability. Its tagline is “Our ongoing attempts to live as sustainably as possible.”
The post that I came across is entitled “I am angry!” and, in it, Linda expresses her despair about the state of the world and the futility of placing hope in and comforting ourselves with small daily pro-sustainability lifestyle changes in the face of destructiveness on such a massive scale. Like many who have wrestled with this viewpoint, Linda appears to have been influenced by Derrick Jensen, since the post features an image of the graphic novel he produced along with Stephanie McMillan, As the World Burns: 50 Simple Things You Can Do To Stay In Denial.
I was moved by what Linda was expressing in that post so I left a comment to share with her the idea that psychopathology may play a key role and to let her know about the field of ponerology, which has shed so much light on issues like this for me.
Linda responded right away with a comment that showed interest in those topics.
Then, a few weeks later, I got an email from Linda. She said my comment had thrown her off on a tangent looking into the ideas I had mentioned in the comment. She also said she was inspired to write an article about ponerology and how screening for psychopaths might improve workplaces, governments, the environment and the world at large. She wanted to interview me for this article.
A couple weeks after that I received a set of interview questions from Linda.
At that time, I was under the impression that Linda was writing an article for her blog that would just consist of the text of her questions and my responses. So I answered the questions at great length, thinking these would make up the bulk of her post. Only later, after I had responded, did I learn that she was actually writing a feature article for an Australian magazine called The Monthly, whose readers share an interest in law, politics and management.
Linda was then kind enough to share the early drafts of her article with me to get my feedback. As her editing process continued, though, it became clear to her that – perhaps because I had answered the questions having misunderstood their purpose or perhaps for other reasons – the information from the interview wasn’t well-suited to this particular article that she was writing, after all. However, since her questions had helped to surface some valuable information, we both agreed that it made sense for me to just post the interview, in its entirety, here on this blog.
As of this writing, Linda’s article is not yet published. If and when it is, I will link to it here.
So, without further adieu, here are Linda’s questions and my responses. (more…)