If all this talk of real-world engineering challenges is getting you down, and you’re just not happy with things as they are, Bloomberg has a suggestion. Get really high, man. Apparently “A Psychedelics Boom Is Minting Environmentalists” and “Proponents of a new wave of interest in hallucinogens say the right trip at the right time can change how people think about the natural world.” Or as the late Sam Rayburn used to say, in simpler times, “Why should we sit here dumb and weak, when for the price of two drinks we could be strong and smart?” But even if getting stoned can help you connect to nature, we still strongly urge sobriety when making important practical decisions.
Do not be deceived. We are not Puritans. If you enjoy a tipple at day’s end, if you even feel that under some circumstances relaxing can enhance your creativity, we will not shake a bony finger at you and say lips that touch wine shall never touch mine. But we will remind you of the wise words of the veteran studio rock musician and hedonist Beef in Phantom of the Paradise: “Hey, man, I know the difference between drug real and real real.”
The Bloomberg piece asks:
“How many people transform their lives after taking magic mushrooms? Many, insist the founders of The Journeymen Collective, a Canadian startup whose ‘contemporary shamans’ guide guests through multi-day psilocybin journeys on a mountaintop estate that features luxury hotel-style rooms.”
Sounds pricey. And it is:
“Executives, entrepreneurs and other professionals willing to drop at least $11,000 to ‘connect deeply into Self’ and ‘amplify their multi-dimensional awareness,’ Journeymen Collective clients often emerge newly protective of the planet, says co-founder Rob Grover, who previously worked in oil and gas.”
So maybe also a refresher on rich real versus real real? Or should we all just drop acid?
Perhaps not. According to the author:
“In 2017, the Journal of Psychopharmacology published a study showing that using LSD, psilocybin and mescaline – ‘classic psychedelics’ – led to a boost in self-reported ‘pro-environmental’ behaviors. The study even controlled for other substances that don’t cause tracers, like cannabis, and for personality traits that might predispose participants to being green, like ‘openness to experience, conscientiousness, conservatism.’ The result, while correlative and not causative, suggests that long-term psychedelic use changes how people think about their place in the natural world. Enough people to turn the tide on climate change? Not anytime soon, but early findings are intriguing.”
Ah yes. More research needed. Even for those wise persons with “openness to experience” as opposed to dolts who think a certain amount of caution might be in order in a dangerous world.
Years ago P.J. O’Rourke commented sardonically that:
“The neo-hippie-dips, the sentimentality-crazed iguana anthropomorphizers, the Chicken Littles, the three-bong-hit William Blakes – thank God these people don’t actually go outdoors much, or the environment would be even worse than it is already.”
And we had occasion to recall that line in the face of complaints that marijuana grow ops were destroying the climate, saying “imagine a sober (or so we hope) journalist thinking the climate is so fragile that growing marijuana in Connecticut for people to smoke in Connecticut could push it over the edge.” But as we said, we’re not Puritans. Just sensible.
So if you want to get high, in a luxury hotel suite and general psychedelic spa atmosphere or just by smoking a joint on your cottage sundeck, and feel connected to nature and responsible for stewardship, go right ahead. For that matter, standing stoned in front of a wind turbine and seeing the havoc it creates among birds, bats and bugs might actually help make you a better environmentalist. But when it comes time to figure out whether solar power can really supply enough energy in off-peak periods, please limit yourself to coffee.