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LETTER: Time to move past denial phase

To the editor:

Whenever something bad happens, especially something serious, it is normal and necessary for human beings to immediately enter a phase of recovery called “denial.” Simply put, denial is a refusal to acknowledge that a bad thing is real.

We have this essential coping skill so that we can come to terms with a bad thing at a pace we can tolerate. If forced to accept a painful reality too rapidly, one’s ability to cope is overwhelmed.

Denial is not a pathological response to tragedy. Rather, it is a protective mechanism essential to mental health. Yet, timing is critical. To stay in denial too long risks sacrificing one’s capacity to successfully manage a bad thing.

If I have cancer and I avoid accepting this reality too long, I may miss the window of opportunity to successfully treat the disease. If I have a serious alcohol use disorder and I stay in denial too long, I risk losing my family, house, business or life.

Denial is an excellent short-term plan, but a catastrophic long-term plan. To successfully manage a seriously bad thing, I must eventually admit that it is real. To do otherwise is fateful.

Climate change is real. It’s happening now and worsening each day. To stay in denial any longer is a catastrophic plan for the entire globe. Become informed and get involved.

Members of all political parties and all faith traditions should be vigorously involved in addressing climate change. Sadly, the Republican Party platform overtly denies climate change and some religious groups remain deep in denial.

Watch Paul Douglas, a Republican evangelical Christian, and a well-respected meteorologist. He eloquently describes his conversion from climate-change denier, to climate-change believer. Find him on on the Internet. Enter “Meteorologist Paul Douglas on Papal Encyclical.”

Jon Koll

Alexandria, MN