Who knew that people who work in the great outdoors are so emotionally fragile. Yet that apparently is the case with the Biden administration.
The Washington Times reports that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been hosting “ecogrief” training sessions for its staff.
The next such class is scheduled for tomorrow, March 10, although the agency seems to be struggling to fill slots for this one, according to the Times. Only 10 of 35 available seats were claimed as of earlier this week.
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Yet the Times noted this “training” has occurred at many FWS sites across the country, with the purpose being, in the words of an organizer, “to take care of our people who work in these challenging circumstances: to help you all build resiliency, recognize stressors, understand loss and be empowered to take care of yourselves.”
“Ecogrief,” as the Times noted, “is the name some psychologists have given to distress that some feel over a changing environment.”
The condition primarily affects younger people, and the Times pointed out that it is “part of a family of new terms to describe distress. It’s also been labeled ‘climate grief’ or ‘ecoanxiety.’”
“The American Psychological Association says it can manifest as a sense of being overwhelmed by the immensity of changes to the environment or even a sense of ‘anticipated loss’ — essentially mourning what someone believes to be inevitable, particularly with climate change,” the Times added.
Taxpayers are shelling out $4,000 for each virtual session, which is considered part of the FWS regular budget for employee training and development.
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An agency spokeswoman told the Times that these sessions are voluntary and were scheduled at the request of employees.
So far, the training has been provided in Alaska and in the Southeast. Friday’s class is being offered to staff in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma.
Some congressional Republicans were not happy.
Rep. Ryan Zinke, a Montana Republican who served as Interior Department secretary during the Trump administration, told the Times that if someone had suggested ecogrief training to him, he’d “kick ‘em out of the office, whoever thought of proposing it.”
“There’s not a chance we’re going to let this go,” he said of GOP lawmakers with control over the FWS budget. “The question is, if this can make it through an approval process somewhere, what else is out there? What else are taxpayers paying for?”
Rep. Tom Tiffany, a Wisconsin Republican who sits on the House Natural Resources Committee, called ecogrief training a “colossal waste of time and resources.”
“The Interior Department should maybe focus a little less on promoting fringe environmental fanaticism in the workplace and a little more on better land management practices and lowering prices at the pump,” he told the Times.
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Rep. Harriet Hageman, the Wyoming Republican who sent Liz Cheney packing last year, labeled ecogrief training “another instance of the insanity of wokeism that is permeating our society.”
“For our friends at the Fish and Wildlife Service,” she said, “you may want to take that ecogrief seminar now, before we legislate it out of existence.”
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