There’s a reason that we don’t look to teenagers for guidance on fraught issues of public policy. Kids have nothing interesting to say to us. They just repeat back what they’ve been told by adults, with less nuance and maturity.
Much of the climate advocacy of young people boils down to the plaint that all parents know well: “I want it, and I want it now.” As one headline on a National Geographic story put it, “Kids’ world climate strikes demand that warming stop, fast.”
The youthful climate activists claim they’ve been sold out by their elders. Greta Thunberg put it with her usual accusatory starkness at the U.N.: “You are failing us, but young people are starting to understand your betrayal.”
This is laughable. By no global measure of social and economic well-being have we failed kids. According to HumanProgress.org, the global poverty rate fell from 28 percent in 1999 to 11 percent in 2013. Life expectancy increased from 63.2 years to 71.9 years from 1981 to 2015. The completion rate for primary school increased from 80 percent in 1981 to 90 percent in 2015. The same benign trends hold for hunger, child labor, literacy, and so on.
If climate change proves a significant challenge, today’s youth will have more resources and technology to grapple with it than any other generation in the history of mankind.
Of course, the adults they listen to don’t tell them any of this. Instead, they feed the kids a diet of apocalyptic warnings that children repeat back as if they were urgent insights. One speaker at the youth climate rally in Washington, D.C., last week said that we have just 18 months — yes, only until the beginning of 2021 — to forestall irreversible environmental harms.
According to National Geographic, “more than a few teens who began as fervent activists have dropped out, citing depression, anxiety, and other fears that the world’s leaders will not act in time to prevent their lives — and the lives of their children — from being irretrievably altered by climate change.”
This is nuts, and it’s the adult enablers who are ultimately responsible. As for the kids, they’ll be all right. One day, they will grow up, even in a warming world.https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/09/ ... d-nations/
Everything will be alright Greta.