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The voice of youth drones on

29 May 2019 | OP ED Watch

With commendable consistency, Climate Home News announces “an exciting project” in which it “will host reporting, personal reflections and commentary written by a group of young people who have inspired the world - the school strike for climate movement.” It seems the editors were dazzled by young people’s ability to skip school and sneer at adults “with no pre-existing organisational apparatus, real funding or control of traditional media platforms. They are worth listening to.” Or not.

As we have noted before, many of these young people have no grasp of science or economics, no sense of the limits of the possible, none of the wisdom that ideally comes with age. (Some even think they can see carbon dioxide with their bare eyes.) Of course many adults seem to have avoided growing wiser as they grew older, and think a bunch of kids who would flunk a basic high school chemistry test or indeed a test of manners ought to take the lead while they shuffle off to the retirement home.

These kids, CHN assures us, “are predictably passionate, articulate and well informed. But I have been surprised by their clarity. The climate crisis is often portrayed, in particular on this website, as a balance of political interests. A game being played out between powerful lobbies. For those in school today, there’s nothing abstract about a potential sea level rise of two metres in their lifetime. We need to hear more from them because their perspective is one you cannot share if you were born last century.” In which case there’s not much point listening, is there?

As for there being nothing abstract about a sea level rise predicted by computer models and unconfirmed by empirical observation, it makes you wonder what the editors think “abstract” means. Oh well. Go ask some chanting teens, we guess.

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