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The voice of youth

07 Jul 2021 | OP ED Watch

In case the climate debate is giving you a headache, the New York Times assures you it’s over, this time for sure. And it’s the party formerly known as Trump’s that did it, thanks to persons of young. “Some Republicans call for a coherent climate strategy”, Climate Fwd. declares, adding that “For years young Republicans have been telling their party that the GOP’s denial of climate change was unacceptable. Party leaders are finally starting to listen.” Oh really. And here we thought the governor of Texas just signed a bill into law saying the state would divest from firms that divested from fossil fuels. It is just so hard to believe that anyone could fail to share our opinion even after we bestow it on them. But sometimes it happens.

In fact one of the less pleasant tasks associated with the Climate Discussion Nexus is hacking away at the weeds of conspiracy theory that persistently sprout on our social media. Some of it, as we have noted, is the persistent and surprisingly reputable claim that climate skeptics are paid liars in the pockets of Big Oil. But among skeptics a surprising number insist that climate alarmism is a hoax, many then falling off the edge into a globalist plot to depopulate the planet, enslave the remnants and so on and so forth. And while it’s possible to blame the internet for having turned loose this sort of reasoning, it’s also possible to suspect that it has to some degree simply revealed its prevalence.

If so it’s a service, we suppose. Of a sort. (Thanks a lot.) And what it seems to reveal is precisely that people have grave difficulty believing that people who say different stuff than they do, and act in ways they do not recommend, might actually think differently. Which we find odd, since if you venture into a library and pick books off almost any shelf you will find that many, perhaps most, contain ideas you do not share, are written in a style you do not find appealing, make no sense at all or all three at once.

At any rate the debate over climate is not ending, and it is certainly not ending because all youth are woke and the deniers are shuffling off to the shuffleboard court and then the cemetery one bad stick-in-the-mud at a time. Indeed, as has been pointed out on a great many issues where the voice of youth was meant to deliver a crushing final demographic victory to some progressive cause or another, the countervailing factor, the negative feedback mechanism if you like, is that over the years that youth has been telling the party to get hep on emissions, or the Times thinks it has, the old have gotten older but the young have aged too, and very often experience pushes people away from utopian dreams toward views that accept trade-offs and complexities.

For that matter, there are even people who doubt climate orthodoxy while young. And if you want to find some, we suggest that the Republican Party in the United States would actually be a splendid place to look. If your vision is a bit better than that of Times journalists.

We can’t help adding here that the BBC says young people subjected to endless climate doom-and-gloom are now suffering a mental health crisis, which Paul Homewood dares suggest might be their fault. The BBC cites some expert who “said that children needed empowering support.” Which again they might find in the GOP rather than the BBC.

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