A positive future is an anchor for all young people. Doubt, anxiety and addictions create cycles that are very hard to break and adults and politically oriented interest groups are superb at exploiting children and young people.

An implied helplessness keeps all ages awake at night. Our mortality is our greatest mental health challenge and when we lump the mortality of the entire human race on the shoulders of young people – it is unbearable.

I was recently in the New York State museum and they had a display on “climate change” through the millenniums with a graphic explaining that where I was standing would have been 2.4 km beneath ice 24,000 years ago and a brilliant explanation of cooling and warming patterns for the earth.

The protests of young people can morally be a very good thing. Practically, with regards to climate change, they are a spectacular waste of time and do far more harm than good. Ill-informed people telling youth that the world has 15 – 20 years left and there is little we can do may be the greatest Chicken Little story ever.

A couple of decades ago Julian Simon bet scaremonger Paul Ehrlich that the price of many key resources would decrease and, effectively, that the world would become a better place through human innovation. Simon won. Since then, by any measure (e.g. life expectancy, literacy, infant mortality, etc) the world has simply got better and better. For anyone who would state that the world situation would become catastrophic in the next 15 years I would make a similar bet. I will pay $100 per annum to the first 10 people who contact me to say that they believe that human life is all but over in 15 years time if they will put up $100,000 worth of assets at the end of that period. If they truly believe what they are telling young people it should be a no-brainer for them. They will have $1,500 risk free dollars, by their reasoning to eat and drink and be merry. I am happy to negotiate the measures of human well-being that we should take into account and put my $15,000 towards it into safe-keeping.

The comments about not having children, not flying, seeing no point in study or a career by definition are creating sleepless nights for those that need sleep and positivity the most. The world has got better and better and this is the best time ever to grow up – including what many historians call the “long peace”. For those that need a crisis to claim their funding and place in society this is clearly untenable – but the truth is there is no “climate emergency” and almost every IPCC prediction so far has massively missed the mark.

One of the great tragedies of the climate change extremism, including student “strikes” and especially the ridiculous performances of the “extinction rebellion” people is that the wonderful idealism of young people is being massively misdirected and exploited. Striking and taking to the streets is ineffective and also creates resentment and opposition from people trying to go about their day-to-day lives.

There are very needy environmental concerns that the idealism of young people can help solve. Instead of striking have nationwide beach and waterway clean-up days. Teach people how to trap harmful animals and work on eradicating invasive plants. Advocate for a sensible fishing quotas in all regions. Throw away all heavy metal articles (e.g. mobile phones) for the sake of developing nations.

Plant riparian trees en masse. Consider that nuclear energy is now very safe and in many countries they would allow damned rivers to be returned to their natural flow that would enhance flora and fauna as well as recreational uses.

The exploitation of naivety is a great crime while the passion of youth is a great attribute. The generation currently growing up can both be positive about their future and truly bring good to the world. I very much look forward to hearing from 10 individuals who will take my bet and aim to extract $15,000 from me.

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13 COMMENTS

  1. This anonymous article encourages 10 people to contact the author to take on a bet. Okay boomer.

    Putting aside the ridiculous and irrelevant “bet” – I’m surprised that a climate change denier has managed to get a platform on an education sector news site. I also question the basic premise. I haven’t heard anybody saying that human life will end in 15 years. Instead they are saying that over the next 100 years and beyond, human life will become harder, thanks to food and water scarcity, loss of land, loss of species diversity, conflict, weather extremes, fires, heatwaves and more. All this being especially the case for people in developing countries who are already more vulnerable.

    Telling people that protest is pointless and they should do something “constructive” instead, is a convenient way for the large structural powers in society to avoid culpability. When individuals take personal responsibility, even en masse, it is not enough to outweigh the damage done through corporate and government policies and legislation (or lack thereof).

    “Hey, why don’t you go and do a beach clean-up, and leave the major polluters alone! Carry cloth bags and take public transport, and meanwhile we will keep producing single use plastics and petrol cars and releasing waste into the ocean.”

    Protest is a right, it’s important, and it can create real, long-term change. Just ask the suffragettes.

    • Hi Doomer … no intent for it to be anonymous (Alwyn Poole). The bet isn’t ridiculous – it is as relevant as Simon’s to Erhlich is a previous era (and error) of min-numbing doomerisn. If you believe what you are saying take my money (and you won;t need yours in 15 years time anyway so all is in your favour if you have done your research. Yes – the suffragettes took to the street but if you read your history – instead of surface quotes – you will understand that they were massively practical and involved and didn’t wander with plastic signs and mobile phones while protesting their method of manufacturing.

      We are in 4th decade of saying “if we don’t 15 years … “. Take the bey – have a few smashed avacodos on rye bread on me.

  2. > by any measure (e.g. life expectancy, literacy, infant mortality, etc) the world has simply got better and better.

    Really?

    There are many measures that show it growing worse, including (eg) fish population, bird population, etc., as well as measures related to climate change, and as well as measures related to water quality, forest regeneration, and so on an on.

    It’s like living on credit. Everything appears to be better and better until the line of credit runs out. Then you’ve accumulated a debt you can’t recover from.

    Moreover, people aren’t saying the world will end in 10-15 years. For example, severe effects from global warming look at the 100-year window. Economic pressures may start earlier, but if you’re in a well-protected western society there may be many decades or relative stability.

    A rigged betting game won’t change that. If _you_ are so sure, pay me $10,000 today. I’ll pay you $150 for each year the world hasn’t collapsed, up to 100 years. You’ll eventually earn $15,000, if you’re right. But you probably aren’t, and so probably won’t make the bet.

    • You need to read outside your own bubble Stephen – try genuine empiricists – e.g. “The Ultimate Resource” by Julian Simon has all the reasons why world prosperity is continuing to grow and it has nothing to do with your trivial “living on credit” argument. Try Indur Goklany’s – “The Improving State of the World: Why We’re Living Longer, Healthier, More Comfortable Lives On a Cleaner Planet”. Or – most recently – Han’s Rosling’s “Factfulness”. If you will actually read them – I will even by them for you and get my money back when we exchange funds in 15 years. Have a good read – you’ll sleep better and be nicer to people.

  3. Generally, it’s not climate change as such that is being exaggerated. It is is the anthropogenic affect on it that’s being taken to an absolutely terrible level of pedagogical weaponization. Climate change concerns should not lead to misanthropy.

  4. So whose opinion is this? We can only judge an opinion based on the worth and reliability of its author and in this case we have no idea. The opinion of NZME? so this is your company’s opinion, your belief about young people and about climate change? That will then inform me of the kind of editorial response you will give to reporting issues and the inherent biases your reporters and editorial team will have. Thanks, that is very helpful. Not very helpful in terms of understanding the topic or our young people, but extremely helpful in seeing your viewpoint. I can now judge your content based on this supposed “opinion” piece. Once again, thanks!

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