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.