Colorado schoolchildren played hooky on September 20 and marched, joining a worldwide “Climate Strike” to save the planet and protest the lack of action by their elders. The latest star in the firmament of global warming doomsdayers is Greta Thunberg a 16-year-old enviro-activist from Sweden. Young Greta was given a platform at the United Nations for a somewhat obvious theatrical performance, warning the world’s adults that, “we’ll be watching you” and scolding in a hysterical voice, “We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is the money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”
Her outrage at money and economic growth revealed her parallel agenda and that of other climate strikers. Their “Youth Climate Strike Manifesto” is just an echo of the absurd Green New Deal movement of AOC and other American leftists. It includes a cornucopia of government goodies and additional controls over the economy and society that have nothing to do with climate change such as: living-wage jobs, fully paid health care, affordable housing, government-owned banks and special attention to “marginalized” communities like the impoverished, disabled, LGBT and minorities.
Of course, we are nowhere near mass extinction. Serious adult scientists on the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) bandwagon are predicting a temperature increase of just two or three degrees by 2100, in which case, humanity will make adjustments, not perish. Other scientists, whose opinions I find more credible, think the dire forecasts are overblown and that humanity’s contribution to climate change is minimal compared to solar activity. Moreover, the Earth’s climate has had huge swings over eons, long before humans and the industrial revolution.
The liberal media either ignores or vilifies more moderate experts, to name just a few: Richard Lindzen, Fred Singer, Roy Spencer, William Gray, Hugh Ellsasser, Lowell Wood, William Happer, Henry Miller and Sallie Baliunas. I suspect the activist children of the Climate Strike have little or no knowledge of these qualified people and their differing viewpoint on climate change.
No one actually knows what the world’s climate will be like 100 years from now. There are many variables that we don’t fully understand or can’t control. And global warming alarmists like Al Gore have lost credibility for the their exaggerated predictions about global temperatures and rises in sea levels that fell far short over the last 40 years. Maybe we’ll be hit by an asteroid like the one that struck Earth 65 million years ago, wiping out 3/4 of the species that existed at that time, including the dinosaurs; or suffer an extinction level event (ELE) caused by a Coronal Proton Ejection (CPE) from the Sun.
I’m generally unimpressed with protests and demonstrations by youngsters. They may have latent intelligence but they lack experience, maturity, wisdom and a sense of economic consequences. Their characteristically impressionable, idealistic, impetuous, young minds lack nuance and makes them susceptible to indoctrination in school, from television, Hollywood, celebrities, pop culture, news and social media all of which are dominated by the left. Where else do you think Greta Thunberg and others of her ilk got these wild, doomsday ideas?
Young people, especially students, have a need for a cause and something to advocate for or protest against. It’s empowering and gratifying. But the causes they tend to embrace are virtually all on the left like socialism, teacher strikes, gun control, Black Lives Matter, social justice and, in this case, catastrophic climate change triggered by fossil fuels.
Can you think of any conservative causes they’ve struck for? How about school choice for charters or private school vouchers? How about immigration controls and border security? Or the spiraling national debt driven overwhelmingly by social spending on entitlement programs led by Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid that they’ll inherit as taxpaying adults? Nah, that doesn’t move them. Believe me kids, that last matter presents a far more tangible and imminent crisis for you than global warming.
There’s on old joke about relative immediacy involving two students in a college astronomy class sitting in the last row of a large lecture hall. They had a revolving arrangement whereby one would nap while the other takes notes. One day the napping student was awakened by something he thought the professor said, asking his buddy, “Did he just say the Sun would die someday.” “Yes,” said the note-taking student, “He said the our Sun will die and extinguish all life on Earth in about 5 billion years. “Whew,” exclaimed the other with relief, “I thought he said 5 million.”
Don’t worry, kids, you’ll be fine.
Longtime KOA radio talk host and columnist for the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News Mike Rosen now writes for CompleteColorado.com.