This could become a heated and useless discussion. One that goes back centuries. To be blunt – Are we molly coddling the little beggars. Lets face it, on one level life has improved immeasurably. Life expectancies, just as an example, show how less brutal life is; and total global populations show how plentiful general life support is. I guess the real question here is, do you believe that global warming will make Earth uninhabitable for humans? If the answer is YES to that question, AND something could be done to change that – then you have an obligations to say something. If the answer is No and NO then I guess – Shut Up. But is it that easy?
Stop Telling Kids They’ll Die From Climate Change
Is climate change the biggest threat to humanity? Many people would say so. Young people in particular feel hopeless. A recent survey asked 10,000 16- to 25-year-olds in 10 countries about their attitudes about climate change. The results were damning. More than half said “humanity was doomed”; three-quarters said the future was frightening; 55 percent said they would have less opportunities than their parents; 52 percent said family security would be threatened; and 39 percent were hesitant to have children as a result. These attitudes were consistent across countries rich and poor, big and small: from the United States and the United Kingdom to Brazil, the Philippines, India, and Nigeria.
It’s totally legitimate that young people feel this way. I’ve been there. Today, much of my work focuses on researching, writing, and thinking about climate change. But it’s a field I very nearly walked away from. Fresh out of university with a degree in environmental science and climate change, it was hard to see that I could contribute anything at all. I flipped back and forth between anger and hopelessness. Any effort seemed futile, and I nearly quit. Thankfully my perspective shifted. I’m glad it did. Not only did I continue working on climate, I’m also sure that my work has had many times the positive impact it would have if I’d been stuck in my previous mindset. And that’s why I’m convinced that if we’re to make progress on climate, we need to lift this cloak of pessimism.
Let’s be clear: Climate change is one of the biggest problems we face. It comes with many risks—some certain, some uncertain—and we’re not moving anywhere near fast enough to reduce emissions. But there seems to have been a breakdown in communication of what our future entails. None of the climate scientists I know and trust—who surely know the risks better than almost anyone—are resigned to a future of oblivion. Most of them have children. In fact, they often have several. Young ones, too. Now, having kids is no automatic qualification for rational decision-making. But it signals that those who spend day after day studying climate change are optimistic that their children will have a life worth living.
Go there and read. More next week.