Responding to Sky News

I’ll quote this extract, posted on LinkedIn, in full:

Excellent response from a journalist from Skynews Australia to the youth who recently showed for the climate:

” …you are the first generation to have asked for air conditioning in every classroom; your lessons are all made to the computer; you have a television in each room; you spend all day using electronic means instead of walking to go at school, you take all kinds of means of transport. You are the biggest consumer of consumer goods in all history, you constantly buy the most expensive clothes to be “trend”, your protest is announced by digital and electronic means.

Kids, before protest, turn off the air conditioning, go to school on foot, turn off your phones and read a book.

None of this will happen, because you are selfish, poorly educated, manipulated by people who use you, saying you have a noble cause while having fun in the most insane western luxury. Wake up and close it. Learn about the facts before you protest and start by respecting your elders “.

First of all, the youth has a name: she is Greta Thunberg. Here is her address to the United Nations: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9KxE4Kv9A8

Now for my response to the criticism.

Doesn’t the writer see the irony in this: “you are the first generation to have asked for air conditioning in every classroom?” They are complaining about global warming. One of the first effects, especially in Australia, is that it’s hotter.

But a lot of his vitriol is aimed at the use of electronics. “Read a book,” he advises. This is rich. I live in a nation where virtually all of the old growth forest was removed so that people like him could read a book. The paper production industry continues to destroy land and pollute the environment. Now it’s true that electronic media use a lot of power. But there’s no reason why this can’t be – especially in Australia – solar power. That is your fault, not the fault of the youth.

He also complains that youth use all sorts of means of transport instead of walking. Perhaps he hasn’t seen how cities are designed these days. Mostly, there is no public transport. They are spread out over wide areas and gas-fueled cars and buses are the only means of transportation. It is physically impossible to walk most places in a reasonable amount of time. All of that is your fault, not the fault of the youth.

He complains that youth are “the biggest consumer of consumer goods in all history.” The youth, looking at the McMansions and SUVs owned by their parents, might be surprised to hear that. But even they were the biggest consumers of goods, it was not them that created an economy dedicated to consumer spending, where demand is created by relentless advertising and media coverage. All of that is your fault, not the fault of the youth.

He complains that youth should “Learn about the facts before you protest.” We could ask who it was that was responsible for educating the youth. We could ask who it was that created climate change denial, misinformation, and fake news. On this issue especially, the older generation has been actively engaged in making it difficult to learn about climate change. And to this day, with columns like this, you continue to lie and mislead. All of that is your fault, not the fault of the youth.

The fact is, there is nothing the youth can practically do on their own that will make a difference, other than what they’re doing. They own none of the wealth and power that have created and powered an economy that is out of control and destroying the planet. In a world where dollars count as votes, they have no votes. The planet is being destroyed by the elder generation and its industries, and they respond by denying there’s a crisis, by saying they cannot afford to take their foot off the gas, and by blaming the youth.

greta

 

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