Thursday, September 19, 2019

Stop Asking The Children To Save You

Marvin Gaye had it right. It's the responsibility of older generations to do right by the young.

Tomorrow brings the climate strike, an event that a lot of my students will be participating in. I am certainly proud of their choice to protest, but also miffed at the attitude of a lot of their elders.

This week my social media feed has exploded with stories about Greta Thunberg, the teenaged Swedish climate activist. I think what she is doing is fantastic, but those reporting on her and retweeting the articles frame her as some kind of child messiah. Likewise, much hay is made of how the young generation is going to set things right. I read this discourse and get sicker and sicker at heart.

What kind of irresponsible person looks at the world burning up, and then places the responsibility for solving that problem on the shoulders of a bunch of children? What kind of person looks at the DECADES of their own inaction and decides to conspicuously praise the efforts of the youth to sort out the mess they created?

This is the product of disordered minds in the possession of the people motivated by a strange brew of apathy and moral superiority. They want to signal that they are in league with the climate change movement, but they don't actually want to have to do any of the work themselves. This is politics as spectator sport, where merely rooting for the right team is extent of taking action.

We saw much the same with the rise in activism against gun violence after the Parkland shooting. All these media figures and well-meaning middle-aged liberals sitting on their ample behinds smiled and cheered how "the children will save us!"

What a load of absolute, unmitigated horse shit.

The future we are giving the youth gets worse and worse. Fewer opportunities for advancement, debt traps around every corner, declining life expectancies, their schools shot up, opioids easily available, their education reduced to a treadmill of standardized tests. Here's a thought: instead of expecting people to praise you for praising Greta Thunberg and David Hogg, why don't you get up off your lazy ass and fight for a change? Instead of expecting the children to save you, why don't you go all out to make better lives for the children? Your empty words of support are less than useless because they only feed our society's fatal complacency.

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