Heather du Plessis-Allan: Climate change frenzy is terrifying children

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Fri, 27 Sep 2019, 4:18PM

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Climate change frenzy is terrifying children

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Fri, 27 Sep 2019, 4:18PM

If you’re a parent and you gave permission for your child to go on the climate strike today. I’d like to ask you a question: How scared is your child?

I’m sure not all the kids who went on strike today are scared of climate change. Some would’ve gone along on strike because it was the thing to do today.

But some of the kids who went on strike today are really scared.

I heard a young person on the radio this morning saying billions of people are going to die by 2050

That’s ridiculous. Do we actually believe billions of people are going to die because of climate change in 31 years because of climate change

Do you? This is what we’re telling our kids,

Don’t you think the language that we’re using is too apocalyptical? Adults are obviously using this language out of desperation. They want to see action

And they’re not.

So they’re taking worst-case scenarios and turning them into actually-going-to-happens in the hope it might spur action by those in power.

But what’s happening is it’s also scaring people and scaring children. Now I’m very cynical personally about how organic this youth-led movement is.

Sure, it’s possible that some young people are so motivated that they started the thing - that might have been the inception. But now, I can’t shake the feeling that there are adults capitalising on this.

Who welcome young people ‘leading’ the movement because it’s good PR. Because it’s a point of difference from the usual middle-aged talking head on the TV.

Because everybody likes and wants to protect children - and because it's very hard to argue against them.

You can’t go toe-to-toe with a child. If you do, you’re a bully. That’s what we’ve seen this week with Greta Thunberg. She makes a speech on the world stage, commentators take issue with her message and they get tagged as bullies.

It’s very convenient to have children involved. It may even be successful.

But it’s terrifying them and I’m not sure that’s the right thing to do to young people.