Ocean Mist

Issues and trends shaping our environment, health and economy

7 Mar 2020

Kids fear the future

Posted by Michael Keating

There are more and more stories about kids becoming afraid of the future. I was born in the midst of a war, but there was a sense that it was going to end in victory. A couple of decades later people were marching to ban nuclear weapons, stop the Vietnam war, end racism and for women’s rights. In all those cases there has been at least partial success and a sense of progress. With the decline in our environment and especially with climate change there a strong sense we are losing the battle, and have no credible plan to save our environment and civilization from great damage, even catastrophe. It is the young who feel the threat most keenly. Hundreds of thousands have been going on one-day school strikes – Fridays for Future – inspired by Greta Thunberg, the Swedish high school student who pioneered the movement. Some have closed roads and bridges to force adults to pay attention. A number of young people question what kind of future they will have and wonder openly if they should even have children of their own. An article in the Philadelphia Inquirer captures many of the concerns and frustrations of the young as they try to get their parents to pay attention. It is clear that we need unprecedented changes in how we live, travel and eat and especially how we generate and use energy. The young need not only to protest but to lead because today’s adults have failed to do enough. They have the chance to rewrite history and save the world.

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