By Bruce Thornton
In 1212, thousands of children and teens in France and England set off for the Holy Land to convert Muslims to Christianity. Led by shepherds, these mostly poor and dispossessed young people headed for the Mediterranean, believing it would miraculously part and allow them to cross on dry land. Instead, the children, promised free passage by a couple of unscrupulous merchants, were sold into slavery or died in a shipwreck.
Last week’s Climate Strike by schoolchildren to “save the planet” is a grotesque parody of this legend of faith and courage, yet no more likely to accomplish anything useful. The strike was the first act of this week’s UN’s “Global Climate Week,” along with blocking traffic in DC (with the help of Antifa and Black Lives Matter), a “Youth Climate Summit,” and an orgy of hypocrisy at the UN General Assembly. No doubt we’ll see “world leaders” dramatically call for “global action,” then pass symbolic resolutions that, like every “climate summit” since 1979, will do absolutely nothing to lower temperatures enough to stop the warmists’ alleged apocalypse.
But instead of young pilgrims risking and losing their lives on behalf of their faith, the Climate “pilgrims” are mostly the global comfortable and affluent enjoying a day off from school as they preen and pontificate about a subject they know little about, and bask in the attention and flattery of important “grown-ups” like Hollywood stars and venal politicians equally ignorant about how global climate works.
In the “woke” children’s anti-carbon crusade––a word, of course, the progs have proscribed as “Islamophobic––callow youth are increasingly becoming the props in a fashionable farce whose sinister aim is dismantling the West’s economies, and further concentrating political and economic power at the expense of we the people.
This global publicity stunt shows why sensible people don’t take adolescents seriously––and why progressives want to lower the voting age––when it comes to complex issues of public policy and the trade-offs required by a participatory democracy. Most adolescents are by nature narcissists and drama queens, and think histrionic emotion is more important than cold facts, sound arguments, and real-world limits to gratifying their petulant demands for utopia. And they like nothing better than to have supposedly mature adults validate their feelings with attention and novel diagnoses of psychological ailments that cover for mere immaturity. So no surprise we’re now hearing about “eco-anxiety” caused by reports of impending “environmental doom,” calls to stave off a deadly “climate crisis,” as the Economist called a whole special issue hyping climate doom, and warnings that “panic is long overdue,” according to Salon.