Have you noticed who is leading us on the environment? And who is opposing action?


These are the true stories we tell our children.

Are you surprised, then, that it’s the kids who are rising up and fighting back? I’m not. I’m impressed that so many young people, especially young girls, are the heroes leading the way.

Far more depressing, and predictable, is that there are older men who are harassing and threatening the activists. My generation, my gender. My population seems to have been enriched in ignorant assholes.

In a sign that the threats, online and in person, are ramping up against the activists, Jamie mentioned how Zero Hour had a problem with a stalker that resulted in the group hiring armed security for a youth training summit in Miami in July.

The main threat, Mebane clarified, was made against a celebrity supporter, but there was concern about the danger extending to the young activists. “That was the first time a serious threat was made,” Mebane said.

In another case of escalating safety concerns, Haven, who has been striking on the steps of the Colorado State Capitol building in Denver, has had recent intimidating encounters. One man passed by her going up the stairs only to come back down, go up to her, and tell her that her striking was “stupid.” Another man wearing a MAGA hat kept taking pictures of her from across the street. Haven’s mom had been chaperoning on her strikes, but after the recent incidents, her dad will start accompanying her too.

I appreciate it when they self-advertise with the MAGA hats, but I’d be even more appreciative if they’d crawl away in shame at what they’ve become.

Comments

  1. says

    There were pro-environment youth movements in the 80s and 90s. I know because I was one of those youths. Sadly there just weren’t enough of us gen-xers to make much of a difference with climate change. We did get action on CFCs and the ozone layer though.

    How is it I’m in my 40s and baby boomers are still in charge? Gen-x never got a chance, but these millennials seem ready to take over the world now. I say GO FOR IT.

  2. bryanfeir says

    Looking at the name on that tweet there, I’m suddenly wishing I spent more time studying the Canadian Aboriginal syllabics. I’ve seen Inuktitut printed out before (I’ve seen things in northern Canada printed in English, French, and Inuktitut) but I don’t think that’s Inuktitut, as the -h final doesn’t normally exist there. Could be wrong.

    Sorry, brain distracted by shiny linguistics. As for the main article, yes, the active intimidation going on against a lot of the young activists has been getting a fair bit of its own press. See also The dudes who want to see Greta Thunberg spanked at We Hunted the Mammoth.

    It seems like one of the primary cultural drivers in the U.S., more so than in most other places, boils down to “You can’t tell me what to do!”

  3. KG says

    But they’re not campaigning for a huge expansion of nuclear power!!!! They must therefore be in the pay of Big Oil!!!!!!!

  4. Akira MacKenzie says

    Haven, who has been striking on the steps of the Colorado State Capitol building in Denver, has had recent intimidating encounters. One man passed by her going up the stairs only to come back down, go up to her, and tell her that her striking was “stupid.” Another man wearing a MAGA hat kept taking pictures of her from across the street. Haven’s mom had been chaperoning on her strikes, but after the recent incidents, her dad will start accompanying her too.

    I’ve been saying for a long time that the primary threat from the right isn’t the 1%.Compared to the rest of the population, the number of CEO’s, fossil fuel moguls, and hedge fund billionaires, are rather small. No, It’s that frighteningly large chunk of America who has become paranoid about any government influence from beyond the borders of their small rural towns. It’s the ones who think that the “intellectual elites” are out to control them and tell them how to live. They resent the broad sweeping changes economic and political changes that a greener society would require because they can’t stand to part with any of their insular existence or their freedom. Therefore, they see these children as part of a larger existential threat to the good Ole’ ‘Merican way of life they were raised to think is superior and where the only conceivable alternative is tyranny from “Big Government.”

    However, the rich didn’t create these people. They were always there, cut off from the rest of civilization by distance and a stubborn resolve the rest of the world. While the rich maybe guilty of politically weaponizing them their own interests, it’s not as if the Red State, MAGA-hat-wearing, knuckle-draggers didn’t go along unwillingly.

  5. PaulBC says

    At least it beats the 80s. I literally group up in a youth culture that was more conservative than the previous generation. If you look at this cohort, you find assholes like Scott Walker, Brett Kavanaugh, and Rand Freaking Paul. I am counting on today’s millennials and today’s kids to save us all. Somebody’s gotta do it, and I know it won’t be anyone my age.

  6. Pierce R. Butler says

    Ray Ceeya @ # 1: How is it … baby boomers are still in charge?

    Because we were a Boom, a big bulge in the demographic charts, outnumbering those before and since (for a while).

    Some of us made a try at straightening things out, but we lost more than we won, and didn’t follow through on the wins.

    I’d really like to know how many who marched against Nixon, the war(s), etc, have since had their heads twisted by False Noise etc and now talk and vote Trumpublican – though if I do find out, I’ll probably scream, weep, and puke.

  7. John Morales says

    Pleasant is not how I’d describe Grimms’ Fairy Tales.
    Especially the original versions.

  8. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    But they’re not campaigning for a huge expansion of nuclear power!!!! They must therefore be in the pay of Big Oil!!!!!!!

    ~wave
    Never said that. I said some of them were, not all.
    PS: Love you too.

  9. numerobis says

    bryanfeir: I’m assuming Cree. The writing system was developed for that language (to translate the Bible and save their souls, natch’), and subsequently adopted for Inuktitut.

  10. snarkhuntr says

    It could be Dene as well. I know that Pelltier is a relatively common surname among some bands of the Athabaskan Dene, along with quite a few other French-descended (but not French pronounced, interestingly) surnames like Mercredi,Pische and more.

    I’ve definitely seen signs in Federal buildings in Dene communities that had signs in English, French and Native script (CANS, i think. See here: https://www.scriptsource.org/cms/scripts/page.php?item_id=script_detail&key=Cans )

  11. Ridana says

    2) bryanfeir:

    It seems like one of the primary cultural drivers in the U.S., more so than in most other places, boils down to “You can’t tell me what to do!”

    That’s our national motto. Aka, American Exceptionalism, aka, You’re Not the Boss of Me. It should be translated into Latin and put on our money (or maybe not translated, seeing as how Latin is one of them furrin languages).

  12. stopthemadness says

    The problem with Greta is that in order to be taken seriously (not by the great unwashed out there, that is a hopeless task, but by those who understand the situation) one has to be starting and ending their discussions of climate change with the two absolutely necessary (though not necessarily sufficient) conditions for solving the sustainability crisis. Which are:

    1) Reduction of global population by at least one, perhaps two orders of magnitude within the next century (to be accomplished through draconian population control measures that make sure fertility rates are reduced worldwide to the necessary very small values)
    2) Immediate transition to a steady-state economy.

    Now she has mentioned “eternal economic growth”, but has not really gone in depth about the subject at all, and she hasn’t really touched the overpopulation topic. It is mostly “somebody do something” with a lot of theatrics and the histrionics cranked up all the way to 11.

    She is also all the time committing the mortal ecological sin of equating climate change with the sustainability crisis as a whole. In reality, the sustainability crisis is something much bigger that would be essentially just as bad as it is now if there was no danger of climate change at all — it also involves overpopulation, Peak Oil and exhaustion of other nonrenewable resources, soil degradation, exhaustion of fossil aquifers, ecosystems collapse and the ongoing sixth mass extinction, etc. All of these components are obviously interlocked with each other in various ways, but, again, you can completely remove climate change from the picture and the future trajectory of civilization would not change materially at all. What will bring it down first will probably be Peak Oil, not the effects of climate change.

    So given that she is not telling the truth, we have to doubt either the sincerity of the whole thing, the level of understanding of the situation that is behind it, or both.

    And yes, there is also the question of how is it that a girl in her early teens gets so much publicity. Much more thoughtful, knowledgeable and credentialed people have been completely shut out of the mainstream discussions on these subjects, for decades, because they are actually telling the truth. But here we have a girl in her teens dominating the news cycle with what is essentially a circus act.

    How does that happen?

    One has to be a complete idiot to not suspect that this is another project pushed forward by forces operating behind the scenes to advance agendas that have very little to do with actually saving the planet.

  13. stopthemadness says

    Far more depressing, and predictable, is that there are older men who are harassing and threatening the activists. My generation, my gender. My population seems to have been enriched in ignorant assholes.

    PZ, supposedly you are a scientist. Which means that ascertainment bias is something that your mind should be reflexively on the guard against.

    Is that really the case here?

    You have a handful of young people making a show in public, and we do not even know what their actual agenda and level of sincerity about the whole thing is (many many times in the past we have seen the movie of young activists doing activism then using that activism to secure various cushy positions and high social status for the rest of their lives without doing anything to actually solve whatever problem they were railing against. It is basically a stereotype at this point. How are we sure this is not another instance of that same scenario?).

    Is that handful of young people reflective of the young generation as a a whole?

    If one goes on Instagram and the various other social media platforms, where the intense intraspecific competition for social status within Homo sapiens has now moved to a large extent, a very different picture is revealed, i.e. rabid consumerism rules the minds of the young generation.

    Second, before we blame the “old white males” for everything, should we not take a census of the major scientists, engineers, system analysts, etc. throughout history who have been actually sounding the alarm about the future of the planet? There is barely anyone who was/is not an “old white male” in that list. People who are not “old white males” have made almost no contribution to the subject – a handful of “old white women” did, and that’s it.

    And bringing “racism”, “sexism”, etc. isms to the subject has done nothing but to derail any effort to address the crisis.

    In the 1980s accusations of racism were very successfully used to eliminate overpopulation from the agenda of mainstream environmentalism, and it has remained a taboo subject ever since. Meanwhile the population of the world doubled and will keep rising to who knows how much.

    This is not a problem that is political, moral, or anything else that has to do with trivial issues of relationships between individuals and groups within Homo sapiens. It is a physical problem that requires physical solutions — a molecule of CO2 has exactly the same properties regardless of who emitted it, and achieving “social justice”, whatever the hell that means, is completely irrelevant to the question of how much CO2 there is in at atmosphere and how much CO2 there should be there.

  14. John Morales says

    stopthemadness:

    … and achieving “social justice”, whatever the hell that means, is completely irrelevant to the question of how much CO2 there is in at atmosphere and how much CO2 there should be there.

    Well, fuck. You can’t even make a proper straw dummy.

    If you’re gonna quote something, at least pretend to refer to it in the comment.

    (… and commenting on a blog, whatever that means, is completely irrelevant to how much you like to indulge in coprophilia)

  15. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Stopthemadness, please stop the madness. You are simply too stupid to take seriously. You’ve not attempted to hijack two threads with your imbecility. If ever there were a candidate for disemvowelment, it’s you.

  16. KG says

    In the 1980s accusations of racism were very successfully used to eliminate overpopulation from the agenda of mainstream environmentalism, and it has remained a taboo subject ever since. – stopthemadness@14

    Whenever some fuckwit refers to something as a “taboo subject”, you can bet it’s one that they and their fellow fuckwits drone on about incessantly at the slightest opportunity. Whenever someone insists that overpopulation is the world’s main problem, it’s a very good bet they are (a) using a lot more of the world’s resources and producing a lot more pollution than the global median, and (b) not well-acquainted with the basic facts of global demography. And whenever someone complains about “accusations of racism” having some deleterious effect, it’s a pretty good bet they’re a racist.

    And I notice this particular fuckwit is also droning on about “Peak Oil” (with upper-case “P” and “O” no less) @13. We should be so lucky. What “peak oil” actually means is the point at which national or global production of oil reaches a maximum. It would therefore be something greatly to be welcomed – unless the oil were being replaced by coal, or possibly gas extracted in ways that lead to a lot of methane leakage.

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