Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Who is scaring our grandchildren?

After watching 16 year old Greta Thunberg speak at the United Nations I started wondering who is scaring our grandchildren.  Thunberg suffers from mild autism, Asperger syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).  Frequently this results in restrictive and repetitive interests.  Greta appears to be fixated on climate change.  She should be enjoying her late childhood, instead she is being manipulated by adults with their own agendas. 

In the last few days Extinction Rebellion (ER) has been protesting about climate change whilst a week ago school children took a day off their studies to protest.  One assumes with the support and encouragement of their teachers.  ER wants to legislate a vegan diet and family air travel restricted to once every six years. 

In January of this year US congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stated at a rally “we only have twelve years or the world will end”.  The UN Secretary General informed the General Assembly he had recently visited the Pacific Island nation of Tuvalu which was sinking into the ocean as sea levels rose.

It’s simply nonsense to suggest climate change is going to destroy the world in 12 years if we take no action.  Any reputable climate scientist will confirm that.  The UN Secretary General is also wrong.  An Auckland University (NZ) study has shown that the total landmass of Tuvalu has actually grown by more that 2% during the last forty years.

ER advocates nonviolent civil disobedience and wants supporters to be arrested (see ER strategy).  This strategy of self sacrifice for one’s beliefs has been effectively used by earlier pressure groups.  Suffragettes and early Christians being fed to lions immediately spring to mind. 

So why isn’t ER attempting to implement the changes they advocate by standing for election?  The recent European Parliamentary elections may provide the answer.  ER fielded 9 candidates in the London and the South West England constituencies as Climate Emergency Independents.  Between them, they won 7,416 out of the 3,917,854 total votes cast in the two constituencies.  That’s 0.1893% of the vote.  It must have been obvious to them adopting a strategy of effecting change through the democratic system wasn’t going to work.

I recall a discussion with a colleague 35 years ago.  He was alarmed because his son at university wanted to quit and spend the last few years of this life enjoying himself before the impending nuclear holocaust which one of his lecturers had convinced him and his peers was going to happen.  

There is nothing new in this type of fear campaign and with time, it will naturally die out <no pun intended> provided the ‘oxygen’ feeding it starts to dry up.  Hence the ER desire to get arrested (and media attention).  My main concern is ensuring we don’t allow our grandchildren to be convinced they don’t have a future.

On a more amusing note.  I chuckled at the photo of the ER protesters inside MacDonalds after their rally.  Haven’t times changed in the justice system.  Arrested ER protesters vehemently complained about the lack of vegan food supplied by the authorities.  A hundred years ago all prison food was vegan….. bread and water!   Which does make me wonder why people taken into custody are provided with food in the first 24 hours.  Not eating for 24 hours won’t kill you and there would be a financial saving to the tax payer.  Some people might even decide not to get arrested.

Here in Perth the police were able to deploy a very effective strategy which quickly terminated the second attempt by ER to close the CBD.  The police deployed a mobile Centrelink Office (Job Centre Plus for UK readers). Smile

Finally, a comment about Brexit.  Those wanting to remain refer to it as the Benn Act.  The Conservatives refer to it as the Benn – Surrender Act.  The Brexit Party refer to it as the Benn – Dover Act.  I’m not sure what a port town has to do with the legislation?

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