Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. New posts: Mondays & Wednesdays.
Does a responsible organization make videos in which children call adults enemies?
In 2007, Greenpeace uploaded a video to the Internet. Titled Angry Kid, it’s less than two minutes long. At the very end, we’re shown the Greenpeace logo and invited to “join the energy revolution.”
But the revolution being promoted by Greenpeace is menacing, violent, and ugly. The video features a boy, dressed in a hoodie, delivering a monologue. He may be as young as 11, or as old as 13 or 14. Whoever the adults are who spent money on the production of this video, wrote this script, and thought it was a good idea to associate the end product with the Greenpeace brand are scary people.
Here are the words that this child actor was hired to utter. My response follows, in italics:
The scientific community released a report that proves beyond a doubt that the Earth is getting warmer.
So what? The Earth is dynamic, it’s always changing. If it weren’t getting warmer, it would be getting colder. Extremes in either direction are bad news for humanity, but there’s no persuasive evidence that anything extreme is going on. Computer models that pretend to predict the future are not evidence.
This global warming is caused by things you grownups do – and by the things you don’t.
CO2 emissions aren’t produced by grownups – they’re produced by humans. Every child who has consumed food, education, or medical services has generated emissions. Six years after this video was made, the “scientific community” still doesn’t know how much of the recent warming can be blamed on humanity. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) uses weasel words such as “most” and “highly likely” when discussing this matter.
If drastic measures aren’t taken soon, by the time I grow up there won’t be any fish left in the sea, rainforests and clean air will be a thing of the past, the polar ice caps will be gone, oceans will rise, entire countries will disappear.
This child will be an adult in 10 years. It is implausible that anything he has mentioned – fish, rainforests, clean air, or polar ice caps – will vanish in that time period. The idea that they all will do so is delusional. No country on this planet is in danger of “disappearing” within a decade – from sea level rise or any other natural forces. What nonsense.
Life will change in ways you can’t even imagine. There could be famine, worldwide epidemics, life expectancy will be lower.
Life is all about change – get used to it, kid. All sorts of bad things may or may not happen. Humanity will do what we’ve always done – address problems as they arise. The claim that life expectancy will be lower contradicts our last several centuries of experience.
And we’re not just talking about the future. We’re talking about my future. But this is no surprise. You adults have known about this for years. And though you could have done something about it, you haven’t.
The first Earth Day was held in 1970 – 43 years ago. Decades before this child was born, we were establishing environment ministries at nearly every level of government, passing thousands of laws, and spending huge amounts of money ensuring clean air and water. To suggest that the well-being of the planet has been ignored is absurd.
You can say ‘It’s not my problem.’ You can say ‘I won’t be around in 50 years.’
I don’t know anyone who thinks the environment isn’t their problem. And the only people who aren’t likely to be around in 50 years are already senior citizens. Is that really the group to whom this video is addressed? If so, what comes next is especially chilling.
But from now on, you can’t say ‘I didn’t know.’ Starting today, the lines are drawn. You have to choose sides. Either you’re for my future – or you’re against it. [Either you’re] a friend – or you’re an enemy. I may just be a kid today, but tomorrow will be different. This is the last time I’ll be talking to you adults. You’ve had your chance to fix this problem, now we have ours. We won’t be cute. We won’t be patronized. And we will not be denied our future.
These are threats. This is menacing, hostile, violent stuff. Either you accept my comic book view of the world or you’re my enemy. The lines are drawn, you have to choose sides, this is your only warning.
Does Greenpeace now think it’s cool to fan inter-generational war? To threaten and bully older people? To makes videos featuring noxious young men dressed, let us be honest, in clothing that is associated with violent gangs?
Greenpeace. Where, exactly, is the “peace” in this video?