Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. New posts: Mondays & Wednesdays.
Forget fear and pessimism. Step into the sunlight & soar.
A few days ago, a 20-year-old who resides in the UK sent an e-mail to American climate scientist Judith Curry. This young person describes themselves as miserable, fearful, and petrified. Frequently sick to their stomach, unable to eat or sleep, they’re genuinely worried that “climate change is going to kill me and all my family.”
Seeking “hope or advice,” they tell Curry:
I’m already vegetarian and I recycle everything so I’m really trying. Please help me. In anyway you can. I’m at my wits end here.
Curry’s generalized response directed to “children and young adults” includes these remarks:
Don’t believe the hype…the rhetoric and politics of climate change have become absolutely toxic and nonsensical…live your best life…Societal prosperity is the best insurance policy that we have…
Young people desperately need exposure to alternative climate perspectives. They need to hear there’s ongoing debate amongst credentialed scientists, many of whom think nothing terrible will happen anytime soon. They need to know that numerous hyper smart people regard climate change as a trivial concern for at least the next 50 years.
Humans are amazing. We’ve faced many challenges, encountered many obstacles. Yet we continue to thrive. More of us are living longer than ever before. More of us are better fed, housed, clothed, and educated than ever before.
Should climate change develop into a truly pressing problem, we’ll rise to that challenge. Should humanity’s survival ever be truly threatened, we’ll do what we’ve always done: respond with creativity and heroics.
Activists insist we must take action now or the problem will be much worse later. But they have no way of knowing this. That’s just their fear talking, their pessimism.
The future cannot be predicted. By anyone. What is certain is that a very long line of end-of-the-world prognostications have already failed to materialize.
If you are a young person in distress about the climate, please read one or more of the three books listed below. I promise you, your world will be different by the time you finish any of them. If you read all three, I guarantee you’ll see the universe with completely new eyes.
We all need a bit of historical perspective. And a sense of proportion.
Life is good. Life is short. Step into the sunlight and spread your wings.