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LETTER: The new monster under the bed is all too real, and children need to know about it

Climate activists base their belief that the climate is change on science. These Bridgetown Regional Community School students walked out Sept. 20 to demand action. JESSIE BRUCE
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Now that the genie is well and truly (and, I hope, irreversibly) out of the bottle, and most people who have access to reliable news sources know about global warming and its effects on terrestrial life, we are dividing into several different camps.

There are those who simply dismiss the whole topic as a communist plot, others who have accepted responsibility for the future and are looking for ways to slow and reverse the process, and there are also those who are quite indignant that we have been so irresponsible as to allow the children to learn about it.

Presumably, those of this opinion would prefer to treat global deterioration as a rather distasteful topic, such as sex was a generation or two ago, or Mom and Dad getting divorced, or Uncle Fred’s love of the bottle, etc.

I doubt that many families today try to sweep such things under the rug – they break the news to the children and try to help them live with it. For whatever reason, climate change has become the new monster under the bed, and we are being urged to soothe our children’s fears. We are being accused of upsetting their young minds with matters beyond their understanding.

When I was a child, in the mists of antiquity, we were all aware that our fathers and uncles, and maybe even a brother, were away at the war, and that some of them might not get home again. After the Second World War, when most of the adults had returned and were back at work, we grew up under the shadow of the atom bomb. By the time we were in junior high, we were learning about atomic energy, its dangers and its use as a source of electricity, but most of us were quite legitimately worried about the way our governments were using nuclear weapons to threaten one other. Our anxiety-level increased throughout the 1950’s and 60s.

Anxiety about non-existent dangers is treatable with counselling and maybe some medication, but anxiety about genuine dangers can only be alleviated by facing them and doing something to combat them. Global warming is one of the genuine dangers that we face today, and we have to organize ourselves to change the conditions causing it. It’s easy to deny that our planet is in danger, and to comfort our children with fictitious “Chinese conspiracies” or “cyclical fluctuations,” but science is by its

very nature non-partisan. Its truths are true for left and right, for old and young, regardless of ethnicity or one’s place on the gender spectrum.

Those with a vested interest in oil production and the gasoline engine try to downplay the effects their industry is having on our common ecosystem, but they can only do that by segregating climate science from their own sciences of chemistry and engineering.

That is unscientific, even anti-scientific. Trying to keep our children in ignorance of scientific facts that will define their future lives seems to me to insult the intelligence of the young. It insults their resilience too. It’s the children who will have to face the consequences of their parents’ and grandparents’ thoughtless use of the planet’s natural resources. They will learn to be stewards of the Earth, rather than abusers of it.

They will make the sacrifices that we were unable to make, due to our lack of information or of willpower.

Ed Healy,
Marystown


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