Decades of climate-change exaggeration in the West have produced frightened children, febrile headlines, and unrealistic political promises. The world needs a cooler approach that addresses climate change smartly without scaring us needlessly and that pays heed to the many other challenges facing the planet.
Decades indeed. Ten years ago: “One in Three Children Fear Earth Apocalypse.”
And before that, my 1991 (!) The Wall Street Journal article, “Global Problems Are Too Big for Little Kids,” on widespread reports of children coming home from school scared that the world is ending soon. The conclusion:
Frightened or apathetic children are not going to grow into the adults who will be able to solve the world’s problems. Problem-solving requires confidence that solutions can be discovered and a healthy self-esteem about one’s ability to find them. These attitudes require nurturing over a long period of time, on countless small, day-to-day issues. Too much too fast can only destroy them.
Education is about helping children grow into knowledgeable, creative thinkers with emotional resilience and a can-do spirit. The opposite of that is indoctrination that results in young adults oscillating between angry dogmatism and stunted apathy.
This article was originally published at Stephen Hicks.org.