“Greta Thunberg to UN: ‘You’ve stolen my childhood with your empty words'” (DW, September 23, 2019):
“You come to us young people for hope. How dare you?” a visibly angry Thunberg told the high-level audience gathered for the UN Climate Action Summit in New York.
“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words, yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering, people are dying, entire ecosystems are collapsing,” thundered the 16-year-old Swedish girl, who has galvanized youth across the world to mobilize against climate change.
This was a debatable point at the time, but just six months later children around the world were cut off from their playgrounds, their friends, and their schools (i.e., most of their “childhood”)! Bizarrely, one of the only countries where this did not happen is Sweden, home of infidels who reject the True Church of Shutdown.
So… Greta Thunberg might turn out to be wrong regarding atmospheric physics, just as the academic researchers who’ve gotten grants for climate modeling may turn out to be wrong (Cato article on a paywalled Nature paper). But I think she got the generational dynamics correct! Given the chance to cut their personal risk of contracting Covid-19 by a percentage point or two, older adults had no difficulty deciding to rob children of their childhood. (And when coronapanic is over, it will be time to for Boomers to go shopping for a new pavement-melting SUV!)
Readers: What’s your best guess as to when children get their childhood back? Folks here in thoroughly plagued Massachusetts are saying that they do not expect schools to reopen in September. The general public will demand protection from child-to-child spreading, even if there are few examples of this documented by the countries that are good at contact tracing. Teacher unions will seek to keep the 100% pay/5% hours/0% commute system that is currently working for them. Children will not get a vote. New York City is saying “50/50” on whether they reopen.
- NYT on Denmark’s April reopening of schools: “instead of arriving through a single entrance, pupils must enter through several side doors, depending on the location of their classroom.” (here in Lincoln, Massachusetts, the school that is about to be torn down and rebuilt ($110 million for 440 town-resident kids) actually has a door from every classroom to the outside; this was eliminated in the new design on the grounds that it would make the school a more defensible fortress against an armed attacker (if the students couldn’t get out except through a central hallway?), so the new school building, in addition to having a lot less fresh air (“Net Zero”) won’t be as ready for plague times)
- “Greta Thunberg is donating $100,000 to help children affected by coronavirus pandemic” (CNN)
- the Swiss health ministers say that “scientists had concluded that young children did not transmit the virus” and therefore they’re reopening schools; righteous American climate change #resisters will say “the science isn’t settled” on this one? (BBC)
- “Should schools reopen? Kids’ role in pandemic still a mystery” (Science, May 4, 2020) (but there is no mystery to the paychecks that keep arriving in adult teachers’ and school administrators’ mailboxes!)