The age of "civilization in peril"

Protester at COP15, Copenhagen. Photo from via Flickr

Warren Meyer runs the website and has been one of our early surfacestations project volunteers, getting that famous photo of the climate monitoring weather station in the hot parking lot at the University of Arizona’s Atmospheric Sciences Department. He’s also produced a marvelous movie that defines the skeptic position. You can watch it on YouTube here. (nine parts)

He was recently asked about the role of young people in climate skepticism by the Washington Independent, “for his views on whether future generations will raise questions about climate science in the same way that many Republicans do today.”

His response reminds me of the phrase often attributed to Winston Churchill:

“If you’re not liberal when you’re young, you have no heart. If you’re not conservative when you’re older, you have no brain.”

Climate skepticism indeed tends to be rejected by the younger generation, but not by all. Remember the stir young Kristen Brynes caused for publicly rejecting what she had been taught in school? On the other hand, in most colleges, there are so many activist groups recruiting to “save the planet” that skepticism generally gets drowned in the cacaphony.

Meyer sums up the issue pretty well in his response:

Young people approach issues in different ways and have different interests, and that has not changed. For example, young people of every generation are suckers for the “civilization in peril” line– they like to think that they as young people are uniquely position to save the world from a once-in a millenia threat. It’s only the threat that changes. In the 50′s it was communism. In the sixties it was the Vietnam war.  In the seventies it was hunger and over-population. You get the idea. I read a really interesting treatment of this topic, how the young want to feel they can change the world, that they don’t have to expend decades of work to build up their skills and credibility — that they can be instantly powerful at age 22. There is nothing compelling among young people in the “do nothing” case on any issue, and the rewards systems (school grades, college admissions) is skewed against those who are not openly advocating to change something. So folks who are young who might be skeptics expend their energy on other issues where they can advocate for change rather than the status quo. It doesn’t mean there are no young skeptics, just that these folks may expend their activism in other areas.

The other thing is that younger people are notorious for dismissing or grossly underestimating complexity and costs. We see this in the climate change notion of the precautionary principle, that supposedly if there is even a tiny change of catastrophe, we should act. This seems really compelling to the young. Until you understand that on the other side of the equation is a 100% chance of really high economic costs, including punishing effects on the poor of developing nations who are just emerging from millennia of poverty and need to burn every hydrocarbon they can find to do so.

None of this is unique to our times. Skeptics today in their forties are not skeptics because they were in their teens. So the lack of teenage skeptics today is meaningless for whether there will be skeptics in 20 years.

The issue of climate change skepticism is often described as one of feelings versus facts. Just look at the most popular icon of climate change, the polar bear, to see how climate change imagery tugs at heartstrings. But, one might even say it’s just a “phase”. In 20 years, will it even be an issue?

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Latimer Alder
October 25, 2010 12:14 am

All very well, but you have to understand that this scare is different! We have very very fast computers programmed by experts like Ian Harris (see Harry_Read_Me in the Climategate files) to tell us so.
And if it comes from a computer it must be true, as any fule kno.

John A
October 25, 2010 12:16 am

The heart tugging of a polar bear rapidly disappears once you actually encounter one in the wild.

October 25, 2010 12:28 am

I had a course in university on thermal power systems. One of the tenants at the beginning of the course was “CO2 is causing global warming. This will not be debated in this class.”
It’s not just that the young are naive to accept the AGW position.
But in all fairness, at the time, I agreed with that viewpoint.

October 25, 2010 12:42 am

Born in 1952 I can just about remember the Cuban Missile crisis – when my parents really thought it was all going to kick off. My Father was in the UK Civil Defence and I could tell even as a kid he was scared.
Then we had DDT, Global Cooling, Overpopulation, Peak Oil.
It is true – the young do lurch from one catastrophic scenario to the next – as a way of gaining a feeling of power without any hard work. I can remember the liberating feeling of thinking “If it does happen – it solves my problem of money, where to live etc.”
Extreme? – Yes – But I do believe this is why such Catastrophic scenarios are painted on top of serious and challenging problems, that whilst they are serious and challenging and need to be managed, they are not “ELE’s”.
And the fact that “doing something/anything!” is far more dangerous, particularly to the developing world, if the basic premise/gravytrain that our rich kids in the west have jumped upon is not something we should lose sight of.

Paul Deacon, Christchurch, New Zealand
October 25, 2010 12:45 am

A wise post, Anthony.
The Global Warming movement is dying, its leaders know this. Bio-diversity is next, after that there will be something else. A cause for each generation. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it appeals to the young and naive (and hence also to politicians), and as long as “they” control the agenda.
“They” may struggle, however, in so far as populations in the developed West are ageing (meaning proportionately more natural “sceptics”). These older people also have a higher propensity to vote. This may explain why “they” are trying to go the unelected route (EU and UN).
All the best.

October 25, 2010 12:49 am

Very interesting post and covers something that’s i’ve always failed miserably to articulate, i.e. that the young get whipped up over causes and are often exploited in this drive by the more, synical elements of our society.
To be that young again, huh.

October 25, 2010 12:51 am

I feel many people (conveniently?) forget an important premise when talking about the precautionary principle, which was stated in Agenda 21 of the 1992 Rio Summit as follows:
“Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing ‘cost-effective measures’ to prevent environmental degradation. “
Hence we should not do everything. We should do anything if and only if ‘cost-effective measures’ are there. As I see it, no cost-effective measures have been there, are currently there, and will be there, for the mitigation of AGW or Climate Change/Disruption, even if the latter is a real phenomenon. The best way may be adaptation, which does not require a huge amount of money, and we can have a relaxed attitude because the climate change, if any, is to take place in a time span of decades or even longer.

Rhys Jaggar
October 25, 2010 1:11 am

I’m afraid it comes down to ‘what sells newspapers?’ or what gets major media websites, CNN etc etc income streams?
Like stock markets, in the short term, money can follow wrong causes, because there is a profit so to do.
But in the longer term, economic sense comes through.
All that changes in each generation is the economic issues which can be satisfactorily decided on, once and for all.
The economic issue here is long-term energy generation.
And the argument goes: ‘wind, tidal and solar are perfectly clean and will be our future’.
Well, the key issues about that are:
1. Are they perfectly clean?
2. Are they economic?
3. If not now, when will they be?
4. What about all the folks working in traditional energy industries – how do we manage that transition?
5. Do we know what the known unknowns are, let alone the unknown unknowns??
Questions like that.

Rob R
October 25, 2010 1:25 am

There are more cynics and skeptics among the young than most of us older people would credit. They are just starting on the journey of learning how the world works. Mostly they just need a few pointers on the complexity of most subjects and some time ( a few years). Eventually many of them will realise that the world is not so black/white as they initially believed. I see this learning process as one that gradually gathers momentum as we age. One issue for climate realists is how to engage with the young people before they are fully captured by the warmist movement. This is an area where the warmists have had vastly more success than the climate realists. But then I suspect that most of us at the luke-cold to luke-warm end of the opinion spectrum would take little enjoyment from attempting to force our views on the younger generation. The warmists appear to have no such scrupples.

Brian Johnson uk
October 25, 2010 1:26 am

If I knew then what I know now after 3 score years and ten how much fewer stupid mistakes would I have made!
I had a tee shirt printed for my son when he was about 18.

October 25, 2010 1:30 am

“Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past, within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”.
Oct 21 2010 By Charlie Gall UK
SHIVERING temperatures brought the first blast of winter yesterday – with more cold weather on the way. Heavy snow and ice hit Moray, Aberdeenshire, Tayside and Perthshire, causing chaos for early morning commuters.
And this morning the weather forecast told us we were having the coldest October for 17 years.
But somehow I guess the non deniers will tell us this all to do with global warming 🙂

October 25, 2010 1:33 am

Klyuchevskaya Sopka in Kamchatka, one of the largest volcanoes in the Northern Hemisphere, has increased its activity, with ash cloud up to 10km height. The aerosols are bound to spread around higher latitudes of NH, and may affect weather patterns.
In 1829-30 volcanic eruption in Kamchatka caused large drop in the N. European temperature , the annual CETs fell by order of 2 C.

Sam the Skeptic
October 25, 2010 1:56 am

Paul, “they” have been trying to go the unelected route for decades. Socialist Workers Party, IRA, you name it. If you know that you cannot get the majority to vote for you — ever! — then bomb or bully them instead.
You’re right; biodiversity is next and the language is already more than reminiscent of the climate change meme.

October 25, 2010 1:59 am

Children are being indoctrinated with the CAGW message in schools, and multiple choice exam answers mean there is no room for dissent. It may take years to undo this and turn them into thinking sceptics.
See Climate Lessons,
and Harmless Sky,

October 25, 2010 2:22 am

I agree Messenger. It will take a while.
But a slow change is better than a quick fix. Rob R says :-
“…..But then I suspect that most of us at the luke-cold to luke-warm end of the opinion spectrum would take little enjoyment from attempting to force our views on the younger generation. The warmists appear to have no such scrupples.”
And I agree 100% with this. We have to let people discover the truth for themselves.
And this is an important and vital difference between the true sceptic and the advocate. Young people are not stupid, they just often react without the benefit of experience. When the experience of being duped hits them, as it will, then the backlash against the spin will be dramatic.
Just look at the W. Connelley story re his blatent manipulation of Wikipedia. That story has gone viral. I suspect that there are a lot of people of all ages looking at the various ‘gates and the lies and spin of WC and starting to ask questions. We sceptics have to answer them honestly.
It seems to me that many in the “Hockey Team” just want the whole gravy train to stay on the rails just long enough for them to achieve financial independence/retirement.

Peter Whale
October 25, 2010 2:37 am

Once you have a system that asks the questions and then gives the answers albeit multiple choice. The right questions and the right answers for the establishment is certain to produce the right academics and right scientists for the paymasters. 1984 was just a bit late in coming.

October 25, 2010 2:38 am

I’m reminded of George Carlin again:
“Save the trees, save those bees, save the whales, save those snails”
“And now it’s saving the planet! C’mon!”

October 25, 2010 4:00 am

Although I think that the early adult phase of a human’s life cycle is the most idealistic phase, it does not explain the apparently irrational thinking of many young adults who support causes.
The irrationality must come from their upbringing by their family and society as well as from their formal education.

October 25, 2010 4:08 am

When you have college professors who teach liberal dogma that cannot be discussed, it says that the blind have no brain and are teaching the young not to use thiers as well.

October 25, 2010 4:11 am

Young people are susceptible to propaganda.
Propaganda tells a simplified story emotively.
While there is some truth in this post, it is in no way the whole story. And in that it is not the whole story it is a trick thing to present a generalisation that types youth by us older wiser folk…who surely know best. Hummm, we might know best, but is it helpful to talk about ‘the kids today’ like this?
This AGW issue has emerge in may ways that are unique in the modern scientific age. To be a sceptic is not to be conservative but to be radical…and yet to be aligned with conservatives who are radically anti- the prevailing dogma. Time and again the youth have been told that the science is conclusive…that it is only for selfish reasons that sceptics protest etc…. Such indoctrination is hard to overcome.
Every generation expresses greater complexity than is always apparent. And what is apparent changes — often depending on how the older generations treat them. Kids have always been used as foot soldiers in the wars of men — whether they be Lenin, Mao, Gore or Churchhill (btw a tough one for us downunder as he sent many a Ozzie youth to a pointless death on Turkish beaches).
One difference that needs to be noted is this: When I was at school in 1970s Australia, being an environmentalist was radically against the prevailing dogma of progressivism. Now environmentalism is like a sunday school dogma.
It is not the radical thinkers among the young who are environmentalists today, rather it is the sunday school pet, the head boy scout, the sheep. There are other youth who are cynical and sceptical (as I was), and some who are interested in challenging the dogma with new ideas. But, for now, they are all but invisible from above.

October 25, 2010 4:25 am

You might be interested to read a guest post I wrote at Bishop Hill a few months ago on a pilot study which took place in [some] English schools.

October 25, 2010 4:44 am

There is the additional point that sceptics have all been painted as right-wing anti-science, creationist fanatics in the pay of big business who selfishly want to drive SUVs at the expense of drowning peasants.
On the other hand, the likes of Greenpeace and WWF are portrayed as the idealistic underdogs saving the world for cuddly animals, altruistically struggling against governments and big bad business funded only by tin-rattling and the bequests of little old ladies.
As long as these grossly misleading stereotypes exist then teenagers on the whole are hardly likely to join the bogeymen.

October 25, 2010 4:56 am

Hey, I’m young and I’m a skeptic! I also always consider the cost of a proposal and do all those others things you say I don’t do… however, when I think about all my friends and peers, I’m really the only one- hmmm.
What you’ve really got to realize about young people is that it’s not that we’re dumb, but that we’re inexperienced. We’ve never had a politician lie to us before, we’ve never had a person come up to us and say “Boo! Overpopulation.” and then ten years later say “Ah, yes, it seems we kind of exaggerated on that”. No one disbelieves what those in authority says, and so no one checks their facts. And no one disbelieves when they tell us that if you chant really loud and march in circles you can change policy. And no one will disbelieve until life kicks them around a little bit and shows them that’s not the way it is. In a nutshell, that is what it really means to be young.

October 25, 2010 5:27 am

I rang my insurance company this morning after having backed into another car in a car park. I was asked by the young lady at the other end “did the impact between the cars occur at the same time?”
One of the problems of being young is that as young folk haven’t had time to do a lot of thinking!
I took unpaid leave to help start a school in India – yes I was idealistic and this over-rode common sense as I ended up three months in hospital, not having listened to my elders advice and wisdom.
Thank goodness there is enthusiasm in youth, and idealism too which looks for causes, but there is a need to stop and think too!

Colin Porter
October 25, 2010 5:28 am

It is perhaps as well that young people are activists in the area of climate change. There are powerful pressures on them to conform, and not to be activist could seriously affect their wellbeing.
I saw a snuff movie just recently showing the consequences of school kids just shrugging their shoulders and not taking an active part to save the planet.

Frank K.
October 25, 2010 5:40 am

Adam says:
October 25, 2010 at 4:56 am
Great comment!
“No one disbelieves what those in authority says, and so no one checks their facts.”
When those in authority today were young (60s, 70s), they reveled in being “anti-establishment”. Now that they ARE the establishment, they want everyone to “conform”. Funny how that works…
(Fortunately, I grew up in the Punk Rock era and so have a healthy skepticism for the intelligentsia of the modern age…)

Lonnie Schubert
October 25, 2010 6:00 am

Yes, in 1980, in high school, taking computer classes and reading the then current computer magazines, I discussed the potential of the internet, e-mail, and blogs with my mother. OF COURSE, I did not use those terms, and spoke of things as yet unknown, but what we have now in our technology is what I was envisioning, though technology, communication, and information access is far greater than I could image at the time. I envisioned a revolution of knowledge and freedom as everyone would be able to disseminate and assimilate information with then impossible ease. Talk radio was in its infancy then (at least it seems to me), and communication and information dissemination in all regards is orders of magnitude easier and more readily available now.
As an example, Tom Fuller asserts that windmills have run their course. I agree. However, I came to this conclusion in approximately 1983 when I took the initiative to spend several days at the library (no internet yet) and investigated the then state of the art of wind power. (As the article indicates, I was young and thought I needed to help change the world. Then, as now, wind power seemed to hold such promise.) The potential was indeed astounding, but even before my engineering training, my studies lead me to conclude that the complexity and economical challenges were overwhelming and insurmountable. Rotating machinery must be massive to be efficient and economical. Low power density in wind, and the necessity to mount the machines on tall towers makes that impossible. The advances in wind technology have astounded me, and I believe that is why windmills hang on. We keep making such strides that they seem to be working. We seem to be making sufficient progress to make windmills long-term economical. However, it just doesn’t seem to be possible. It seems obvious to me that we will never be able to run windmills competitively with other options for electricity generation on the large scale.
Back to my point, all of our improvements in communication and information availability over the last few decades have changed nothing. Stupid people still act stupidly. Upton Sinclair is still correct. “It is difficult to get a man to understand something…”
So, will global warming or climate disruption be an issue 20 years from now? I think not. It has nearly run its course. As the young people today become established and disillusioned with the religion of environmentalism and climatism, we will return to more rational views on the subject. (Of course, I expect environmentalism in some form will continue forever. C’est la vie.)
Finally, I’ll predict that 16-year-olds 20 years from now will know wind farms as those areas being cleaned up with superfund projects, climatism will be in the dictionaries, but not on anyone’s mind, and not one of them will know what a hybrid car is. (All electric cars may be more common by then, perhaps.)

October 25, 2010 6:03 am

All very well, but you have to understand that this scare is different! We have very very fast computers programmed by experts like Ian Harris (see Harry_Read_Me in the Climategate files) to tell us so.

Whilst I don’t want to defend the mis-use of computers in climate science, I think it’s unfair to point the finger at Ian Harris (assuming that he’s the ‘Harry’ whose efforts are documented in the famous Harry_ReadMe file).
The file shows Harry’s diligent attempts to understand and sort out the total mess that other programmers have created. It’s not his fault.

joe myers
October 25, 2010 6:11 am

Well said, and very insightful!

October 25, 2010 6:23 am

Well I was but a teenager when the first round of Global Warming scaremongering made the rounds in the late 1980s. I remember my Dad taking me to some small meeting where skeptical views of this were being aired. His view was that it was the latest effort to scare the populace after the 1970s oil shocks seemed to have stopped working.
I remember the very next day having a heated arguments with one of my schoolfriends over the issue, where I declared it was all BS (for the entirely wrong, reasons, I might add). I’m happy to say, many years later, we’re still friends and he now agrees with me about it being BS, even though his job largely depends on public spending on big projects, usually related to ‘green’ causes. It’s just now I no longer argue with people about it. Youth is wasted on the young.

October 25, 2010 6:34 am

Latimer Alder says:
October 25, 2010 at 12:14 am
“All very well, but you have to understand that this scare is different! We have very very fast computers programmed by experts like Ian Harris (see Harry_Read_Me in the Climategate files) to tell us so.”
Oh come on. Ian Harris was the guy who had the job to fix it. He was the professional. The amateurs are always the ones that create the mess in the first place. I’m not complaining, i’m a Mr.Fix-it myself, and i love a big software mess because that’s my daily bread.

October 25, 2010 6:39 am

Adam says:
October 25, 2010 at 4:56 am
“No one disbelieves what those in authority says, and so no one checks their facts.”
That’s why young people need somebody to try to fool them. When i was explaining to my kid that i’d go exchange the batteries in the mirror and he looked me in the face for quite a while, didn’t see the hint of a smile but nevertheless started laughing i knew it was time to give up playing tricks on him. He learned.

October 25, 2010 6:41 am

Adam says @ October 25, 2010 at 4:56 am
Nicely put. I’m in my 40s but can still recall the simple motivations for my admittedly brief foray into activism. In a nutshell, it was youthful hubris. Plus, I got lucky with an attractive Wiccan… or maybe she was Druid? Whatever, trees and plants had souls and capitalism was evil. She owns a boutique now.

October 25, 2010 7:07 am

Many of the young also engage in personally risky behaviors – and often because they are unable to estimate the costs to themselves and others. If you can make it through your twenties and are smart enough to learn from mistakes – your own and those of others – real life tends to make you a practical thinker, and therefore skeptical of every pitch. Unfortunately, emotions tend to dominate rational thought so the hucksterism will never wither away.

October 25, 2010 7:36 am

That isn’t science, it is propaganda and should never be allowed. It really pi**es me off!

It’s always been like this. Government information campaigns do get into schools. I remember in the 1970’s the Government had an energy efficiency campaign on the go. We had a lecture on it at school assembly. Funny though; the reason for it was our constant power cuts (not enough coal due to striking miners). Now we get the same message but instead of the miners causing power cuts, the Government is!
You couldn’t make it up…..

JB Williamson
October 25, 2010 7:43 am

I hadn’t heard your version of the phrase you attribute to W S Churchill, the one I’m familiar with is:
“Not to be a socialist at twenty is proof of want of heart; to be one at thirty is proof of want of head.”
Looking at google to try to find a definitive answer and I found this by bobbie7-ga

This quotation is frequently but mistakenly attributed to Churchill.
It is anyway unlikely that Churchill would subscribe to this philosophy: He was a swashbuckling soldier at 20, and a Conservative member of Parliament at 25.
A couple of years later he switched to the Liberal Party (which was not liberal in the modern sense), and later went back to the Conservatives.
The phrase originated with Francois Guisot (1787-1874): “Not to be a republican at twenty is proof of want of heart; to be one at thirty is proof of want of head.” It was revived by French Premier Georges Clemenceau (1841-1929): “Not to be a socialist at twenty is proof of want of heart; to be one at thirty is proof of want of head.”

Just for the record!

October 25, 2010 8:10 am

There are 3 phases to the appreciation of life:
1) When you are young, nobody dies.
2) When you are middle aged, you are amazed by the many ways people die.
3) When you are mature, you are stunned that anybody survives.

James Morrison
October 25, 2010 8:12 am

Does anyone know of a poll that breaks down the belief in AGW by age range? Could be interesting to view the results.

October 25, 2010 8:13 am

The youth of today are the target of the most sophisticated brainwashing campaign ever conceived, administered by instructors who themselves were brainwashed, and reinforced by an all pervasive propagandizing mass media. Whew, I need a breath …
The greenies have a programmed world-view constructed of externally designed parsing nodes ( or cognitive constructs, usually mapped to a word) that are active and have built in defense mechanisms to protect the world view. This is accomplished via inductive learning techniques. That is why greenies can believe such obviously contradictory things.
The sad thing is, it does not take a conspiracy for this state of affairs to have come about. All it took was for educators to believe that it was their job to mold young minds into becoming better citizens. The same goes for our media.
My generation was targeted in the late 60s and the 70s. I did not fall for it, and many of my friends did not either. And from what I have seen working with summer interns, at my high-tech company, a least some of the kids in school right now, are not buying it either. Some see a few of their professors as loonies. There is great hope for the future.

Ben D.
October 25, 2010 8:17 am

I have posted on stuff such as this in the past, I just turned 30 this year and have been a climate sceptic for about 5 years. I really did not pay attention much to be honest as I didn’t care prior to that, but I was rather sarcastic with anyone with their “scare” scenarios. I didn’t really become a vocal sceptic until first after the entire cap and trade scenario started gaining traction, and second after climate-gate went by without much of a hoot from the media.
I do disagree that not being a socialist at 20 is proof of want of heart so to speak. In college one of my courses was utopian literature which I think might have colored how I viewed society in terms of becoming perfect. I even asked the professor for more utupian books after the course (we read everything you can think of under the sun).
He even put on the list Atlas Shrugged which I didn’t read until 2 years ago…and this book probably had the largest impact on my politics.
Age has nothing to do with it. I don’t know what does, but after reading and studying history as much as I did as a hobby, I just looked at reality versus socialism and saw that every attempt at it has been incorrect both in comparison to true socialism and in regard to looking at what works and doesn’t.
Is it a certain level of common sense or logic? I don’t know, and I won’t care to guess. The fact that I try out other discipline for fun such as Utopian Literature (I did get my English Minor in college)…or maybe my interest in history for fun as well? I couldn’t guess. Maybe it does involve some growing up for most people.
As for not having a heart, I will state this again and again. I would sacrifice the world if it meant true happiness for everyone else. Just like the whipping boy, I would take that on myself if it meant bliss for everyone else. But just like in the book, that fallacy shows that there are issues in it both morally and in absolute. We like to think that perfection is possible, but isn’t it better to use the best system possible that works for the most people? We could argue this all day long I guess, but in truth I see modern environmentalism and think, “the youth will rebel just like I did.”
Just wait and see, the more you go off the path of science and into politics, the more the youth will just laugh at it. As a rule, I find the youth are more apathetic towards politics then anything else, so in reality they probably just do not care.

October 25, 2010 9:10 am

tallbloke says:
October 25, 2010 at 2:38 am
The great George Carlin!…a Good Man, as alchemists used to say. He is now with his “Big Electron”…..while Global Warmers/Climate Changers/Climate Disrupters will surely enjoy the pleasant weather of the crevices of the Moon…..and there will be tears and teeth screeching

John Wright
October 25, 2010 9:11 am

Well someone should have pointed out to that girl that the slogan on her board is equivocal for a start — which faction wants to “geo-engineer” the climate? – and for geo-political reasons!

October 25, 2010 9:54 am

John Wright
October 25, 2010 at 9:11 am
… and the political climate is all about climate politics.
P.S. At least the kid is trying to think.

Peter S
October 25, 2010 9:58 am

I like the idea that young people are political virgins – and rather prone to falling in love with a cause at the drop of a hat. I suppose the intensity of their passions and the ‘purity’ of their intents are all life-affirming experiences – even if they do feel a little unmanageable at times. Perhaps, as new adults, they are simply testing the grown-up world to see if it is reliable enough survive their onslaught… and if it proves to be, then they can happily put aside their rebellions and settle in.

mike sphar
October 25, 2010 10:19 am

When the next polar bear dies, I wonder, who gets the pelt. It would sure make a nice bed comforter or floor rug. I also wonder if there is a line (queue) somewhere ?

October 25, 2010 10:20 am

Tip: Contribute to a poll in Scientific American, on the roll of Judith Curry and Climate Change:
“Is Curry a heroic whistle-blower, speaking the truth when others can’t or won’t? Or has she gone off the scientific deep end, hurling baseless charges at a group of scientists who are doing their best to understand the complexities of Earth’s climate”

October 25, 2010 10:25 am

The need for jobs, to provide them with the neccessities of life, is what combats foolish idealistic concepts. The relatively near future which I foresee (not predict) will bring them to their senses.
I watched the counter-culture of the 1960s take place. Many communes were formed by young idealists, and all of them failed.
So far, these foolish idealists have been supported by borrowed money, and this nation’s ability to borrow is shortly going to come to an abrupt halt. The need for meals will trump foolish ideals.

Ian L. McQueen
October 25, 2010 10:32 am

Sam the Skeptic says:
October 25, 2010 at 1:56 am
Paul, “they” have been trying to go the unelected route for decades. Socialist Workers Party, IRA, you name it. If you know that you cannot get the majority to vote for you — ever! — then bomb or bully them instead.
You’re right; biodiversity is next and the language is already more than reminiscent of the climate change meme.
October 22
UN Convention on Biological Diversity in Nagoya
Richaqrd Black

Ian L. McQueen
October 25, 2010 10:35 am

PLEASE change the software so everything that we have typed in the Comment space does not get sent prematurely if we accidentally press the Tab key twice!!!!

October 25, 2010 10:42 am

I would point out that in the 50’s Communism was not a “threat” but for many was the solution …

October 25, 2010 10:42 am

A careful look at what I call “real history”, that is, how “common folk” life was, not the antics of kings, princes, generals or the like, shows that when it is quite warm, on average, life of Planet Earth thrives, and civilization advances (because farmers have surpluses of agricutural products to sell and feed city folk).
During cold periods, once flourising life perishes, and civilizations crumble, because farming becomes subsistance farming, and there are no surpluses to support city folk. It becomes every man for himself, and every woman for herself.
Charity MUST come from surplus. With no surplus, there can be no charity.

October 25, 2010 10:44 am

John Wright says:
October 25, 2010 at 9:11 am
“Well someone should have pointed out to that girl that the slogan on her board is equivocal for a start — which faction wants to “geo-engineer” the climate? – and for geo-political reasons!”
I actually took her for a skeptic and thought, whow that is courageous, going around with that sign at COP15.

Ian L. McQueen
October 25, 2010 10:45 am

When I read:
Sam the Skeptic says [snip; October 25, 2010 at 1:56 am]:
“You’re right; biodiversity is next and the language is already more than reminiscent of the climate change meme.”, I thought of the snippet of the BBC program “Science in Action” that I had heard this morning. It was the Oct 22 broadcast and it can be heard at:
Reporter Richard Black was reporting from the UN Convention on Biological Diversity in Nagoya. He made statements indicating that he is in thrall to the IPCC, and he interviewed a female attendee who was all in favor of modelling the Convention on the lines of the IPCC. Listen from around 13:30.

October 25, 2010 11:11 am

Paul Deacon, Christchurch, New Zealand says:
October 25, 2010 at 12:45 am
The Global Warming movement is dying, its leaders know this. Bio-diversity is next
I like it!….Biodiversity! LOL!, so they want us not to discriminate THEM! Ho!, Ho!
But…wait!, you will have to be and behave like the rest of us, normal hard working people; forget about your weird tendencies and strange desires. So, start looking for a decent job, …we’ll see…..then, just to begin with:forget about pot, sniffing white powders and the like.

B. Jackson
October 25, 2010 11:40 am

A couple of things I taught my children, as early as they could understand, was, “If it’s too good to be true it proabaly is.” as well as, “If somebody is trying to ram something down your throat it’s probably not good for you.” I also taught them not to get too caught up in anything as most things are cyclical and tend to be trends/fads and to not accept anything as fact without some kind of proof. I have done my best to instill in them a common sense aproach to things. Now, far be it for me to critcize anyone else’s parenting, as I am far from the perfect father but, education starts from the day you bring them home. Moral education, right from wrong, as well as all the regular teaching our children must absorb. Children without proper educations in these matters will gravitate to something where they feel important and part of something. Poor kids might end up in gangs and more well off kids might get drawn into the enviro-fascist movement. It’s our responsibility as parents to guide our children in the right direction, to teach them to be objective, even sceptical. To me, if our children are taught this way they might stop and think for a second instead of jumping into somethind blindly. Of course, if you are drinking the Kool-Aid and putting in the baby botlle there’s no hope for you or your kids. I am proud to say that both my children have challenged their teachers who have tried to indoctrinate them into the AGW camp. There are more kids like Kristen Byrnes out there than you might think.

October 25, 2010 12:33 pm

Ian L. McQueen
October 25, 2010 at 10:45 am
If you like Bio-diversity, you ought to give linguistic-diversity a spin, though it might make you loose your lunch!

Charlie A
October 25, 2010 1:23 pm

“In 20 years, will it (climate change) even be an issue? ”
It definitely will still be an issue. Just like hunger, overpopulation, war, and pollution are all still issues.
In 20 years, climate change will be real and still with us, but something else will be taking front stage, and climate change will just be one of the many challenges to which the human race responds and adapts.

October 25, 2010 4:16 pm

Red says:
October 25, 2010 at 12:28 am
I had a course in university on thermal power systems. One of the “tenants” at the …
Red, possibly you meant “tenets”??

James Barker
October 25, 2010 4:48 pm

I know I’m just being cynical, but young adults are gullible, have money (not much, but lots of them) and are considered fair game by every scam artist on the planet. Some scams are just more sophisticated than others. I’m not trying to say that there aren’t any good causes, but that it getting increasingly difficult for even less gullible adults to find and support them.
Love this blog. Thanks Anthony. 😉

Joshua Corning
October 25, 2010 5:01 pm

The organized youth are global warming believers because the adults who organize them(teachers, schools, socialists/environmental organizations, unions, other government organizations) are global warming believers. The unorganized youth split the same way the rest of the country does.
It is as simple as that.
No need to get into some nut job physiological profile about how youth think vs how adults think. Authority is telling them to believe it so they believe it…the rest are told nothing so they do what everyone else does…wing it, look it up, do what their friends do or study it rationally and try to deduce the facts from first principles.

Alan Grey
October 25, 2010 6:12 pm

Good points…and some people never grow out of their pet theories from their childhood…I still have the odd old person tell me about the population bomb, and well, James Hansen….

Paul Deacon, Christchurch, New Zealand
October 25, 2010 7:42 pm

Others have commented on my remark on the bio-diversity movement (whose UN arm already bears a striking resemblance to the IPCC).
On the plus side, there was a survey done in the UK to test public awareness of bio0diversity. The most common response was that people thought it was a soap powder.
All the best.

October 25, 2010 8:34 pm

Rob Said
I rang my insurance company this morning after having backed into another car in a car park. I was asked by the young lady at the other end “did the impact between the cars occur at the same time?”
Rob – the correct response should be:
“I dunno what do you think?”
The response to that should be:
“I’m not paid to think – just to believe in AGW”
OR is that just TOO political?

JRR Canada
October 25, 2010 9:58 pm

Our future wellbeing is well served by the AWG bedwetters attempts to manipulate young people, after getting fooled or confronted by these selfserving charmers the youth of today will grow into cynism even faster than we did. I hope this will lead the next voting public to call BS way faster than we have especially as our current leaders seem to think the young are going to pay off the debts we have incurred without protest.

November 9, 2010 5:39 am

I just book marked your blog on Digg and StumbleUpon.I enjoy reading your commentaries.

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