In recent years I’ve been a constant critic of our newspapers. There’s a single reason for that, namely my life-long love of them, thus I’ve hated watching their decline. In fairness this has been forced upon them by collapsing readership and thus falling advertising revenue. But the New Zealand Herald is fighting back and by and large is now a damned good paper. So too with the ever improving Dominion Post under the new editor.
A couple of weeks ago both excelled, demonstrating excellent judgement. Why? Because they scarcely bothered to report the pathetic children’s crusade march through our cities.
After that screamingly dreary 16-year-old Swedish messiah popped up in the news with her call for school kids everywhere to abandon learning and instead adopt teaching, specifically instructing us all about global warming via street marches, I knew inevitably it would happen here. No matter the cause, be it “Me Too” or the “1%”, or whatever, our history of copy-catism is long established. And so it came to pass as an estimated 20,000 soaking wet school-children, bawling platitudes, marched down Lambton Quay on their way to Parliament. I imagine the number was much greater in Auckland. The next morning I was delighted to see both the Herald and the Dom’ ‘covered’ this with only short reports hidden in the depths of their respective newspapers.
They’d already had their copycat marches a couple of months back only to be swamped in the news by the same day Christchurch mosque massacre, so dismayed at being ignored, did it again, only to be rightly shunned again.
We do not need naïve and ignorant children who can’t speak without every sentence including ‘like’ and who couldn’t point out Belgium let alone Bolivia on a map, telling us how to run the world.
That said few people question the constant doomsday warnings from scientists on this issue. In numerous ways it’s being tackled. The scientists, doubtless correctly, say they’re not enough and call for more extreme measures. That’s easy to say but difficult to implement.
The recent Australian election says it all. Labour hammered their intention to take extreme actions on global warning, particularly in halting coal-mining. As a result they lost the election as Queensland and West Australia, with jobs at stake, deserted them. Such are the difficulties for democracies dealing with this issue while dictatorships simply don’t care.
But note this. A fortnight after that election the analytical data was published and showed it produced a historically low turn-out. And guess what? The absentees were the young. They had their opportunity to make a difference, but glued to their cell-phones and most not knowing what a newspaper is nor ever having held one, were probably unaware it was taking place.
As for compulsory voting in Australia, you can ignore that. I’ve had a Sydney home since 1971. After every election I’ve received a letter threatening to prosecute me for failing to vote. They may have tried but I’m rarely there. I’m not an Australian and thus not eligible but presumably, taking my home-ownership from the property records, the electoral authorities have transferred it to their electoral rolls.
The hard reality is if the world was to abruptly adopt the measures the scientists say are necessary there would be mass unemployment. On face value it’s a hell of a dilemma but the last thing we need is ignorant teenagers carrying on about it.
I say on face value yet there is an answer but again through politics, being ignored. The global warming problem, as opposed to environment issues such as plastic, dirty rivers etc, essentially boils down to one thing and that is the production of electricity. With proper safe-guards the cleanest and cheapest way to produce electricity is nuclear power, one of mankind’s finest achievements.
The upfront capital cost is huge but there’s never been a better time for such expenditure with interest rates on loan money currently available to governments, tantamount to free money.
France leads the way and has been over 70% nuclear powered for yonkers. Currently there’s 450 nuclear power plants in 31 countries and a further 60 under construction. The world can have unlimited cheap electricity by going nuclear.
Instead in New Zealand we resort to short-sighted rubbish such as green buildings. There’s a Green Building Council made up of lightweights promoting such backwardness.
It was epitomised a few years back when the lead story on the television news was massive flooding in Auckland. A subsequent story followed with an interview with the owners of a new Queen Street office tower proudly boasting of the building’s “greenness”, this because it captured rain-water on the roof. For God’s sake, Auckland’s a high rainfall city and has no water shortage.
Children telling us what to do ain’t the answer for action on global warming. What is, is children studying and hopefully gaining sufficient knowledge to, as either voters or future leaders, making sensible and not feel-good showing off actions on the issue, as epitomised by their marches.