Monday, March 08, 2010

Australian children fear the world will "burn up"

An Australian middle-school student asks a troubling question:

What’s actually going to happen with climate change? Is the world just going to burn up?

The sustainability workshop presenter, Lucy Manne, a member of the "Australian Youth Climate Coalition and a student at the University of Melbourne", and herself almost certainly a propagator of environmental doom and gloom, professes shock:

For a moment the rawness of his fear renders me speechless. There is no way for me to instantly communicate what I need to; that the future he faces is uncertain, but within that uncertainty there is the possibility of a more just and sustainable world.

In reality Ms Manne is no doubt very pleased that young children are fearful for their futures – get them young and you've got them for ever.

Manne's 556 word National Times article 10 times mentions the need for "sustainability" education but provides no particulars. She does emphasise, however, the need to educate children in creating a "more just and sustainable world", and to teach "students to develop the skills they will need to grow into active and productive citizens". Exactly what Ms Manne expects Australian children to be taught is uncertain, although there's this "Australian students need the knowledge and skills required to respond to the complex challenges of climate change..."

What knowledge and skills? The areas least likely to be inundated as sea level rises? How to gut, skin and cook a kangaroo – you know, when we're all forced into the dead centre by rising seas and the food supply has been totally disrupted? Or perhaps training on the use, care and maintenance of the AK-47.

If the targeted kids have any sense they'll realise that environmentalists want a simpler, "more just" future where children will get lots lots of exercise "pedalling furiously atop fixed bikes and keeping a light bulb aglow." A future with no iPods or iTunes, but plenty of physical fitness, and darkness.




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