Grown Ups Using Kids for Political Reasons [OPINION]
When I was a pre-adult, we marched to end the Vietnam War, for civil rights and against nuclear power. To each generation his own causes, I guess. So long as kids are politically aware, I suppose that's a good thing, right?
On Friday, some 10,000 young folks are said to be planning to converge on Boston City Hall Plaza for a rally before marching to the State House to demand clean air, clean water, and action on climate change. It's part of a worldwide "youth climate strike" being led by 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg in some 150 countries. Young Greta and old U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) will meet for a press conference today in D.C.
The Boston event is being sponsored by Sunrise Movement, which opposes fossil fuels and big energy profits, and 350 Massachusetts, which is pushing a "Massachusetts Green New Deal." In other words, academia and the progressive left.
Who can be upset with kids wanting to make a difference? After all, we all want clean air and water, no? I suppose if you are 17 and 18 years old it's easy to freak out over the left's scare tactics on climate change. That's what the grown-ups who organize these kids are hoping for anyway.
The real purpose of these rallies is to put the fossil fuel industry on notice while thought engineering the next generation into believing that fossil fuels and those who produce them are evil. The sad reality that many of these young people may learn the hard way is that the world and the world's economy run and will continue to run on fossil fuels.
Windmills and solar panels are cute and all but they will not replace fossil fuels, at least not in my lifetime.
Rather than influence young people to skip school on Friday to attend an anti-fossil fuel rally, the grown-ups who are fighting this fight ought to encourage them to stay in class and learn the truth about the evils of socialism and anti-capitalism, and how together they could bring down the greatest nation ever to exist.
Oh, wait, that's not what they teach in our public schools these days.
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.