“Species are disappearing. Coral reefs are bleaching. Their life is disappearing. Droughts become stronger and fires are raging, driving refugees and increasing conflict among people. Storms become stronger and floods more devastating. Ice sheets are melting. We debate whether we will lose coastal cities in 150 years, or 100 years or 50 years. Do adults wonder why young people have increased anxiety today?”
James Hansen’s granddaughter. Presentation at COP-23 in Bonn, Germany, 6 November 2017.
The Church of Climate knows few bounds. Serial exaggerator climate scientist James Hansen has introduced his own with the fronting of a grand-daughter (her name is not important here) who speaks his words with his conviction. Never mind that even among climate alarmists, James Hansen is an outlier. Never mind that the warming and sea level rise he has long predicted is significantly overstated.
Here is her programmed plea:
I’m [redacted] from Pennsylvania, the United States. I will first show a few minutes of a speech given by 12-year-old Severn Cullis-Suzuki 25 years ago at the 1st Rio Earth Summit. A plea to adults to take actions to avoid dangerous climate change. Then my grandfather and I will take an objective look at the response of the world to her plea.
I will make my own plea to today’s adults, but I will argue that young people must do more than plea, we must demand our rights. …. Adults claim that they are doing something about climate. But look what a mess they leave for young people! They are not slowing down the climate freight train by one iota, not by one bit!
As I stand here, 25 years after the first Rio Earth Summit, the words that 12-year-old Severn Cullis-Suzuki spoke should still ring in the ears of government officials. But do our governments really care about her concerns? Or do they care more about deals with the fossil fuel industry?
Fears expressed by this young girl are coming true. Species are disappearing. Coral reefs are bleaching. Their life is disappearing. Droughts become stronger and fires are raging, driving refugees and increasing conflict among people. Storms become stronger and floods more devastating. Ice sheets are melting. We debate whether we will lose coastal cities in 150 years, or 100 years or 50 years. Do adults wonder why young people have increased anxiety today?
Severn spoke directly to the delegates at Rio. A few of them sat up and took notice. How long did it affect their conscience? More important, did it affect their government’s actions? No.
If I spoke before the delegates today I would feel the same fear and anger that she expressed. And more, because I can see the hypocrisy of our governments, of our leaders. In truth, for all their posturing, they have accomplished painfully little to avert the onset of catastrophic climate change. Money has been shown to be more important than their children’s future.
I am afraid and angry at the problems that greedy and foolish adults have created. But, just as Severn said, in my anger, I am not blind. And in my fear, I am not afraid of telling them ALL – diplomats, negotiators, leaders of government, banks and businesses – how I feel.
Adults, you say that you love us. But I challenge you to make your actions reflect your words. Without hesitation. Without consideration of profit. Instead caring about what is most important – the lives of your children. If you continue to pursue selfish aims, the result will be enormous suffering by your children. And no amount of money will save even the wealthiest children. Because money is, at its root, a fiction, and will disappear rapidly in the world you are leading us toward. I hope that you are listening, and I thank you for letting these words into your heart.
However, I must also say that we young people must not rely only on hopes that you might listen. Young people are people. We have rights. And we can fight for them.
Along with 20 other young people and my grandfather I am a plaintiff in a lawsuit filed by Our Children’s Trust against President Trump and the United States government for violating our Constitutional rights to life, liberty and property.
We still live in a nation of laws. I believe that our courts will find in our favor and require the government to develop and carry out a plan to reduce fossil fuel emissions.
But will it be too late? There is such a thing as being too late.
Pipeline. I encourage more young people to stand up for their rights. Just a few days ago this group in Minnesota was granted intervenor status, as they fight to stop a new tar sands pipeline. These young people are standing up to fight on their own, without money, without a lawyer.
Tar Sands. Meanwhile, what are adults doing? Making money. Developing the dirtiest carbon on Earth: tar sands, tar shale, and hydrofracking. Leaving the mess for young people to clean up.
They even leave us the tab. A trillion dollars here, a trillion dollars there. Where can we find it?
We must fight for our rights now, before it is too late. Thank you for listening and supporting us.
How to respond to this? Maybe a gentle note such as this will be a beginning to return to normalcy and let a child be a child again.
Your grandfather has badly exaggerated the sensitivity of climate to greenhouse forcing. He ignores the greening of Planet Earth from the CO2 fertilization effect. He wildly overestimates the ability of government to (coercively) correct, as though government failure did not exist alongside market failure. Study the issue for yourself as you mature intellectually. There are a number of good books to challenge grandpaw with, one being Alex Epstein’s The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels.
Like virtually everyone else in the world, you are CO2 positive. You can be happy about the social consequences of your energy usage for a greener, more productive earth.
Enjoy the natural world, a world partly of man’s creation–and tell granddaddy to chill out and just be a granddaddy.