Over the weekend, millions of “youth” marched in support of climate change, or in opposition to it. Sometimes it’s hard to know, since climate change increasingly allows them to miss school. And we all know there’s nothing kids love more than missing school.
But watching all of this reminded me of a joke:
So a man is stranded on his roof as his village is 15 feet under water. The man’s neighbor floats by in a lifeboat and says, “Get in!” But he declines and says, “I prayed to God, and God will save me.” The neighbor paddles away. Next, a rescue helicopter flies overhead and hovers over the desperate man’s house. One of the men in the chopper yells down to him: “Grab the rope!” Once again, the man declines. He says, “Thank you but no thank you, my God will save me!”
Tragically, and predictably, the man drowns. When he gets to Heaven, he asks God: “Lord, why didn’t you save me?” God looks at him, mercifully, and says, “My son, I sent you a boat and then I sent you a helicopter…”
Whatever, I’m a recovering politician, not an aspiring comedian.
So what does this joke have to do with our youth and climate change? Nothing, unless you think the flood was caused by climate change. In which case, you can blame climate change for this corny joke.
But here’s the parallel as I see it. The parallel between millions of kids and young adults marching about climate change and the religious man on the roof is that neither appear to have much faith in their fellow man’s ability to save them or to solve problems.
The man on the roof, and the kids on the street, have a lack of faith in the problem-solving skills of mankind, and this actually exacerbates their respective perceived weather-related crises.
Indeed, in both cases, I would argue with complete confidence, call it faith, it is mortal men who can, do, and ultimately will — or would have, in the case of the faithfully faithless man — solve problems facing mankind. This has always been true. In other words, it has never not been true.
There are many competing messages associated with climate change, and it can be hard to drill down on just one. But since I get paid the big bucks to do that, I will.
One message that captured my attention while listening to the students was this growing threat by many of them to not bring children into this world until we solve the crisis. I get it. They think the world is ending in 12 years. And who knows? Maybe it’ll end in 11 years, or in 10.
But is hijacking the planet’s future population wise?
In one of the best movies ever made, Michael Biehn plays a character named Reese who comes back to the year 1984, from the year 2029, to deliver an important message to Sarah Connor, played by Linda Hamilton.
Reese explains to her that her future son, who hasn’t been born yet, will end up saving the world. And so she’s been targeted for “termination” by the Terminator, a ruthless, remorseless, super-intelligent robot played by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
This so-called Terminator has also come back from the year 2029 to kill Sarah Connor before her son is conceived. Retroactive abortion, as one character in the movie describes it.
What if Reese hadn’t come back from the future to warn Sarah Connor in the present? What if she decided to not have kids because it seemed the future was looking too bleak?
By the way, 2029 is only 10 years away.