Letter: In Support of Student Protests

Posted

You recently posted a video of local students participating in the global march for climate awareness. This was commented on by a number of folks tut-tutting about skipping school, the futility of demonstrations, and other such nonsense.

Climate change is a legitimate, scientifically-proven catastrophe in the making. Young people are going to inherit the world we left them, and it is a grim endowment. Unfettered pursuit of economic growth at any cost has the oceans full of trash, forests decimated, food production dependent upon unsustainable practices, and urban design centered around automobiles.

These kids have every right to be upset about the mess we have left them. What are they really missing in skipping out a day of school? Our schooling obviously was not enough to cause us to question our society’s wasteful ways. Demonstrations bring attention to concerns, as is evident in the fact that this photo was run and that I’m moved to write this letter. Nearly all of the positive progress our society has made has been the result of brave acts of protest, civil disobedience, and perhaps even a little skipping of class.

At best, we should be firmly supporting the younger community in stepping up and taking action of any kind to improve the world for themselves. At the very least, we should step out of their way and suspend our judgements. We’ve failed them, and own them an apology, not censure for exercising their right to peaceably assemble.

Robert Campbell
Port Townsend

Comments

4 comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment
Justin Hale

I applaud these young people and their awareness of the need to clean up our environment, I would be more impressed if they spent a weekend doing actual clean-up. Maybe pick a section of road in the county and clean it up, maybe refuse to use private transportation, maybe stop eating manufactured food, stop eating meat maybe? The skeptic inside me tells me that won't happen, maybe a few will actually change their lifestyle but not the majority.

We have a Governor who is ignoring his duties here in WA. state while he flies all over the country in one of the biggest polluters, airplanes, hypocrite much? We have politicians/candidates pushing for the GND (green new deal)trying to convince the masses that a vote for them is a "Green" vote to save the planet, and I'm betting that the majority of those who would support/vote for those candidates never read the actual text of the GND. Here are a couple items contained in the GND that made it a deal breaker for me.....

" The Green New Deal will provide assistance to workers and communities that now have workers dependent on the fossil fuel, nuclear and weapons industries, and to the developing world as it responds to climate change damage caused by the industrial world."

"Going to 100% clean energy by 2030 means reducing energy demand as much as possible. This will require energy conservation and efficiency; replacing non-essential individual means of transport with high-quality and modern mass transit"

I wonder how many of those teens demonstrating will be happy to give up their cars? How many RV owners, boat owners, airplane owners will be willing to give up their toys?

Wednesday, March 20
Tom Camfield

I disagree with you as usual, Justin. Picking up others’ trash alongside the road does nothing to stop the source of that trash. Encouraging that as a solution to global warming is merely simplistically misleading in the face of environmental chaos. Nor do I think it’s constructive to scapegoat teenagers with the faults of their elders when it comes to destruction of our environment. They’re stuck at the moment what we have piled onto their shoulders.

I for damned sure don’t want to see today’s youth in any way denied education in tune with reality and the fact that massive change is required if their lives are going to be meaningful beyond the greedy “carpe diem” surrender being preached by the self-serving. Rose-colored glasses are just another form of MAGA hats. Turning a blind eye in favor of complacency.

As for fossil-fuel travel, we’re all stuck with it until we come up with transportation running on renewable energy—hydro, wind, solar, tidal, geophysical or whatever. In the meantime, I don’t expect our Governor Inslee—certainly a role model for today’s young people—to bicycle around the country in an attempt to tear away the grip on our society held by a despot who flies around the nation in Air Force One to conduct personal pep rallies for himself.

You are right in suggesting that human nature is much to blame for the difficulty in trying to save the world from self-destruction—but it’s more ingrained in elders than teens. And there are many ways to combat that. Among them is combatting the the assault on public education so obvious in the Trump administration—the attempt to restrict knowledge to those capable of seeing into the future.

Demonstrators skipping school to march in the streets demonstrates to me that learning is under way, that we should all find common cause with today’s educators and stand beside them.

Wednesday, March 20
Kimberly King

Bravo Robert Campbell for standing with the students.

| Saturday, March 23
Tom Camfield

Absolutely. Our educators, of course, should not be brain-washing today's chidden. They should be teaching them to think. There is an anti-public education agenda prowling the swamp these days at the Trump-administration level, and it seems to filter on down through political party lines. Our job is to resist the dumbing-down of our society on behalf of plutocratic despotism.

Saturday, March 23