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Victor Joecks: Sunrise Movement, climate strike are trying to scare children

Climate change alarmists are trying a new tactic — frightening children in an attempt to turn them into political foot soldiers.

That’s the premise of the Sunrise Movement, which describes itself as “ordinary young people who are scared” about global warming.

“Being a young person in 2019 means living every day in fear and dread as we see the foundations of civilization crumbling around us,” the group’s website reads. “Scientists tell us we have just 11 years to transform our economy before it’s too late to protect human civilization as we know it.”

The Sunrise Movement was encouraging students to walk out of class one day last week as part of a climate strike. That’s part of an effort to pass U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal. It would rid the United States of fossil fuels, air travel and farting cows. Not a joke.

Imagine hearing this as a 15-year-old. Teenagers should be optimistic about the teeming opportunities associated with living in the richest country in the history of the world. Instead, the climate Chicken Littles want them to think the world is going to end before they’re 30.

What garbage. The doomsayers have a centuries-long record of inaccurate predictions about the world’s impending doom. More recently, scientists in 1970 predicted a new ice age by 2000. Teens: When your parents were kids, scientists worried about global cooling.

In 1988, scientists said Maldives, an island nation in the Indian Ocean, would disappear, because of rising sea levels. It’s still here. In 2008, Al Gore declared the Arctic would be ice-free by 2013. The ice is still there. In 2009, Prince Charles said there was only 8 years left to save the world. The world is still here.

If that’s not convincing enough, look at the adults who claim global warming threatens human existence. Democrat presidential candidates use private jets. Former President Barack Obama is buying a $15 million beach-front island mansion. Perhaps he’ll just walk into the ocean and tell it to stop rising.

Another bit of hypocrisy involves nuclear power, which is plentiful, reliable and carbon-free. AOC believes the United States is facing an existential crisis, but it’s apparently not so bad that the country should build more nuclear power plants.

Then there’s the pointlessness of the Green New Deal. India and China will spend the next decade building coal power plants. Their emissions will increase no matter what the United States does. If our country enacted the Green New Deal, it would barely make a dent in global temperatures, but it would ruin our economy. Also, the worst-case scenarios that dominate the headlines are just that — extremely unlikely scenarios that would play out over decades. This assumes that this time scientists will get it right.

It’s an incredible time to be alive. Don’t let cynical politicians trying to score political points steal your joy and hope for the future.

Victor Joecks is a columnist for the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

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