Scared Green: Sustainability Lies We Teach Our Children

These efforts to terrorize young children into believing an end-times doctrine of global catastrophe eventually mature into groups oriented to political action. The Alliance for Climate Education, for example, aims to “educate, inspire and activate 12 million teens and young adults as part of a multigenerational force for carbon reduction and healthy communities.” It is not clear how close ACE is to the 12 million mark, but it has lots of “divestment” activists, blogs, and videos featuring painfully sincere teenagers desperate to make a difference.

One of them, Nsilo Mavour, a self-proclaimed “youth climate activist,” holds forth on Huffington Post about the iniquity of fossil fuels and the tragedy that public schools in Wyoming and Oklahoma “sow doubt about the reality of climate change.”

Kudos to the folks in Cheyenne and Stillwater. Your kids may be among the few remaining in the U.S. who have the foundation for independent thinking, free of the nightmare visions, misinformation, and unhinged activism that are promulgated everywhere else. Because, contrary to young Marquis Jamont, our planet would survive “without Pharrell” and all the celebrities riding atop this generational hysteria.

There are, of course, some things that are really scary. That’s the point that my co-author Rachelle Peterson and I make in our book-length study of what happens when the sustainability kids hit college.

In Sustainability: Higher Education’s New Fundamentalism, we follow those little green steps across the quad and into the classrooms and dorms. And we can put Marquis’s worries about the next generation not learning enough about climate change completely to rest. For example, if Marquis were a college freshman this year at Yale, he would find 408 courses that the university says are “sustainability-focused” or “sustainability-related.” At Cornell the number is 290. At Middlebury, 422.

The picture is similar everywhere.  No other subject comes close to occupying so much intellectual territory in the curricula of American colleges and universities. And no need to press any buttons to explode the dissenters. Everyone is “Happy.”