If Kids Don’t Lead, Adults Will Willingly Sacrifice Them
My friend and mentor, Bill McKibben has an Op Ed about this Friday’s Student Climate Strikes in today’s on-line edition of the LA Times that will be news to LAT readers but not to Creative Greenius devotees.
Bill explains why students around the world will be refusing to go to school this Friday and instead following the lead of Greta Thunberg from Sweden who started the #FridaysForFuture Climate Strike movement all by herself just last fall.
Bill does his usual masterly job in laying out the reasoning behind young people striking for climate action and why they deserve our attention and support.
But when I read one sentence he wrote, a lightbulb went off in my devious mind:
So, lacking access to piles of cash, young people do what they can. And a strike is one such measure.
Young people may indeed lack access to piles of cash, but here in 2019 they’re pretty much a cash-free generation anyways and they have something far better than cash – they have credit from OPM and that’s positively golden.
OPM = Other People’s Money, as in the roughly $47 a day local schools get paid for every student who attends class. And when they don’t show up for school on Climate Strike Day neither does that $47 for the school budget.
That’s because California bases school funding on attendance and every kid is worth money.
We saw the financial implications of schools losing millions in funding because of student absences during the LA Teachers strikes. Along with parents being forced to change their lives because their kids were unexpectedly home, all of a sudden the motivation to settle became urgent.
All of a sudden Climate Strikers have tremendous financial clout and leverage and great strength in numbers. And they desperately need it, because the only way their parents and the other adults will do something about the Climate Emergency is if they have an immediate money problem. So kids should give it to them – Big Time.
The fact is that that today’s adults have proven that they are unwilling to give up the creature comforts of their lifestyles today to sacrifice for our childrens’ future. They have been told over and over and over again what needs to be done. They know action must happen now. But they are too cowardly and too comfortable to be anybody’s greatest generation. They will do nothing but practice business as usual until they are so disrupted and upset that they have no choice.
Greta gets that. She told the UN in December, “You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes.”
And if striking once a week on Fridays alone won’t prompt action fast enough – then the obvious next step is to spread the strike to every single school day and cripple the school system and society in so doing.
That will not only weaponize the strike’s financial power, it will shut down business as usual in this country as parents are forced to deal with children who will no longer play by the rules that as practiced, are designed to kill them.
You think that’s too radical and extreme? Then I say you aren’t even close to getting it and you need your life turned upside down until you do.
Some say I should be in school. But why should any young person be made to study for a future when no one is doing enough to save that future? What is the point of learning facts when the most important facts given by the finest scientist are ignored by our politicians?
We are running out of time. Failure means disaster. The changes required are enormous and we must all contribute to the solutions.
The adults have failed us. And since most of them, including the press and the politicians, keep ignoring the situation, we must take action into our own hands starting today.
Greta’s closing words in her UN address should be the rallying cry for kids all across this country and every other
“We have come here to let you know that change is coming, whether you like it or not. The real power belongs to the people.”
And for those woke adults, like me and my friends, we will be there on March 15, supporting and backing up our young leaders. See you at LA City Hall!