Sunday, November 28, 2021
HomeNewsAttenborough and his climate cohorts are scaring the young into mental illness

Attenborough and his climate cohorts are scaring the young into mental illness

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THE BBC last week re-published yet another video article – Climate Change: The Facts – featuring David Attenborough. It shows scenes of calamity and collapse and has a single main message: ‘Act now or we are all doomed.’ 

Despite its title, there is no attempt whatsoever at a balanced analysis of ‘the facts’. The video includes a comment from the discredited Michael Mann, whose faulty algorithm created the famous ‘hockey stick‘ chart of supposed global warming that so exercised Al Gore and Greta Thunberg – who has no scientific credentials, or arguably any right at all to be included in a ‘fact-based’ video.

Towards the end of his presentation, Attenborough declares: ‘We now stand at a unique point in our planet’s history, one where we must all share responsibility both for our present wellbeing and for the future of life.’


Hyperbole, hubris, hysteria … but no humility. We have apparently become the gods of ancient Greece, able to control all aspects of life, including the planet.


It is unclear how we all have responsibility for ‘the future of life’, which managed very well before humans existed and, according to experts of Attenborough’s ilk, will inevitably change according to the laws of evolution in any case.  

However, we surely do have responsibility towards each other, especially not to cause unwarranted alarm, and to support the mental health of our young people, which according to many reports is at a nadir. 

One large survey found that nearly 60 per cent of young people approached said they felt very worried or extremely worried about the climate issue

More than 45 per cent said such feelings affected their daily lives. Some 75 per cent thought the future was frightening, while 56 per cent think humanity is doomed. 


Take a minute to digest this. The survey, led by Bath University in collaboration with five other universities, spanned ten countries. It amassed responses from 10,000 people aged between 16 and 25 and found that a staggering majority are so scared and depressed that they feel they have no future. 

 
This devastating situation has not happened spontaneously. Nor is it a rational response to the actual evidence. Rather it is the result of years of uninhibited scaremongering by older people who prefer to be part of a lucrative alarmist club than set a decent example of balanced reasoning.

Most traditional societies revere and respect their elders, for their life experience and wisdom. And in return the elders quietly and calmly protect the young, beneficently pointing to the good things in life that may come.


This seemingly timeless human – and indeed animal – circle of life has come close to breaking with astonishing speed. Many of our prominent elders, who should be sage, measured and knowing, are behaving like reckless toddlers in a sandpit they think is all theirs.


They spent 2020 and much of 2021 locking young people away from their schools, their friends, and their elderly relatives, terrifying them with useless masks and distancing to ‘protect’ them from a virus that poses hardly any risk to them. 

These thoughtless adults constantly say how much they care for the future of humanity but show, with every poorly-researched exaggeration, that they don’t give two hoots for the psychological wellbeing of the young who actually are the future.

Whether through guilt, ignorance, psychological bias or just the misplaced desire to show how powerful they are, such infantile elders display little awareness of the damage they are causing. And if they have even an inkling of how they are harming the young, they show no restraint.


Their imagined certainties do not exist. We do not know everything there is to know about viruses and we certainly do not know everything about the climate of a vast and complex planet. We cannot possibly say with any confidence what will happen to us, and we cannot control Nature. Nor should we try.


Young people do not need to be saved by anyone, not least these false prophets of doom. They need the wherewithal to live fulfilled lives – with knowledge, curiosity, social support, friendships, honesty and, above all, the modesty to accept human limitations, without self-righteous hectoring from older adults who have lived most of their own lives in circumstances where the future held promise rather than terror.


Those such as David Attenborough and the rest of the climate establishment presumably have the best of intentions. But their obsession with controlling the uncontrollable has completely blinded them to the awful damage their blinkered obsessiveness has caused our young. 


They have abjectly failed to provide sensible information and an inquisitive, questioning environment. They should be setting an example of gentle wisdom, where problems are solved by open minds. Instead, they have caused a huge avoidable mental health crisis, and have barely noticed what they have done.  

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David Seedhouse
David Seedhouse is Honorary Professor of Deliberative Practice at Aston University.

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