The kids have thisPeter Martyn is right in his "Stop scaring kids" letter, our hope for the future does lie in rebellious "kids" (Reply all, May 15). However, he misses the mark on every other part of his argument.
Starting from personal experience, no students who participated in the school climate strike in Halifax were "driven" or "coerced" by adults. Katie Hutten, an acquaintance of mine and student of Citadel High School, is a co-founder of the group School Strike for Climate Halifax (@schoolstrike4climatehfx on Instagram). Not only is the group entirely student organized, they work and promote what they do in person and on social media with absolutely no support from teachers. On the contrary, school administrators and the Halifax Regional Central for Education have condemned the walkouts and strikes. Climate and environmental issues have little to no place in the provincial curriculum.
Although Mr. Martyn calls out "the climate change elite" and such "environmental grievance hustlers" as Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio, he seems to be the one delivering paranoid ramblings of the youth being corrupted by what any sensible person recognizes as obvious fact. Our climate is changing at a more rapid rate than ever before in history, and we are living with its effects currently. I will not debate the facts of life with someone who appears to be a crackpot conspiracist. I will, however, always defend the integrity of all youth who are trying to ensure our bright future despite the complacent and willingly ignorant.
"I will not debate the facts of life with someone who appears to be a crackpot conspiracist. I will, however, always defend the integrity of all youth who are trying to ensure our bright future."
—Eva Mae McKenna, grade 12, Shambhala School
Last week's letter was an attempt to paint the growing environmental movement as "a millennial doomsday climate cult" bent on brainwashing our kids. But these young, rebellious kids are not afraid the sky is falling, they are afraid that our society is failing them. In a world where profit trumps everything, it is no wonder they do.
I was intrigued by the letter using failed predictions made decades ago—like biologist Paul Ehrlich predicting over-population and food scarcity based on research involving butterflies—to dismiss today's climate crisis. What this letter fails to point out is that many of these predictions, along with the 20 million or so Americans who took to the streets to protest against pollution during the first Earth Day in 1970, were also responsible for influencing the US government to create the Environmental Protection Agency and enact powerful laws that moved us towards a more sustainable future, and in doing so simultaneously altering its course.
It is absolutely true that kids today should be off playing with their friends and fishing and enjoying a beautiful sunny day, so instead of watching our kids from the sidelines as they attempt to clean up the messes we have made, let's be adults, admit we've made mistakes, assume some responsibility and do something about it.
—Finn Mansour, Halifax
Ignoring the irony in the title, the "Stop scaring kids" letter was the very hyper-denial rant that spurs today's world-savvy and eco-smart kids into action. I think it is completely appropriate that demonstrations include the attention-getting die-downs. Today's youth marches on with the issue of their time, gaining slow but methodical momentum as older generations retreat. Meanwhile the true elites, the fossil fuel barons that have made trillions of dollars during this era of extraction, are not going to give in until there is no one left standing.
—Edward Vella, West Lawrencetown
I suspect Peter Martyn of Tatamagouche tilts at windmills in his spare time. In quoting a few predictions that went awry (only one by a scientist) he debunks the work and projections of hundreds of climate scientists who are trying to raise our awareness of the obvious: We are affecting the climate and the planet's life supports in dramatic and alarming ways. My kids are in their late 20s. They will not have the rather idyllic life I had. People like Mr. Martyn help to delay the massive collective effort required to address this crisis.
—Jerry MacKinlay, Halifax
Peter Martyn is wasting his talents in Tatamagouche. He is exactly what big oil loves to hear from, as well as such troglodytes as Doug Ford and Jason Kenney, along with the leader of the most powerful and worst nation in the world.
—Peter Nelson, Halifax