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A writer for Vox hit back against claims that climate change will make the world uninhabitable and slammed activists for promoting pessimistic messaging that leave kids with feelings of anxiety and powerlessness.
Staff writer Kelsey Piper wrote Wednesday that books aimed at her 5-year-old daughter regarding climate and conservation have given her a “new perspective” on the “discourse wars” that often reach children. She noted that the messaging for adults is more nuanced and upbeat in comparison to the dire predictions found in novels like “Our House Is on Fire: Greta Thunberg’s Call to Save the Planet.”
“Yes, some things will be worse, but because of progress on many fronts in addressing extreme poverty and disease, as well as general economic growth, our kids’ lives will be better than our parents’ lives were,” Piper wrote.
The Vox writer noted that while climate change may lead to mass migrations and the displacement or the “extinction of many species,” it will not make the earth unlivable. In fact, the earth is now a better place to live, especially for low-income countries, “than it ever has been.” Climate change is not going to make it as bad as it was, even in the 1950s, Piper asserted.
Critiquing a passage from Thunberg’s children’s illustration book in which the author wonders “what use is a school without a future,” Piper said that she was not “thrilled about the message.”
“Some kids might hear that and be inspired to speak before the United Nations, but most kids are going to hear that and be scared and disempowered,” she wrote.
Highlighting a 2021 Avaaz poll and a quote from conservation psychologist Susan Clayton, Piper wrote that a majority of young Americans think humanity is “doomed” and the earth could be unlivable in as little as 20 years.
“Why do we see kids saying that? Because books, stories, and protest messaging aimed at them tell them that! There’s pessimism in the water around climate change, and kids often take that pessimism far more literally than adults do,” Piper argued.
She added that adults are “displacing their own frustration” regarding political climate inaction onto children, and are doing so by telling kids falsehoods about the future of our world.
In her conclusion, Piper claimed she has been unable to find children’s books that frame climate change as an inevitable threat, rather than a challenge for the next generation that is solvable.
“If you know of one, I’m in the market for recommendations; if you don’t know, I invite you to think about where this hole in our messages for children leaves them,” she concluded.
Nikolas Lanum is an associate editor for Fox News Digital.