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How to reassure DS re climate change?


MEmama
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Please let's not make this political.

 

DS is very concerned about global warming. He isn't one to talk openly about fears and tends to keep his emotions to himself, but it's been coming up in little ways often enough that I know it's weighing hugely on his mind. He understands the numbers, he gets how dire it might get in his lifetime. He knows it's much bigger than composting and beach clean up days; those are fine and well on a small scale but he knows they don't touch the much bigger picture.

 

What do you say to your kids about their big concerns, when they are so out of our hands? I am honestly at a loss.

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It is a scary time for so many reasons. My son gets depressed at times from reading the newspaper and so do I. I encourage ds to focus on the here and now and I try to do it myself as well. None of us know what the future holds and I try to find the shiny spots in my daily life and encourage my kids to find those as well. So, lots of present moment stuff. Thich Nhat Hahn has a book called Peace is in Every Step that's been helpful to me at times. Here's one of his quotes, "Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones. Thich Nhat Hanh".

Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/t/thichnhath531574.html

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You could try Tim Flannery's book, Atmosphere of Hope. Flannery is a very well regarded Australian scientist. The book does have some Australian-specific content, but lots of US and other international info as well. Its not hugely optimistic and it was written prior to the Paris conferences but it is readily understandable by a bright 13 year old and provides some examples of large-scale solutions.

 

Other things to try might include individual and household actions. Maybe research what other households are doing to cut emissions (planting trees, relocalising food, eating less meat and processed food, refusing packaging, reducing consumption, power use, air-miles etc). Australia has a group called One Million Women where you pledge to do a variety of things and they calculate your carbon savings. I'm pretty cynical about a lot of this stuff, but for a 13 year old who is finding this hard to cope with, it might help. I have no idea what the equivalent male American version is, but I bet its out there!

 

And for what it worth, I'm with your son - we're in really deep do-do here and no one really seems to give a toss as long as we keep buying crap...... Part of me thinks we need to stop telling our kids that it will be alright because it won't be. Maybe if they get angry enough, we grown-ups might start to make the necessary changes.

D

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Our middle boy, the high school senior that will be majoring next year in Freshwater Sciences and Sustainability, sometimes gets down as well. We emphasize individual responsibility so he feels like he is doing his part, and we also point out that not only are humans marvelously adaptive when they need to be, but inventive as well with a generation just coming into adulthood who may very well be the ones who chart the course to reversing the effects, to be the ones to come up with the solutions, to be our heroes. 

 

We also remind him that when we become "too down" about something, the negativity can become paralyzing, and we become engrossed in our emotions instead of doing our part. So we try to help him keep a healthy perspective. Become a part of the solution, don't let the problem weigh you down so much that you are unable to move forward.

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You could try Tim Flannery's book, Atmosphere of Hope. Flannery is a very well regarded Australian scientist. The book does have some Australian-specific content, but lots of US and other international info as well. Its not hugely optimistic and it was written prior to the Paris conferences but it is readily understandable by a bright 13 year old and provides some examples of large-scale solutions.

 

Other things to try might include individual and household actions. Maybe research what other households are doing to cut emissions (planting trees, relocalising food, eating less meat and processed food, refusing packaging, reducing consumption, power use, air-miles etc). Australia has a group called One Million Women where you pledge to do a variety of things and they calculate your carbon savings. I'm pretty cynical about a lot of this stuff, but for a 13 year old who is finding this hard to cope with, it might help. I have no idea what the equivalent male American version is, but I bet its out there!

 

And for what it worth, I'm with your son - we're in really deep do-do here and no one really seems to give a toss as long as we keep buying crap...... Part of me thinks we need to stop telling our kids that it will be alright because it won't be. Maybe if they get angry enough, we grown-ups might start to make the necessary changes.

D

We do the individual stuff. He knows it's not enough to make big enough changes.

 

I agree that we shouldn't lie to our kids. It isn't okay, and no one individual or generation is going to be able to stop it. He also knows it will be up to his generation to try, and he's all in. But the facts are scary and real and I feel helpless because all I can honestly do is agree. :(

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We just started listening to Bill Nye, Unstoppable. Its optimistic that engineering and ingenuity can overcome climate change. Its very helpful for the engineering minded worried DS. I also think that its excellent and very well read.

Thank you. I'll check this out.

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I tell my kids that their generation is amazing (which is true) and if anyone can solve the problem, they can.

 

:iagree: I have reminded my son, who has different concerns, that there will be entire industries come into fruition in his lifetime, things that are just beyond the edge of imagining. It would be naive to think otherwise. Those industries may be the ones to help the issue. Then I remind him that some things that bother him now, may be something he has a hand in fixing. 

 

On another note, I would try to find out his real concern about global warming, is it the death of the planet as we know it or is it more of a mortality of humans thought. IIRC, 13 is about the age I started considering some of those larger life questions, mortality etc. It's also a huge time of transition, when they start to be seen as a teen working toward an adult, not a child anymore. That may not apply to your child, however, just throwing it out there. 

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Another option would be to look at the fear mongering among scientists certain we were going into an ice age in the 1970's. For that matter, if the worst scenarios in that Al Gore movie were true, certain cities would already be under water.  Also, hurricanes have been largely calm for a decade.  This is not what was predicted.  Climate is incredibly complex and carbon is only one factor of many, several of which we cannot predict (volcanic activity, sun activity, even ocean currents and when el nino will become el nina, or why the weather seems to work in 20 year cycles).  While conservation is important, not becoming paralyzed by fear is also important. I find that if you're going to play the what-if game with fear, carrying out everything to its logical end can help calm you down.

 

So, worst case scenario, what happens?  Coastal cities will need to build levies, and increase evacuations for hurricanes.  We might decide hurricane insurance is too expensive, and opt as a society to not rebuild coastal communities as they are destroyed by storms. Island nations will either need to engineer some sea walls or evacuate entire countries during storm season.  This is not remarkable in the history of the world.  The climate is always changing, and those changes impact where humans live. Yes, forcing populations to move will be sad, but it's not a tragedy.  Crops will also change.  We have entire industries related to crops and weather and insurance, so even though that can sound terrible, it's not. We still have far more food than we need.  Everything is okay.

 

Yes, climate change is an issue.  Perhaps it can be an issue he decides to fix for humanity.

Edited by Katy
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:iagree: I have reminded my son, who has different concerns, that there will be entire industries come into fruition in his lifetime, things that are just beyond the edge of imagining. It would be naive to think otherwise. Those industries may be the ones to help the issue. Then I remind him that some things that bother him now, may be something he has a hand in fixing.

 

On another note, I would try to find out his real concern about global warming, is it the death of the planet as we know it or is it more of a mortality of humans thought. IIRC, 13 is about the age I started considering some of those larger life questions, mortality etc. It's also a huge time of transition, when they start to be seen as a teen working toward an adult, not a child anymore. That may not apply to your child, however, just throwing it out there.

Thank you.

 

We have been talking about human adaptation, and our constant need to innovate and make things better. It helps. He does know he will be an instrument of good change. I think I need to keep reinforcing that, in whatever direction he decides to take it. I've been pointing out tangible things that have changed for the better in recent times as well, and that helps too. Things like the river that runs through town, which back in the days of the mills used to run red and green and now, because of education and policy change, no longer does. Positive changes where he can hang his hat, so to speak.

 

For him, I think the big concerns are that vast areas of our planet will become uninhabitable. Where, then, do the people go? And what unrest comes of mass human migrations (of course we are witnessing various ways that affects communities and countries right now, and it's not pretty)? They are big, far reaching, and very real concerns. No easy answers for sure.

Edited by MEmama
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I agree with your son. Climate change is terrifying and will lead to much greater problems than a few people having to move. I have read several articles which point to climate change as a factor in the start of the Syrian civil war. I think that the problems that their generation will have to face are extraordinary. But I also see what my kids and their friends are capable of and it is stunning. I frequently tell my brother that our kids are so much cooler than we ever were but that is an understatement.

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My ds has had very much the same fears. Since he struggles with a lot of anxiety anyway (which, a few years ago, drove us to a wide variety of holistic and traditional practitioners; Functional Med doc was the best of the lot, but that's all another story), his fears about GW started to become a huge issue. 

 

We've taken a couple of different tacks, things which have definitely helped but the fact remains that life will be significantly changing in the future (if nothing else, there will be many more extreme weather conditions which impact annual crops greatly...and our society is very annual-crop-dependent). In short, we do everything from the typical "focus-on-individual-actions" to learning practical living skills (everything from gardening to permaculture to learning about herbal treatments for antibiotic resistance to a LOT of time at nature-connection organizations who teach, and model, positive relationship patterns as well as wilderness survival skills) to spending time on reading and talking about the grieving process (even if one does not believe in GW, the state of our natural environment is hideous - only 20% of all U.S. rivers are considered 'healthy', we've overused antibiotics to the point where we are facing a new dark ages in terms of medical care, and ocean acidification and overfishing are serious problems). If you do believe in GW, well....we're not changing anything, no matter how many fabulous "agreements" are made. The C02 concentrations in the atmosphere just keep rising. 

 

There is a grief process that a lot of kids have to go through when they realize they are being left with a lot of intractable problems that previous generations have just not wanted to deal with. Part of it is understanding that the worldview of most modern humans have led directly to the situations facing future generations (and before anyone jumps on me, the U.S. is actually better than a lot of countries in Asia and the Middle East and Africa in terms of environmental protection). Very few people on this earth have a true appreciation of the dependence we have on our biosphere for continued prosperity. Even fewer have any willingness to change their lives in any significant way (own less, drive less, change purchasing patterns, etc) to support that biosphere. 

 

I could go on - pm me if you want any of the resources we've used. The things I mention above have helped my son feel more 'in control' and that he can find pockets of communities who are are positive (avoid the survivalists!) and yet are focused on new paradigms and skills that will be useful and helpful in the future. 

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What "I" do is think "I'll soon be dead anyway."  This is not to say I do nothing to help or that I ignore problems, but yes I very much think I'm not that important and all this worrying is pretty much for nothing.  I don't believe I'm going anywhere when I die.  Even if I did believe that I could think it won't matter because I'm going to a good place when I die.

 

Not that I suggest you mention this to your kid.  LOL  Thoughts about my mortality do not bother me though.

 

 

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For my DD, what helps is finding ways to get involved. She needs that degree of control, even if it's a small one. You may also want to PM EndOfOrdinary-her DS does a LOT of climate change non-profit work. Avalon Theissen of Conserve It Forward would be another source-she's 15 or 16 now, and started really being concerned about conservation and climate change at age 9, and CIF is her project to educate the community, and she's also very willing to talk to kids about how they can make changes locally (as is her mom). 

 

 

 

 

Edited by dmmetler
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I definitely wouldn't take certain people's suggestions that he should just delude himself into thinking nothing will happen and the scientists are wrong. That's exactly how we got into this mess in the first place.  :glare:

 

Researching new technologies that could completely change the world makes me feel a little bit better. Plasma, nanotechnology, etc. 

 

Knowing how to do basic things like grow my own food and catch fish also helps a bit.  

 

Honestly though, it gives me hope that he is so worried about it. Our generation could have used more of that. Maybe we wouldn't be in the place we're in had more of us been really worried about this during our youth. Just the fact that he is so worried means, I hope, that his generation will do things differently.

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My DS has these worries and anxieties about climate change and the consequences of large parts of the world flooding. He worries about animal species that may die and become extinct due to this even if we could afford to protect the humans during those tragedies. I tell him that the greatest tools in his hands are his intellect and his hard work and when he grows up, it is up to him to take up this problem and contribute to a solution for it. I remind him that the world today is networked and scientists and smart people work collaboratively and that solutions to huge problems will evolve very, very rapidly in today's age while it took decades to solve a big problem in the older times. I remind him that companies like SpaceX are working on exploring options in space etc. I reassure him that human race's creativity and ability to solve problems far surpass human race's stupidity. I also find talks by scientists working on this issue and let him watch them to feel reassured that other people are already tackling this issue. I tell him that it is good step in the right direction that his friends who are 7 and 8 are concerned about it and want to help. That kind of awareness and caring for the planet is a really good thing.

 

PS: I know of a few people who take their kids to rallies, protests etc to make their kids feel that they are doing something about environmental pollution and not feel helpless about the situation. It is not my thing, but for people interested, it is a way for letting your young kids "do something" about it and not have an existential crisis due to it.

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I definitely wouldn't take certain people's suggestions that he should just delude himself into thinking nothing will happen and the scientists are wrong. That's exactly how we got into this mess in the first place. :glare:

 

Researching new technologies that could completely change the world makes me feel a little bit better. Plasma, nanotechnology, etc.

 

Knowing how to do basic things like grow my own food and catch fish also helps a bit.

 

Honestly though, it gives me hope that he is so worried about it. Our generation could have used more of that. Maybe we wouldn't be in the place we're in had more of us been really worried about this during our youth. Just the fact that he is so worried means, I hope, that his generation will do things differently.

Thank you.

 

I agree researching new technologies and innovations will have a big impact on him. This morning we were talking about this in a vague way and I could feel his tension lighten. Technology is hope, to him, so it makes sense to emphasize the good that is currently being done. The more concrete specifics he has, the better.

 

I also reassured him that not only is it okay to be angry, but we should make sure MORE people are angry. I'll need to think of outlets for him to use that anger and fear in a positive way.

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For my DD, what helps is finding ways to get involved. She needs that degree of control, even if it's a small one. You may also want to PM EndOfOrdinary-her DS does a LOT of climate change non-profit work. Avalon Theissen of Conserve It Forward would be another source-she's 15 or 16 now, and started really being concerned about conservation and climate change at age 9, and CIF is her project to educate the community, and she's also very willing to talk to kids about how they can make changes locally (as is her mom).

Thank you.

 

I will check out Conserve it Forward. It sounds like an excellent resource.

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My DS has these worries and anxieties about climate change and the consequences of large parts of the world flooding. He worries about animal species that may die and become extinct due to this even if we could afford to protect the humans during those tragedies. I tell him that the greatest tools in his hands are his intellect and his hard work and when he grows up, it is up to him to take up this problem and contribute to a solution for it. I remind him that the world today is networked and scientists and smart people work collaboratively and that solutions to huge problems will evolve very, very rapidly in today's age while it took decades to solve a big problem in the older times. I remind him that companies like SpaceX are working on exploring options in space etc. I reassure him that human race's creativity and ability to solve problems far surpass human race's stupidity. I also find talks by scientists working on this issue and let him watch them to feel reassured that other people are already tackling this issue. I tell him that it is good step in the right direction that his friends who are 7 and 8 are concerned about it and want to help. That kind of awareness and caring for the planet is a really good thing.

 

PS: I know of a few people who take their kids to rallies, protests etc to make their kids feel that they are doing something about environmental pollution and not feel helpless about the situation. It is not my thing, but for people interested, it is a way for letting your young kids "do something" about it and not have an existential crisis due to it.

These are excellent talking points. Thank you.

 

The other night he mentioned how he needs to hurry up and grow up already so he can help save us all. It wasn't in a cute kiddy way, it was really loaded and heavy. That's a big burden for a kid--for anyone-- to carry. :(

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If he thinks that personal measures aren't enough - and that's definitely a valid point - have you introduced him to the world of activism? Protests, writing letters and emails to his congressfolk, signing petitions, responsible shopping (and boycotting the dirtiest companies), asking the grocery store to donate unsellable (but not bad) food to the food bank rather than throwing it out?

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If he thinks that personal measures aren't enough - and that's definitely a valid point - have you introduced him to the world of activism? Protests, writing letters and emails to his congressfolk, signing petitions, responsible shopping (and boycotting the dirtiest companies), asking the grocery store to donate unsellable (but not bad) food to the food bank rather than throwing it out?

Yes. :)

 

But there is always more we can do. This is probably the right time to step it up further.

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Well, he's right to be concerned. It's likely to be a big deal in his lifetime.

 

My DC and I brainstorm ways that individuals can make a difference, whether it is cutting out driving, living with less AC/heat, buying less "stuff". We talk about the impact if everyone, everywhere, did this. We talk politics, and the reasons some politicians make decisions that get them elected in the near term but don't help in the long term, and how to evaluate that. We talk about how some decisions are hard, and sometimes we have to give things up for the greater good. 

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I would do as others said and make sure he knows that we may just be one amazing breakthrough away from finding a way to fix things.

 

Alsi, I tell myself that the world has been through worse and survived, even if the various species didn't. That makes me feel better, but it may not help him. But I suspect it might. As a kid I worried about things a lot and couldn't sleep on cold nights because I knew there were homeless people who were out there cold. I can VERY easily get overwhelmed by all the bad things going on. I've actually had to realize that me worrying doesn't help. Being aware and concerned and moving to a solution is good. Staying up at night worrying is not good. Making myself sick won't help. So I did learn how to shut certain thoughts down, and keep them for later. Not sure that's mentally healthy, but it's how I protect myself and not go insane. 

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Honestly though, it gives me hope that he is so worried about it. Our generation could have used more of that. Maybe we wouldn't be in the place we're in had more of us been really worried about this during our youth. Just the fact that he is so worried means, I hope, that his generation will do things differently.

 

I'm older than you and I know *I* wasn't thinking about things like this at 13. I was more concerned with boys and whether my jeans fit correctly and why genetics saw fit to give me the dreaded curly hair and maybe the latest album. 

 

So, yes, the concern is encouraging. 

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I think about how utterly different the world is from when we were kids. Obviously climate change is a huge, real problem, but for a kid, I think it's really abstract. If he had been born when I was, he'd have been the kid paralyzed by worry that the Cold War and nuclear proliferation would kill us all. And, again, it's not like nuclear weapons are all hunky dory now exactly, but my point is just that it's a generalized anxiety and that massive change isn't just possible, but likely, just because that's the nature of things. I agree with those saying how whole industries are being born out of climate change and that science has the possibility to... not just suddenly "fix" everything, but to make it better, save more than we fear, and generally help.

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I would consider a counselor. Anxiety is a mental health issue.

 

The fact is, he's right. Massive changes, scary changes, may be coming. We can't deny that. We have already seen changes in property values and not unreasonably. People are being evacuated and people are losing their homes due to climate change. Mainly poor people at this point, but it's happening.

 

Likewise, the cold war "ended" and now we have a massive amount of instability in former puppet states that is bursting into hot war and global terrorism. While a smaller threat, risk-wise, it is also something that could have a greater impact on an individual. It's scary.

 

Not to mention it would be quite reasonable for any one of us to develop a fear of driving in the city. Many people do have that fear and it's pretty reasonable.

 

However, living in fear is a different question.

 

 

 

I'm older than you and I know *I* wasn't thinking about things like this at 13.

 

Oh, I was, and so was my partner. Which is how we ended up working in cancer research and international development. All we got out of that is average salaries and everyone else has nicer cars. I know LOTS of people who were concerned but none of them homeschool their kids--most of them, like me, are working full-time on a solution. Our generation actually has a lot of activists in it. Most generations do when they're young.

 

The simple fact is, what gives us our quality of life is fossil fuels. The sheer numbers desiring to adopt the western lifestyle are what endangers us. Personal choices are important, and I do have hope, but the idea that this is because "Generation X didn't care" or "The Baby Boomers didn't care", uh, no. People cared and protested a lot, and the baby boomers and Gen X implemented huge citywide and statewide and nationwide recycling programs in spite of what was in some cases massive opposition. The EPA was built, and then was continuously choked and starved.

 

I hope my kids can save the world but as far as I can tell that's the same crap they told me and it just kept me busy running in circles.... while VW was faking their emissions, BP was drill, drill, drilling away, China and India were growing huge populations watching our consumer lifestyles on TV, and so on, and so forth.

 

Everyone told me and my friends, all of whom were activists, wrote letters, protested, blah blah, how amazing we were. Honestly? That's not how it works.

 

The future is uncertain. Anxiety doesn't help, though.

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study the medieval warm period or the roman warm period.

 

wattsupwiththat.com prepare for heavy duty science.  the comments draw from scientists all over and are an education in themselves.

 

Oh please. I just knew someone would have to pop in here with denialist "science" (If you want heavy duty science, you might start with NOAA site or NASA site even the response site to wattsup, wottsupwithat.com.)

 

Unless I misread the OP, she wasn't requesting information to tell her son that none of it is happening. 

Edited by Happy2BaMom
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Oh please. I just knew someone would have to pop in here with denialist "science" (If you want heavy duty science, you might start with NOAA site or NASA site even the response site to wattsup, wottsupwithat.com.)

 

Unless I misread the OP, she wasn't requesting information to tell her son that none of it is happening. 

the point - is how much climate goes back and forth and letting a child know that.

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the point - is how much climate goes back and forth and letting a child know that.

 

Knowing the planet has been warm before doesn't make people living on the coast, who have a real risk of losing their homes, feel much better, and I doubt will reassure the child much. We've had ice ages too, but I wouldn't want to live through one. 

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He also might enjoy starting or getting involved with Roots and Shoots http://rootsandshoots.org/

 

I know Athena's Academy offers a class/group for kids to get together and plan/discuss their projects. It can help the "It's hopeless, I'm the only one who cares!" feeling to know that there are a lot of other kids out there who feel similarly.

Thanks! I'll have him check it out. He was very impressed with the other site you suggested.

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My oldest was concerned so he decided to do a massive research project looking at data from all sorts of different sources. He really learned a lot about what we know and what we don't know, how temperatures are measured, accuracy of differnet models, etc. And then he focused on possibly solutions that have been offered up and how effective they might be. Finally he looked at where the money was going - who was funding which groups, how their pronouncements helped them, what incentives they had, etc. After all of this, he was much less anxious. Bright homeschool note: this project led to him now researching the effectiveness of different alternative energy sources.

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You can PM me if you want, since this is what we do in our family - this is te reason we homeschool at this point.

 

Youth can actively do a lot. It is by no means out of your hands. The National Environmental Policy Act allows and demands that youth comment be taken as seriously as adults. It forces legitamacy. Public comment is mandantory on any large scale project on public lands. If you are past compost and beach clean ups, larger scale community organizing via legal protest is the bext step.

 

To date my son has been involved in stopping the largest coal strip mine in the nation, six coal terminals, the largest LNG gas pipeline, and is currently fighting the largest oil terminal in North America. Your son can do a lot.

 

Here are a couple videos:

 

 

Here is another one:

https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=59ECC391F627EA4D!812&authkey=!AM58jkq1wQVsQAU&ithint=video%2cmp4

 

I have permission to share them. That is my son.

 

If you let me know your area, and a firm of climate work interest, I can get you a stack of names and organizations.

Edited by EndOfOrdinary
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Oh please. I just knew someone would have to pop in here with denialist "science" (If you want heavy duty science, you might start with NOAA site or NASA site even the response site to wattsup, wottsupwithat.com.)

 

Unless I misread the OP, she wasn't requesting information to tell her son that none of it is happening. 

 

I think it's fair to not encourage reading only the MOST doomsday scenarios put forth, though.  Someone above said that they've read or heard that the Syrian civil war was related to climate change.  Well, how about researching that out and finding the scientific information that says well, maybe not really?  Not to become a "denier", but to hear ALL the data and opinions. 

 

How about when he hears something terrible that is going to happen that he ALSO is pointed to scenarios which did NOT come to pass.  Not to deny climate change, but to deny the *hype* about certain conclusions.  How about reading about how resilient our planet is, that plants adjust to absorb more C02 depending on concentrations! Is that going to save the planet on its own? No, of course not, but it's a bit more anxiety-reducing than a lot of the commentary here.  I was just reading an article that was explaining how the fears of oceans rising is being offset (a bit, not totally) by "thirsty continents".  In other words, in a total common sense idea that non-scientists can grasp, land absorbs water at a pace that can keep up with rising oceans so that we're not going to all drown in an apocalyptic scenario (barring some cataclysmic situation, of course, that I'm sure someone can root out and share, yay! LOL).

 

The point is that this kid is reading about how BAD it is and it's fueling his anxiety.  Yes, he can do some things to feel that he's making a difference (he can also read widely on whether or not those things actually have an impact...and adjust his expectations?), but he can ALSO read about strides that are being made.  Find new technology that he can support (algae as a fuel source is amazing; how do we make this happen?!) and even "mission" type organizations (non-religious and "science-based", of course) that are doing something positive!  Maybe have him follow a few more hopeful, proactive blogs by scientists and environmentalists?

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I'd consider it as I'd consider any big, scary problem that is ultimately out of my control.  While there are things I can do to minimize the danger and the impact - and they are worth doing - ultimately I have to face the scary reality that no matter what I do, this problem is bigger than me - and whether or not it comes to pass is beyond my ability to prevent.  It's true for individual tragedies like my being killed in a car wreck, and it's true for large-scale tragedies like war and global warming.  It's a sad, scary fact that humanity has the ability to break the world without having the ability to fix what they broke :(.  

 

I'm Christian, and I trust that God is both good and in control, that if He wants the world fixed, it will happen, and if He lets us destroy the world, He will bring good from our evil.  Ultimately, Christ has defeated sin, death, and the power of the devil - the source of all evil and misery and suffering - and so whatever horrors we humans wreak in the temporal world, it doesn't change that, ultimately - eternally - Christ has won.  And I trust in Christ's victory over sin on the cross as the ultimate hope not just for me, but for the whole world - that's my hope and security against all the bad, scary crap in the world, crap that would have already destroyed the world a million times over if it weren't for God's continuing gracious mercy and work.  In the meantime, I'm to do His good and avoid evil, and leave it to God what sort of crop my work reaps.  Be faithful and work to alleviate global warming, but remember it's not up to me whether my good work will prevail temporally, but up to God.  That's my assurance :), and it's the assurance I give my kids in the face of their anxieties.

 

Humanity just bites sometimes. :grouphug:

Edited by forty-two
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Thanks! I'll have him check it out. He was very impressed with the other site you suggested.

Jim Delisle talks about the need for kids, especially in the adolescent years, to not only have peers, but "near peers"-other kids or teenswho have been down a similar path and can say, yes, you're going to live through this. Adults can say it, but aren't always believed.

 

I think that really applies to the "save the world" prone to existential depression sort of kids. It doesn't have to be people they see on a daily basis, it's enough to have someone they can e-mail or Skype and know it's there-especially when they run into adults who deny what they see clearly and treat them like they can't possibly understand the full picture. Which, if your DS is like my DD, feeds anxiety and makes her convinced that it's even worse than she sees it as being, not better.

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End of Ordinary, your son is quite fabulous. I am an activist. I was deeply humbled by Dae's speech. It was the Easter message of hope that I needed. Please pass on my thanks to him

Danielle

Edited by Deee
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You can PM me if you want, since this is what we do in our family - this is te reason we homeschool at this point.

 

Youth can actively do a lot. It is by no means out of your hands. The National Environmental Policy Act allows and demands that youth comment be taken as seriously as adults. It forces legitamacy. Public comment is mandantory on any large scale project on public lands. If you are past compost and beach clean ups, larger scale community organizing via legal protest is the bext step.

 

To date my son has been involved in stopping the largest coal strip mine in the nation, six coal terminals, the largest LNG gas pipeline, and is currently fighting the largest oil terminal in North America. Your son can do a lot.

 

Here are a couple videos:

http://youtu.be/k1mV_iEMjcY

 

Here is another one:

https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=59ECC391F627EA4D!812&authkey=!AM58jkq1wQVsQAU&ithint=video%2cmp4

 

I have permission to share them. That is my son.

 

If you let me know your area, and a firm of climate work interest, I can get you a stack of names and organizations.

I sent you a PM.

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I think it's fair to not encourage reading only the MOST doomsday scenarios put forth, though.  Someone above said that they've read or heard that the Syrian civil war was related to climate change.  Well, how about researching that out and finding the scientific information that says well, maybe not really?  Not to become a "denier", but to hear ALL the data and opinions.

 

ALL the data is that 97% of scientists in relevant fields agree that climate change is a serious concern and caused by human activity.

 

All the data is that drought conditions in Syria seriously exacerbated existing tensions, and that extreme climate events have caused instability many times throughout recorded history. We can't prove that this drought was influenced by climate change, but it certainly is consistent with pre-drought models of what might happen.

 

Showing "all the data" does not mean creating some sort of false "balance" where you imply that there is some sort of active debate on the subject. There isn't one. Just because there are two sides, that doesn't make both sides equal, not when one side has all the experts and the other has a tiny number of crackpots. The evidence is overwhelming.

 

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ALL the data is that 97% of scientists in relevant fields agree that climate change is a serious concern and caused by human activity.

 

All the data is that drought conditions in Syria seriously exacerbated existing tensions, and that extreme climate events have caused instability many times throughout recorded history. We can't prove that this drought was influenced by climate change, but it certainly is consistent with pre-drought models of what might happen.

 

Showing "all the data" does not mean creating some sort of false "balance" where you imply that there is some sort of active debate on the subject. There isn't one. Just because there are two sides, that doesn't make both sides equal, not when one side has all the experts and the other has a tiny number of crackpots. The evidence is overwhelming.

Actually the 97% figure is in dispute. A Purdue study found the number to be closer to 53%. https://news.uns.purdue.edu/images/2014/prokopy-climatetable.pdf

 

This wsj piece goes into deeper detail into why the 97% figure is disputed. http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303480304579578462813553136

 

And not all people who disagree are crackpots. You may disagree with them but I don't think it is fair to call them that. http://www.livescience.com/19643-nasa-astronauts-letter-global-warming.html

 

There is also a difference between saying that man made climate change is occurring and saying that is will cause horrible disasters.

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For another example of things people are trying to do, this is something mates of mine are trying to start up. He might find their website interesting reading, I don't know. http://fishfarmers.com.au

I think someone on here was talking about a high school level city planning curric? Greening up our towns is a real thing.

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