Gransnet forums

News & politics

Youngsters demonstrating against climate change

(64 Posts)
specki4eyes Mon 18-Feb-19 14:15:31

Ive searched the active forum for something on this subject to no avail. Forgive me if I'm doubling up on the subject.

So, I watched with interest the young people's march on Downing Street last Friday. It was featured on the news reports but I didn't see any responses from Gove or his colleagues.

Interested in their views, I opened up the subject with my teenage DGCs during a Skype call on Saturday. (I live in France) When I asked if their school had sent any representatives on the march, my 14 year old DGD swept a carefully painted false talon over her eyebrow extensions, pouted into her instagram reflection on her smart phone and looked at me with an expression of complete incomprehension and boredom. "Dont know what you're talking about" was her response. " I dont do geography, its boring". My plump 11 year old DGS piped up from the depths of his prone position on the sofa "oh yes we've had a lesson on deforestation". "I hate geography", said my granddaughter. I made a brief attempt at opening a discussion about pollution/plastic waste/etc and how it may affect their futures but they quickly returned to swiping their screens. I gave up.
They live in a predominately middle class cathedral city in the Midlands. Their school is well rated, their parents (divorced) have well paid jobs; albeit consumer related as opposed to academic. It was the first Sunday of the half term holidays and they were newly risen from their beds (at 1.15pm). The blinds were closed against the beaming sunshine. They were tired, apparently.
When the call ended, I privately reflected in complete despair. I can say nothing for fear that any criticism would result in weeks of sulking.
Please tell me Im not wrong to be deeply disappointed, if not, horrified.

lemongrove Mon 18-Feb-19 14:20:43

We have just had two threads on this subject!
Being ‘horrified’ is a bit silly, they are being young teenagers
How interested were you in current affairs at that age?
Am sure the many children who took time off school to wave placards and yell slogans enjoyed it hugely.

GrannyGravy13 Mon 18-Feb-19 14:46:54

I think this OP is "tongue in cheek"?

grannyactivist Mon 18-Feb-19 15:54:57

No, I don't think this posting is tongue in cheek. I would most likely share your disappointment specki4eyes, but 'horrified' is a maybe a bit strong. I do think that awareness of any issue grows for a number of reasons; it becomes personal, it attracts a critical mass, it becomes 'trendy' etc. Maybe your grandchildren lead quite insular lives and if it's a topic that not being discussed at school or among friends it's simply passing them by for now.
I live in a town where most of our local young people went into the city to join a bigger protest that was very well organised and attended, but a few turned up in the market square and were well informed, erudite and passionate about climate change. It left me feeling rather hopeful.

Gonegirl Mon 18-Feb-19 16:06:18

No one lives such an insular life as to not know about the horrific effects of global warming.

Are these two children having any adult input in their lives? Why were they newly out of their beds at gone midday on a Sunday? Do they have no mates? Nowhere of interest to go?

They need rescuing.

Gonegirl Mon 18-Feb-19 16:07:00

There is nothing "trendy" about global warming. Sadly it is very ongoing.

Gonegirl Mon 18-Feb-19 16:09:13

Please tell me you're joking speck4eyes.

suzied Mon 18-Feb-19 16:14:58

I'm sure there are teenagers, just as there are adults, who are not interested in climate change, or anything remotely political.

paddyann Mon 18-Feb-19 16:17:18

My GC all joined the demo..though as they were on half term here they did it by collecting plastic waste off local beaches .I too would be disappointed if they were ignorant of glabal warming and the risk to marine life from waste .Thankfully our schools are on the ball with teaching about these subjects .Maybe because we also have waste from the Nuclear base dumped in our lochs . I know that theres an outcry amongst the community about the 22 submarines being dumped here too .They need to learn about these things NOW its them who will inherite the problem

Luckygirl Mon 18-Feb-19 16:18:38

The solution is very simple - people just need to give up the luxury of flying all around the world whenever the fancy takes them. A reduction to 10% of the current number of flights would do the trick.

MissAdventure Mon 18-Feb-19 16:18:45

My grandson (teen) isn't interested in anything much, except sport.
Its a teen thing.

GrannyGravy13 Mon 18-Feb-19 16:19:27

I agree Global Warming is important but I thought the OP was far too stereotypical to be true.

If it is true I offer my apologies

M0nica Mon 18-Feb-19 16:50:04

Well, DGS, aged 9 was one of three children interviewed at his school about global warning and what they were doing. Obviously, being primary school, they were not striking but they did talk about the recycling, unrecyclable plastics scheme the school runs and how it contributes to conserving the world's resources and the importance of so doing.

Hopefully we are heading to a 5th generation of my family being politically involved.

Gonegirl Mon 18-Feb-19 16:53:57

Surely, all schools cover global warming in the curriculum.

Nothing political about it btw.

Gonegirl Mon 18-Feb-19 16:55:30

My grandson was demonstrating with the rest of them but he would give a two finger salute to any politician.

RosieLeah Mon 18-Feb-19 17:04:09

Parents and grandparents who take their children out into the countryside and explain to them about trees, plants and animals interact and affect our environment are teaching a vital lesson. Those who seem to have no interest in such things and think it's the school's responsibility, shouldn't be surprised when said children show no interest in the natural world.

Gonegirl Mon 18-Feb-19 17:05:49

Join that kid up to the Scouts. (11 year old)

PECS Mon 18-Feb-19 17:08:51

Most schools I have been in have Eco Councils that check the school is considering its 'footprint' , considering sustainability. Kids I know are interested! I know kids who were marching in London.

Elrel Mon 18-Feb-19 18:11:29

So pleased that children marched, they have more future to save than the generations who have let this abuse of the planet gradually increase. They are clearer sighted and prepared to act.

GrannyGravy13 Mon 18-Feb-19 19:00:16

It would be nice if the OP would come back to this thread.

specki4eyes Mon 18-Feb-19 23:47:58

OK lemongrove perhaps 'horrified' is a trifle strong, but let us not get snooty over semantics. 'Appalled' 'shocked' 'dismayed' then! I was merely trying to express the strength of my disappointment.
On the contrary, I was very interested in current affairs at the age of 14/15, and given that many youngsters engaged in the march, it's unfair to lump all 'teenagers' into a catch all stereotype.
These DGC's of mine are (along with many of their pals) indolent, unmotivated, unambitious; but avid consumers of gadgets, gizmos, cosmetics and junk food. I wish I too could blandly excuse their indifference, but it saddens me to see that they are unaware of their environment and the impact of climate change. And the most disheartening thing is that I, unlike my own grandparents, cannot attempt any influence for fear of accusations of interference.

specki4eyes Mon 18-Feb-19 23:59:37

Grannygravy I'm not quite understanding why you perceive my post to be "stereotypical". Could you explain please.

Eloethan Tue 19-Feb-19 00:25:18

I was interested in make up and pop music and all those sorts of things when I was a teenager (and still am, to some extent). But I was also interested in current affairs and had strong feelings about various issues of the day - capital punishment, apartheid, the laws re homosexuality, etc. I don't think one has to preclude another.

I don't think I would be horrified but I would be disappointed - and exasperated at seeing such indifference to important matters. Maybe their parents don't discuss these sorts of issues. I think children who aren't interested in books and ideas and current affairs sometimes come from homes where nobody else seems to be interested in them either and such matters are never discussed.

They were talking on the Jeremy Vine Show today about the children demonstrating. Several people thought they should have stayed in school because their education is more important. What is more important than the destruction of our environment and ultimately the possible destruction of all living things on our planet? One of the panellists spoke witheringly about a girl who'd gone on the march who'd then flown to Switzerland on a skiing holiday the next day. I thought it was a bit of a cheap shot. There must be many adults who care about environmental issues who still fly away on holiday sometimes - me included.

MissAdventure Tue 19-Feb-19 00:30:08

It seems to be some sort of a competition to have the most socially aware grandchildren, I think.
Just my opinion, and this demonstration seems to have heightened the need to be able to relay how ecologically informed they are to all and sundry.
Now I'm going to hide!

grannyactivist Tue 19-Feb-19 00:37:40

Schooling and education are not exactly the same thing. If my children were still at school now I would be fully supportive of them broadening their education by missing a day of classroom teaching to join in a demonstration against climate change.

Some of the children and young people who demonstrated will not yet have a full commitment to the cause, but they will be observing the passion of those that do and they will be better informed about the situation. Hopefully they will embrace it fully in the future and as a result they will examine their own contributory behaviours - and change them.