Australian Youth Climate Coalition: a paragon of naïve idealism

Just a bit of harmless fun, right?

It’s so easy to believe you can change the world when you’re young. The Australian runs an article about political activist groups such as GetUp! and the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, and paints a charming picture of dreamy optimism:

Driven, idealistic, passionate, the 27-year-old arts and law graduate is determined to change the world for the better. By the age of 23 she had established two not-for-profit organisations committed to addressing climate change; by 24 she had hooked up with colleague Anna Rose to create the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, which in four years has grown to 57,000 members registered on their website.

“I had read Tim Flannery’s The Weather Makers and wanted to do something,” says McKenzie. And do something she did. She led Australian youth delegations to UN climate conferences in Poland, Denmark and Bali, and persuaded Al Gore and Flannery to be keynote speakers at the Power Shift youth conference organised by the AYCC with 1500 attendees. And then there were the 1000 people dancing on the steps of the Sydney Opera House to help get their collective message out to the broader community. (source)

The fact that her inspiration was Flannery, he of the multiple failed climate predictions, shows that the AYCC has nothing to with climate, and all to do with social justice and urban environmentalist crusades. Young people are particularly susceptible to this kind of condition, since they have frequently never had to deal with the harsh realities of life, working for a living, paying taxes, making ends meet in difficult economic circumstances. Many continue to live with their parents for much of their twenties (and even thirties), and have no concept of managing a household or a budget. They believe that their aims and objectives have no costs – only what they perceive to be benefits.

The language on their site is typical, loaded with predictable ad hominems of course (“shock jocks”, “right wing deniers” etc), but nowhere to be found is any logically argued justification for the action they take. Virtually everything on the site is in the form of a video clip – is it really too hard to sit and read something these days? Nowhere do they address the key issue that unilateral climate action in Australia is pointless, even if we assume that CO2 is causing dangerous climate change (which this site disputes).

The AYCC’s source for “the science” is David Karoly – an alarmist (link), and a regular on these pages. Why not have a chat to Bob Carter? No, that won’t do, because being a heretic, he may challenge the precious belief system of the faithful.

The AYCC have no idea of the effect that a carbon tax will have on the economy, or our hard-won standards of living. Give them a few years of employment, rent, expenses, income tax, budgeting and everything else that goes on in the “real” world, and they may change their tune. I am fully in favour of young people caring for the environment and conserving scarce resources, but climate change is closer to a political ideology than environmentalism.

Ironically, it is the first paragraph of the article which is the most accurate:

Narcissistic, hedonistic, lacking in drive and discipline, today’s young adults are thought to be so plugged in to their mobile phones and iPods that they have no idea what’s going on in the world.

%d bloggers like this: