Why are our educational institutions working to destroy the best and the brightest of our youth? See related:
Institutions that are intended to teach students how to act responsibly on a personal level and throughout their future lives are failing in this mission as they reveal themselves to be a major part of the problem of limitless corporate expansion as the beneficiaries of fossil fuel investments.
People like Greta Thunberg and, indeed, the multiple generations she has inspired are increasingly depicted as a “problem” for the institutions hopelessly wedded to the profits obtained from fossil carbon extraction and combustion. As one headline put it: “The world economy ‘would collapse’ if it followed the ‘Greta Thunberg approach.'”
In reality, if world corporate, institutional and political leaders fail to follow the insights offered by Greta and the millions of people that are now moving to implement the vision she is articulating, then it is surely the case that the entire global ecosystem will suffer such abrupt and catastrophic transformations as to cause the dependent “world economy” to collapse very quickly. As out-of-control fires devastate the continents, floods and droughts destroy the human food supply and as the seas continue to rise forcing hundreds of millions of people to become climate refugees, there is little prospect for the stable continuity of the “world economy.”
Both the desperation and self-evident absurdity of our current global circumstance is apparent in the headlines of the talks given by the techno-scientific-salvationists like Michael Shellenberger — a Time Magazine “Hero of the Environment” and President of Environmental Progress, a research and policy organization. At the beginning of 2019 Michael Shellenberger entitled one of his TED talks: “Why renewables can’t save the planet.”
While one can understand the attraction of devising a snappy little title for a TED talk (TED=Technology, Entertainment & Design; n.b., the “E” is for “entertainment,” not “education”), and the tee-shirt with Madam Marie Curie on it is cute, it is not clear that Mr. Schellenberger has paused long enough in his breathless techno-scientific, nuclear-boomer enthusiasm to reflect upon the fundamental message of his own title. Simply put, if the planet cannot be “saved” with renewables, this means, presumably that it can only be “saved” by non-renewables. Yet, this is logically impossible, since by definition non-renewables will not be renewed — and hence the planet’s “salvation” will not be “renewed” and must, per force, inevitably “die.”
In the face of this kind of contorted and perverse logic, it is little wonder that the direct, clear and honest words of Greta Thunberg sound rational and humane by comparison. In fact, the fear, the rage and the evident compassion of this Swedish teenager have gripped the world for their immediacy and honesty in the face of the “fairy tales” spun out by techno-boomers and go-growth politicians around the world.
At this moment, an entire generation of students is beginning to questioning every institution from corporations like Exxon Mobil through to the colleges and universities that finance these entities through their endowments. All of these entities are coming under the scrutiny of students who see through the hypocrisy of those in positions of institutional power.
Consider, for example, the contorted rationale for the obstinate investment policies of universities like Harvard.
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