We need to give our children hope.
Unfortunately, there is so much despair being thrown at them – as lamented by Mary Wakefield in the latest Spectator magazine:
Our children are at breaking point – and it’s our fault
I think it’s time we stopped scaring the children. I think they’ve had enough. They’re at breaking point now, every generation more anxious than the last – and anxious younger, too. There’s a record number of British children diagnosed with anxiety, and a record wait – two years – for therapy, though I’m not at all sure the therapy as it is helps much…
Even if your aim is to raise a battalion of tiny Thunbergs, surely scaring them half to death is a terrible way to go about it. If you want them to think the world worth protecting, isn’t it an idea to teach them to love it first – learn about polar bears without worrying that they’re homeless for want of sea ice, and marvel at whales without plastic bags in their blow holes. Why would any child want to grow up to save humanity if all they’re taught is about our irredeemable sins? We’re not raising eco-warriors so much as mass-producing basket cases…
But there’s something decidedly askew when kids in reception know about the great island of plastic trash in the Pacific and it feels almost like heresy to tell them about the upside of plastic. ‘We were both in plastic incubators as babies,’ I tell my son. ‘Then there’s plastic water pipes, coating for electric cables, wind turbine blades. Lightweight plastic solar panels might even save the world from global warming.’
Well, the ethos of SolarPunk is very much about seeing the ‘upside’ of modern technologies:
And these pages have showcased lots of practical positivity: