Lay off climate-concerned teens

I was scrolling through Twitter the other night and discovered that one of the biggest trends was U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s jabs against Swedish activist Greta Thunberg.

For those who aren’t aware, both were in Davos, Switzerland this past week for the World Economic Forum, and after the 17-year-old suggested that the United States should divest in fossil fuels in order to combat the devastating effects of anthropogenic climate change, the 57-year-old patronized her, saying she should get an economics degree first before making such a suggestion.

It reminded me of the numerous comments republicans and conservatives have made towards Thunberg and other activists her age, and frankly, I think the treatment is rather pathetic.

How much lower can these right-wingers sink after they continuously attack someone who is half their age? Yes, you’re the one with the economics degree from Yale, but here’s a thought Mnuchin: use your intelligence and status to come up with a practical solution that remedies the ongoing environmental issues while boosting the country’s economy instead of using those assets to belittle someone who might not be able to use the hypothetical economics degree anyway.

The comments devolve from condescending to straight ridicule. After Thunberg’s journey across the Atlantic and into the chambers of the United Nations, Conservative commentator Laura Ingraham thought it would be clever to compare her appearance to the Children of the Corn.

Well you schooled her!

Here’s a rebuttal: This girl, at age 16, singlehandedly told the United Nations off, became a household name, made a guest appearance on the Daily Show and was named Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year.”

When Ingraham was around that age, she was writing homophobic articles for The Dartmouth Review. Between the comments and past, it’s safe to say who is the more mature one. 

But let’s not just bully the climate activist Laura, let’s attack high school gun violence survivors and gun control activists for “staging” walkouts and telling them to stay in the classroom to boost America’s dwindling educational record instead.

First off all, our Education Secretary (and arguably someone on your side) can’t have the decency of visiting underperforming schools and has proposed cutting billions of dollars from her own department. That won’t help our academic performance. Second and more importantly, it’s a little difficult to sit in class and pay attention to the teacher when there’s a seething sociopath hovering at the door with an AR-15. (I’d also like to note that David Hogg is currently enrolled at Harvard, which, according to U.S. News and World Report, is ranked higher than Dartmouth).

I don’t mean to turn this into another Boomer vs. Millennial/Gen-Z debacle, conservatives, but these kids are the ones who are most affected by the lack of effort on your part. And when your snapback is essentially telling them to shut up due to a perceived lack of experience, if you somehow decide to muster the strength to take these individuals head on in a debate, I think we all know whose mouth is going to keep shut.

You’re the ones who supposedly have the experience. Why not try to act in their self-interest? Be a beacon of guidance for the future generation, instead of scoff at their concerns because you personally don’t agree with them.

Hell, most of these topics shouldn’t even be a matter of debate; lives are literally at stake here. You know, pro-lifers; human lives?

Furthermore, I would imagine with some of your educational backgrounds that you would come up with more comprehensible and eloquent counterarguments. But no, you just take influence from your Messiah; the king of Peter Pan Syndrome himself, President Donald John Trump.

So, as a young person who’s worried about not seeing the world at 50, I say this: Step off! You’re not informative nor witty for going after someone who isn’t even old enough to drink yet. I’m sorry that their words don’t fit with your closed-minded worldview, but then again, the same thing can be said for most of the world.

You’re telling these kids to grow up? How about you practice what you preach.

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