OPINION

COMMENT: Future leaders show how it should be done

Are Australian children showing better leadership qualities than their voted leaders?

While a new report by the World Meteorological Organization warns carbon-cutting initiatives should be intensified immediately, people are mocking and ridiculing children trying to do the right thing.

They've followed all the rules set by adults. Learn as much as you can at school and use it to become a good citizen. When this becomes a reality, however, it seems many adults want kids to be seen and not heard.

In one breath they will demand vehemently that students should be in school and the strike is just a reason for a day off ("hold a strike on a weekend and see how many turn up" is a recurring refrain). Then in the very next breath those same objectors will claim students are being brainwashed by their teachers into believing falsehoods.

In reality (rather than wherever those Facebook commentators are living) it is because today's youth are educated that they understand the worldwide scientific consensus on climate change and are prepared to hold our governments to account for their inaction.

And while we're on the subject, who ever heard of a strike being held in a way that defeated the purpose it was meant to highlight? Of course students aren't going to strike on a weekend. It's their education and future that's at stake. Those who fought for the eight-hour day didn't strike on their Saturday evenings.

The youth movement has many online and political detractors, keen to find an angle of attack.

One picture, which has gone viral and was used in a comment on the BDN Facebook page, is of rubbish allegedly left behind by climate protesters on Friday. The image was actually taken in London in April after the Hyde Park 420 cannabis rally, and nearby climate activists actually helped clean up the mess, not make it. The misuse of this image sums up the lengths people have deliberately, and we're sure also inadvertently, gone to to attempt to discredit the young people of Australia.

Facebook uses algorithms to feed you what it thinks you want to see. So if you've been venturing into a certain perspective on an issue it will feed you more of the same. It's why many people feel it is reducing the diversity of information people consume. Polarising many issues, and perpetuating misinformation.

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This story Future leaders show how it should be done first appeared on Bay Post-Moruya Examiner.

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