The gehenna where death lives

The Guardian treats us to a bit of worry waving from one of its Australian journalists. The world’s going to hell in a handbasket apparently, we’re all making the world worse and after us, the deluge. The interesting thing about the claims made being that not one of them is true:

Which brings me to something Number Two Daughter, a nearly-teen, said in the car a few months ago.

“Mum and Dad – I don’t want you to be upset at this or anything,” she began.

She had our attention. “Yes?” came our chorus.

She continued, “OK and when I talk about you in what I’m about to say I don’t actually mean you personally – I mean your generation. OK?”

“Yes … ”

“Well, you’re wrecking the world for my generation. The world is more unsafe than when you were kids, more and more species are going extinct, there are more refugees and the world is meaner to them, there are more wars, there’s more terrorism and more racism and you haven’t stopped climate change. No offence – but it’s true. You’re ruining the world.”

The world isn’t more dangerous than it was when us gammons were kids. It’s markedly safer in fact. Pretty much however you measure it, it’s safer. Fewer die in accidents of any type, car, industrial, workplace, domestic. Fewer murders, less in fact of all types of violence, accidental or meant. Species extinction has slowed markedly in recent decades. The big bolus of it was certain large mammal and bird species going as countries started to develop. There aren’t more refugees – no one who has even the slightest familiarity with post-war Europe or India/Pakistan could possibly claim that. We’re also vastly, hugely, kinder to those refugees that do exist than we were then.

War has fallen, dramatically – us gammons grew up with Vietnamn, possibly Korea, in the background, to say nothing of innumerable colonial conflicts. Terrorism has fallen – we just classify it rather differently today. Those colonial wars contained a lot of terrorism after all. Anyone claiming that today is more racist than Jim Crow and its immediate aftermath is a fool. And sure, we’ve not stopped climate change but we’ve very definitely slowed it. You know, making solar cheap an all that?

This being The Guardian of course the response is not the correct one:

It’s impossible to overstate quite how devastating this was.

Devastating – because it’s mostly true.

Yes, that’s right, Peter Simple was writing documentary, not satire. For the reaction to being peddled a bunch of lies is to Heinz Kiosk into “We’re all guilty” rather than telling a pre-teen that there’s a reason we insist she goes to school. She doesn’t know anything which is why we’re so struggling to educate her.

It’s simply not true that the world is getting worse, the Good Old Days are right now you fool.

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12 COMMENTS

      • “It’s impossible to overstate quite how devastating this was”

        Methinks no, rather, it is impossible to overstate how much of an overstatement this is.

        Did you crash the car? Did you get home, decide to change career from clubbing baby seals to writing about your kids for money?

        I didnae think so.

  1. Yes. Just thinking about the wars the previous generation bequeathed onto mine.
    Korea
    Vietnam with sideshows in Laos & Cambodia leading to Pol Pot.
    Malaya
    Angola
    Nigeria/Biafra
    Mozambique
    Rhodesia/Zimbabwe
    Somalia
    Israel 1 & 2
    Iran/Iraq
    Indo/Pakistan
    Indonesia
    Algeria
    Air/Land Europe (Threatened never happened)
    WW3 full nuclear exchange (ditto)

  2. Young people tend to fret. Even those of us of the baby boom generation often did when we were young. They’ll grow out of it and get on with their lives just as we did. Except for those that go into media.

  3. And sure, we’ve not stopped climate change but we’ve very definitely slowed it.

    Just say that climate change really was mostly human-caused (it isn’t). All the climate action taken so far has not changed the earth’s temperature by one hundredth of a degree. It’s estimated (by genuine economist and environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg) that if the strict Paris 2040 targets are met, this will reduce earth’s temperature in 2100 by two tenths of a degree. Slowed climate change, my backside.

    • That’s right; unless sunspots, volcanic ash, and the Milankovitch cycles have ceased to be factors, we have no more evidence that all the coercion to “slow…climate change” has had any effect, than we had that free enterprise was the dominant cause of warming in the first place. Only computer models devised by people who understood that they would not keep getting grants approved if their papers did not show shocking findings.

    • If climate change is real, and the IPCC modelling is right, then we have stopped harmful anthropogenic climate change. Not through Paris accords or politicians (as we all know politics is where we dump useless members of society now that we can’t stick a dunces hat on them and laugh whilst they do funny dances); but through technologies. We aren’t building coal fired power stations in huge numbers (why, when natural gas is so plentiful and cheap); cars are more fuel efficient and getting moreso; solar power is likely to become so cheap that it will be a matter of choice to install it on new homes. We are well ahead of where we should be under IPCC’s A1T and so we have solved climate change – as, even believing the IPCC, A1T shows that climate change isn’t an issue.