Screen shot from !8to8 video

It’s the latest move by climate change warriors: rousing fear in children that their futures depend on climate change action. The Vancouver based David Suzuki Foundation has launched an online campaign to fight global warming called 18to8, whose “satirical” mission is to give the vote to children as young as eight.

Ostensibly the website is the work of kids around that age; it uses actual children in its slick video and has them saying un-childish things like, “While grown-ups are worried about grown-up things like gas prices and political popularity contests, we [the children] are passionate about protecting the natural world.” And, “we will be the ones most affected by climate change, and yet we don’t have a say…how is that fair!?”

But is instilling this kind of panic healthy and right for our children? Do we want them all to be like the young crusader Greta Thunberg, who first heard about climate change when she was eight, and literally worried herself sick about it by the time she was 11?

In any case, does Suzuki really want 8-year-olds to have the vote? Nah. For one thing they haven’t had enough time to be properly indoctrinated and might tick the wrong box. No, the foundation’s 18to8 gig simply uses children in order to shame their parents into voting for green policies: “If you really love your children, you know…”

At the same time, the campaign really is aimed at kids. Probably there are teachers using it in their classrooms already. And although it is presented in a playful, upbeat style, it would work well as a recruiting tool for the panic troops.

If we really care about kids' futures there are other things to fix, problems that undermine our ability to work for the common good.

For instance, with divorce rates on the rise in Canada, and 38 percent of all marriages there ending in divorce, one would think that dealing with fractured families is a sufficient load for young minds and hearts. Climate “crisis” activists evidently think not.

But imagine the uproar if pro-lifers made a film with youngsters telling grown-ups how passionate they are about saving little unborn babies (who also “have no say”) from being killed – a fact even better documented than global warming.

Ahead of climate change and even job and home security, according to the 2016 VICELAND UK Census, loneliness is the number one fear of Millennials. Some 42% of Millennial women are more afraid of it than a cancer diagnosis. Former Prime Minister Teresa May even chose to install a minister for loneliness in January 2018.

Yet Suzuki wants young people to think that climate change is the greatest catastrophe of our age, concerning them most acutely.

Our children are struggling with divorce, and as they grow up, they are struggling with loneliness, anxiety and depression. If we foster, on top of all that, a habit of hysteria over climate change, how on earth can we expect our young generations to thrive, let alone be in a position to tackle the issue?

Let’s not instill in our children the idea that their futures hang in the balance. Love, not fear, is what they need. Once they are able to rest securely in the knowledge somebody loves them, they will be more emotionally and morally equipped to tackle other challenges facing humanity, and the planet.

Veronika Winkels writes from Melbourne. She is the mother of three young children.

Carolyn Moynihan

Carolyn Moynihan

Carolyn Moynihan is a New Zealand journalist with a special interest in family issues. She began her working life as a secondary school teacher but always fancied the life of the scribe. Too late, she...