On Climate, the Kids Are All Wrong

Paul H. Tice
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Letting children lead the way on climate change would be a recipe for disaster. Remember the summer of 1212.
By Paul H. Tice
In the summer of 1212, thousands of divinely inspired young people from across Catholic France and Germany took off to liberate Jerusalem from the Muslims. None made it to the Holy Land. Many died along the way or were sold into slavery. As military campaigns go, the Children’s Crusade was a disaster. Yet environmental activists and politicians are adopting the same “a child shall lead them” strategy to push their climate change agenda and its latest incarnation, the Green New Deal.

Youth-oriented climate groups have proliferated in the past few years, helped by logistical support from the United Nations. With earnest names such as iMatter Youth Movement, Zero Hour and Youth vs. Apocalypse, these outfits publicly lecture world leaders and march for the cause. This Friday has been designated “a global day of action” on which thousands of students world-wide are expected to strike—otherwise known as cutting class.

A few of these youth groups are highly litigious, bringing lawsuits on the novel theory of “intergenerational equity.” Most cases have been dismissed, although some continue to work their way through the courts, including Juliana v. U.S., filed in 2015 by Our Children’s Trust.

Meanwhile, the Green New Deal has been introduced, appropriately enough, by the youngest member of Congress, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. It reads more like a progressive letter to Santa Claus than a serious piece of legislation.

Members of Congress not yet on board—Democrats and Republicans alike—are targets of adolescent Alinskys. Sen. Dianne Feinstein was recently ambushed in her San Francisco office by middle- and high-school students from the Sunrise Movement. To her credit, Mrs. Feinstein tried to explain to the youngsters that the Green New Deal would cost too much and would never pass into law. The exchange called to mind a grandparent laying down the law when the parents can’t or won’t do their job.

Read the full article from The Wall Street Journal.
Paul Tice is an Adjunct Professor of Finance at NYU Stern.