Monday, September 20, 2021

The Pending Climate Apocalypse

The Manhattan Contrarian blog offers this excerpt from the Los Angeles Times. See if it does not sound familiar:

The world groaned with weather complaints this summer. 


America had droughts and extraordinary heat waves. England had the coldest, wettest summer weather within living memory. Southeast Central Europe experienced late spring and a June so hot schools had to be closed prematurely.


Germany’s summer was remarkably short and marked by frequent sunless days. Italy alternately shivered and perspired. France had to go back to 1850 to find precedent for the chilly wetness that afflicted her.


Now the fun part. These paragraphs come to us from a story that the paper published on September 18, 1931.


As the Bible teaches us, there is no new thing under the sun.


Anyway, the blog adds some data about the pending climate non-calamity:


  • Heat Waves – have been decreasing since the 1930s in the U.S. and globally.


  • Hurricanes – this decade just ended was the second quietest for landfalling. hurricanes and landfalling major hurricanes in the U.S since the 1850s.


  • Tornadoes – the number of strong tornadoes has declined over the last half century. More active months occur when unseasonable cold spring patterns are present.


  • Droughts and Floods – there has been no statistically significant trend.


  • Wildfires – decreasing since the very active 1800s. The increase in damage in recent years is due to population growth in vulnerable areas and poor forest management. 


How do you spell climate change hysteria?


California, a Failed State

As a rule, when considering all things California, I have relied on Joel Kotkin. He is an academic, a scholar, and not a political partisan. His reflections on the California recall election appeared in the City Journal, which is not, I am sure you know, a leftist publication.

So, Governor Gavin Newsom won the recall election last week. What does it all mean, for California and for America.


First, Kotkin points out that California has lost most of its middle class. Thus, the state is divided between the rich and the rest. The companies that employed middle class workers are leaving the state. The only middle class that remains contains unionized state workers. It sounds familiar to New Yorkers:


The sinking of the state’s once-buoyant middle class undermines the base for a two-party politics in California. The kinds of taxpayers who called the state home during the 1980s and 1990s are leaving, and few families are moving in. Many of the leading companies that employed middle-class workers—McKesson, Hewlett Packard, the oil and aerospace industries—are fleeing at a quickening pace.


It is worth noting, Kotkin adds, that the Newsom campaign largely outspent his opponents’ campaigns. And, let us not forget that the California poor, those who are not living on the streets, have benefited from government provided covid relief funds:


California today works primarily for two key Newsom constituencies: unionized public employees and pop culture, tech, and financial leaders. Money from these groups gave Newsom a massive advantage in advertising and organizing. Newsom’s coffers exceeded those of the nearly bankrupt recall campaign and all the prospective candidates combined by almost three to one. The combination of tech IPOs and federal money has also financed massive relief funds for a third Newsom constituency—California’s highest percentage-in-the-nation poor population—allowing the governor to act like a modern-day Boss Tweed.


Blue collar workers in California are vanishing, with the exception of those who work for the state. Still, California is leading the nation in unemployment. 


In this environment, California’s blue-collar workers face a grim future unless they’re employed by the state. Progressive success drives out the very businesses—manufacturing, suburban homebuilding, the once-robust oil-and-gas sector—that historically employed middle-income workers. Indeed, the lack of stable jobs and a dependence on low-paid service workers contribute to the state’s highest-in-the-nation unemployment rate. One out of every three households, notes the United Way, find achieving even basic security “elusive.”


As for Newsom, most Californians did not see him as an effective governor. The state’s problems are legion, and Newsom had no real way to solve them. One might even say that progressive policies caused them. Unfortunately, the Republican Party, outspent and outmanned, could not turn Democratic failures into votes:


Polls show that many Californians don’t see Newsom as effective at battling such problems as deepening income inequality, homelessness, rising crime, fires, and the pandemic. Some longtime progressives broke with the governor. But the state Republican Party could not capitalize—a sign that it remains largely marginal, particularly in the highly populated coastal areas, where dislike of Donald Trump has tarnished its brand.


California is certainly a failed state. Kotkin explains:


Even before Covid, 53 percent of Californians were considering leaving; almost two-thirds thought the state’s best days were behind it. The New York Times may see California as a multicultural exemplar, but a 2019 University of California, Berkeley poll showed that 58 percent of African-Americans, 44 percent of Asian-Americans, and 43 percent of Latinos were considering leaving the state. A recent poll from Sacramento’s Chamber of Commerce showed that roughly one-fourth of the workforce was contemplating a move out within three years.


If Republicans want to exercise any influence, to say nothing of power, they need to promote a new agenda. That means, they need to have constructive plans to solve California’s extensive problems:


If they want to become relevant in the state again, though, Republicans need a constructive agenda. The next opportunity could take place under more difficult circumstances for progressives. The expensive and unreliable electrical grid will continue to cause problems. The state is in such trouble that it has been forced to propose building five “temporary” gas plants to keep the lights on. Meantime, green-driven reluctance to stop water releases to the ocean risks taking jobs from workers in the now politically marginalized interior. Some 6,600 Central Valley farmers have already been told not to expect deliveries this year. Pension debt will mount; schools will surely not improve with the state’s new ethnic studies curriculum. As the expansion of the welfare state competes with the demands of the public sector, the financial crush could lead to a tax hike—forcing California Democrats to choose between their wealthiest backers and the union–social welfare juggernaut.


Hopefully, California will not become a role model. In a better world it would be a cautionary tale:


Governor Newsom has survived the recall, but that doesn’t mean that the Golden State is destined to become the role model for the country—it might not even represent the inevitable future for most Californians.


Sunday, September 19, 2021

New York City Is Coming Undone

The report was issued by mayor Bill de Blasio’s very own administration. It tells us that under de Blasio’s hard leftist and grossly incompetent administration New York City has, as the New York Post describes it, become undone.

It is worth emphasizing that the mayor, like many leftist politicians, thinks that it’s all a matter of perception and interpretation. That is, de Blasio thinks that it’s a public relations problem, requiring more briefings by him. 


And yet, while de Blasio has declared war on the police, gangsters tried to rob a group of restaurant patrons on the notably trendy East 60th St. and Madison Ave. last week. And a group from Texas attacked a hostess at a Times Square restaurant because she asked them to show their vaccine IDs. As of now, as might be expected, the hostess and the restaurant are being accused of being racist, because the prospective patrons were black. And let’s not forget the man who pushed a woman down an escalator for saying, “Excuse me!”


So, the New York Post reports:


New York City has come undone in Bill de Blasio’s final year as mayor, with even his big-ticket initiatives proving disastrous while Hizzoner continued to focus on his public image with daily briefings about a pandemic even he acknowledged the city was ready to put in the rear-view, stunning new statistics show.


The Mayor’s Management Report, released late Friday, reveals a city that is fundamentally unsafe due to police cuts and failure to enforce laws already on the books — all against the backdrop of a big dip in school enrollment amid a push to scrap advanced classes for gifted children.


Obviously, New York has been suffering a crime wave. Since the crimes are almost always being committed by people of color, the mayor merely pretends not to care. Or else, he blames it on the pandemic.


City streets — the mayor’s No. 1 priority under his keystone initiative, “Vision Zero,” are less safe as 275 people – including 133 pedestrians – were killed in traffic accidents, a 30-percent jump over the previous year and the most since 2014


Meanwhile, the NYPD managed to arrest just 13 drivers for striking pedestrians with their cars, despite recording nearly 1,800 such collisions. And the number of speeding and failure-to-yield summonses issued by cops dropped by more than 27 percent and more than 63 percent, respectively.


In the meantime Comrade Bill has been fighting climate change. This is pathetic and embarrassing. 


Despite the mayor’s frequent pronouncements about the urgency of fighting climate change, the city added no new Select Bus Service miles this past fiscal year – and the number of new bike lanes was the lowest since 2016.


As for the crime wave, here are some of the numbers:


While the number of major felony offenses in the city increased just 0.6 percent over last year, some crimes were far more prevalent than others. There were 489 cases of murder and non-negligent manslaughter in fiscal year 2021, a 38.9 percent jump over the same 12-month period last year.

Fiscal year 2021 was also a bad time to bring your car into the city, as the number of grand larceny auto cases increased by 47.2 percent.


The number of traffic deaths in the city soared in the past 12 months as 275 people — including 123 pedestrians — were killed in crashes, a 30-percent jump from the 211 traffic-related fatalities reported during the same 12-month period in 2020 and the most deaths on city streets since 2014 when 285 people died.


Obviously, the crime wave correlated with less policing:


Despite the carnage, the number of summonses issued by cops dropped an astonishing 57 percent from pre-pandemic levels.


The NYPD reported writing just 298,377 violations of driving laws between July 1, 2020 and June 31, 2021, the twelve month span covered by the report.


That’s just a fraction of the 696,012 summons cops handed out over the same time period in 2019, when the Big Apple clocked just 218 traffic-related deaths.


And then there were the fires, also on the rise:


The number of serious fires per 1,000 structure fires jumped above 70 for the first time since fiscal year 2017, and some of those blazes proved deadly.


In fiscal year 2021, 64 civilians died from injuries sustained in fires, a 20 percent increase from Fiscal 2020.


The FDNY also saw an increase in total service-connected injuries, with a 12 percent increase in firefighter injuries and a 15 percent increase in firefighter burns.


When it came to jails, the de Blasio administration was more likely to catch and release than to incarcerate and indict. This has not improved conditions in the city’s prisons:


About 70 percent of current inmates are awaiting trial for a violent felony offense and gang members now make up 23 percent of the jail population, up from 17 percent last year. Violent incidents in city jails also spiked from 80 per month last year to 98 this year, a 23 percent increase.


The report blames the violence on two of the mayor’s favorite bogeymen — the pandemic and the backlogged state court system.


The DOC is trying to quell the chaos by breaking up housing of gang members and cracking down on “serious violent actions” by inmates, but the staffing shortage is so dire that there aren’t enough correction officers to bring inmates to the infirmary. Health clinic visits decreased by a whopping 68 percent from last year.


Keep in mind, these are the mayor’s own statistics. Quality of life has declined in New York. Crime has been on the rise. The good news is that within a few months the radical leftist de Blasio administration will be gone. We can only hope that the new mayor, Eric Adams, will be more competent. It would not take very much.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

The Boyfriend Experience

If I have to explain what the girlfriend experience is, you are not old enough to be reading this blog. Given that you know about said experience, I am happy to report that Chinese women now have the option of going to bars where they can purchase the boyfriend experience. 

Fair enough, the boyfriend experience does not appear to involve getting down and dirty, but still, it does provide unmarried women something that many of them prefer more than sex.


That is, for a reasonable fee they can purchase the undivided attention of a man who will actually listen to them. For those women who are incipient feminist divorcees this is totally worth the money. Being a feminist in China apparently means that no man will listen to you unless you pay for the privilege. I am not sure what that means, but I will leave it to your imagination.


Still, the practice does go part of the way toward answering Freud’s infamous question: What do women want? I say this slightly in jest, because the bars and cafes that offer the boyfriend experience seem more geared to what feminists want-- which is not the same thing.


So, here goes, from a website called The Sixth Tone via Maggie's Farm:


At 40 years old, Zheng says she’s tired of searching for the perfect man. So she’s decided to hire one instead.


Whenever she feels like some male company, the divorcée heads to a café in central Shanghai named The Promised Land. There, she spends hours being pampered by a handsome young server, who fetches her drinks, watches movies with her, and listens attentively to her anecdotes.


The sessions cost over 400 yuan ($60) each time, but Zheng says they’re worth every cent.


“The butlers respect me and care about my feelings,” she tells Sixth Tone. “Even if you have a boyfriend, he might not be this sweet, right?”


There is the first point: for a modest fee she can find a young man who will care about her feelings. Or, to be fair, who will pretend to care about her feelings. The boyfriend experience is not quite the same thing as having an actual boyfriend. But, then again, maybe it is.


Of course, there are equivalent cafes for men who are looking for women who will entertain them and will laugh at their jokes and tell them how wonderful they are. Apparently, it all began in Japan. In truth, some of them exist in my own New York City neighborhood. They are called hostess clubs.


Originally from Japan, butler cafés allow customers to spend time with a team of dashing young waiters for an hourly fee. They’re a counterpart to the more mainstream “maid cafés,” which feature waitresses dressed in maid costumes serving a primarily male clientele.


Now, the businesses are spreading rapidly in major Chinese cities; the review site Dianping lists dozens of outlets offering “butler” services. Posts about the cafés have frequently gone viral on the Instagram-like social platform Xiaohongshu in recent months.


The outlets have found success by tapping into the frustrations of Chinese women, many of whom feel society remains far too patriarchal. Studies have found that China’s wives are less happy in their relationships than their husbands in all age groups.


The second quality that women buy when they contract for a boyfriend experience is control. Yes, indeed, they are in charge. This makes feminists feel strong and empowered:


Mero, one of The Promised Land’s three female co-founders, says the café aims to give women a space where they have control.


“Our mission is simple: We want to take care of women’s needs as much as possible,” says Mero, who, along with her employees and customers, spoke with Sixth Tone using a pseudonym for privacy reasons.


At the Promised Land, which opened last October, customers can choose which man they want, what activities they’ll do together, and even how he’ll dress (a traditional suit and tie or a Japanese-style school uniform are popular choices). They can also book a butler to accompany them on shopping trips and other errands through the café’s “one-day boyfriend” service.


Of course, this is beginning to sound like hiring a servant. Apparently, this is why these men are called butlers.


You can see that this looks like a feminist fairy tale. For a fee a young men will act just like a feminist wants him to act. Think of it, a man who does not mansplain, and who lets the woman win a game. Better yet, he will make her feel strong and empowered:


Most of the clientele are university-educated women, who are more “open-minded,” according to Mero. They spend 600 yuan per visit on average, though some pay as much as 25,000 yuan to become VIP members — giving them access to special parties with the butlers and other perks.


Wang Qian, a 24-year-old student, is a regular visitor to the café. She tells Sixth Tone she enjoys the feeling of empowerment she gets from spending time there.


According to Wang, many of the men she meets in normal life are pu xin nan — a term popularized by the female comedian Yang Li that roughly translates as “men who are so average, yet so confident.” The butlers, however, are considerate and never mansplain anything to her, she says.


“When I play games with my male friends, sometimes they’ll just keep winning without making you feel involved,” says Wang. “But with the butlers, they’ll notice that and make you feel accomplished in the game.”


One woman, now divorced, found herself being a harridan during her marriage. She used to yell and scream at her husband. Now, she does not have to yell and scream at the boy toy whose services she purchases:


When she was married, Zheng often didn’t feel liked — or likable. She felt forced to play the role of the nagging wife, shouting at her husband to get up in time for work each morning. She loves that at the café, she becomes a woman who deserves to be respected and served.


“I saw myself back then as a woman who was always yelling, and I didn’t like that,” says Zheng. “When I’m with the butlers, I almost whisper to them.”


Her more conservative friends disapprove of her new pastime, but Zheng doesn’t care. After her marriage broke down following her husband’s affair, she decided to stop playing along with society’s expectations, she says. She now dyes her hair silver and openly identifies as a feminist.


“In the traditional Chinese mindset, men should be the breadwinners,” she says. “But there’s nothing wrong with women consuming men for fun.”


Of course, we do not know whether the breakup of her marriage and her husband’s affair had anything to do with the fact that she was screaming at him all the time. We would not want to presume. But, now that she has gotten off the marriage track, she dyes her hair white and is a true feminist.


Personally, I am not quite sure what it means for women to be consuming men. One would need to know Mandarin better than I do to perform the proper exegesis.


Of course, the sex question must arise. Are these boy toys being contracted for anything more than companionship and for making feminists feel strong and empowered. They insist that they are not, but one has a right to question the assertion:


Appearance anxiety isn’t the only challenge the butlers face. Several tell Sixth Tone that customers often mistake them for rent boys, and they regularly face sexual harassment in the café.


The problem is so extensive, Promised Land has had to introduce strict policies banning any form of sexual contact. Each room is equipped with a security camera, which monitors the butlers’ interactions with customers.


“I’ve had countless requests to have intimate physical contact,” says Changze, a celebrity-level butler who dresses in the style of a Japanese pop star. “I’ll usually say I’m very shy, but if they insist, I’ll say our café doesn’t allow us to do that.”


It’s hard to believe that women sexually harass these men, but apparently such is the case.


In their heart of hearts the young men who sell these services do not believe any of it. They do not respect their feminist dominatrixes and find it all rather tedious:


Some butlers, meanwhile, privately admit they dislike China’s feminist movement. Though they treat their female customers like royalty at work, several make clear they’re only doing so for money. Junxi hates when women talk about feminism online: “They’re too irrational,” he says.


“Although now we say men and women are equal, there are still lots of conservative men who don’t believe men should serve women,” he adds.


This point isn’t lost on Chinese feminists. Though some have hailed butler cafés as a step forward for female liberation, others argue they’re nothing but a distraction.


“Sisters, let’s calm down! The reason the butlers are tall, handsome, and gentle is because you’re paying — making you happy is just their job,” read one highly upvoted comment under an article on social app WeChat. 


“Just think, they might be the same men who call you rude nicknames while you’re playing video games.” 

Friday, September 17, 2021

The Abraham Accords Today

Since we reported on the Biden administration’s efforts to realign American Middle East policy toward Iran and various terrorist organizations and away from the Israeli-Gulf Arab nexus created by the Trump administration, we feel duty bound to report on this pushback in the Financial Times.

Co-authored by Emerati minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Israeli minister Yair Lapid the article outlines the progress that these countries have made over the past year or so. It is an impressive record. Whether this record will register in the minds of the pro-Palestinian and pro-Iranian activists who run foreign policy in the Biden administration remains to be seen.

It should be clear that a diplomatic agreement is only a first step. Cooperation between countries matters, especially commercial ties. While medical and cultural links matter, investments and commerce are more important.

The ministers explain:

This past year, a kidney transplant was facilitated by a joint United Arab Emirates-Israel donor programme. Emirati artist Tareq Al Menhai performed a virtual concert with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and the Shalva Band of Israeli musicians with disabilities.

American and Israeli entrepreneurs expanded their D’Vaish health food company by partnering with the UAEbased Al Barakah Dates Factory, and Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala just closed on a $1bn investment in Israel’s Tamar gasfield.

The authors want the world to know that the Abraham Accords are working, despite the Biden administration:

The so-called Abraham Accords signed between the UAE and Israel in September last year have proved extraordinarily durable, even with the Covid-19 pandemic, which forced many countries to look inward. Travel and personal contact were restricted. New governments in the US and Israel had to face calls to deprioritise the Accords. The 11 days of conflict between Israel and Hamas earlier this year was tragic and unsettling.

Despite all this, official ties have advanced quickly. Embassies were established in Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv. Senior officials used open channels to address issues directly. Cabinet ministers visited in person. Healthcare ministries began intense co-operation on Covid initiatives. Memorandums of understanding, trade and other formal accords were reached.

After a year of open ties and peace between the UAE and Israel, real change is happening. Our goal now is to do more — to deepen the peace and extend it to the entire region.

Evidently, the goal is to bring Saudi Arabia into the Abraham Accords. Yet, as I and others have suggested, the Emirates would not have joined the Accords without Saudi approval. 

But, the important point is that interactions between nations are more durable than agreements:

Governments can make agreements, but Emiratis and Israelis are showing us all how people can make peace. They are rapidly breaking down barriers motivated by shared interests and common values.

A generational shift in mindset also underpins the Abraham Accords. Young entrepreneurs, researchers and cultural pacesetters are speaking a new language of peace. Embracing innovation, deploying technology and leveraging venture capital, they plan start-ups and exchanges in artificial intelligence, the green economy, space exploration, content development and water security.

But while we celebrate these achievements, Israelis and Emiratis must remain focused on something bigger. The Abraham Accords were always intended as a catalyst for greater change. How can we now work together to achieve a peace based on innovation that embraces the whole region?

The goals are economic opportunity and wealth creation. Keep in mind, Gulf Arab states are preparing themselves for the time when their revenue source, in petroleum, will be less lucrative:

First, the benefits of normalisation must be realised by all the signatories of the Accords, as well as by Egypt and Jordan. A Rand Corporation study put the region-wide potential at $1tn in new economic activity.

As two of the world’s most dynamic and advanced countries, the UAE and Israel together can help turbo-charge economic opportunity by pushing for deeper regional integration. One element should be new institutions and co-operation to facilitate trade and to co-operate on public health and development.

Of course, the authors are also trying to shame the Biden administration into supporting the Accords. They are doing so diplomatically:

Second, continued US and European involvement is critical. Republicans and Democrats don’t agree on much, but normalisation has had enthusiastic backing from both the Trump and Biden Administrations and across the aisle in Congress. Throughout Europe too, the Accords have been warmly received.

Active US and European political, financial, and technical support will help realise their full potential — as will the appointment of special envoys to co-ordinate these efforts. These moves will be welcomed as a clear signal of our friends’ sustained commitment to the stability and security of the region.

Third, the Accords underlined that even if a comprehensive peace agreement is still not in sight, better conditions for the Palestinians are a shared interest for us all. Normalisation must help facilitate increased investment, trade, and exchanges between Palestinians and the Arab world.

Sceptics will remain cynical, but they should look at what’s happened this past year, against all the odds. New ways of thinking and shared interests allow for breakthroughs and the building of relations. They encourage others in the region to initiate new channels of diplomatic dialogue.

Real breakthroughs are tough, but Emiratis and Israelis have shown that they are possible. This is just the beginning — the next step is to expand opportunity and connect people across the region. This is the best antidote to pessimism and the dead-end extremist ideology that has held the Middle East back for too long.

We will see whether the Biden administration gets the message.

So Long, Yale

Strangely enough, the Financial Times, a normally respectable newspaper, has offered up some commentary on education in Singapore, written by an actress. Her name, Mercedes Ruehl. Smoke on that one a bit-- an actress?

Ruehl reports the horrific fact--horrific to her, at least-- that the National University of Singapore has severed its connection with Yale University. Apparently, Yale’s reputation had preceded it to Singapore, where the authorities did not want their students to receive lessons in high wokery.


Naturally, Ruehl does not notice the point, but we have seriously predicted that America’s great institutions of public learning, having embraced woke politics and critical race theory and feminist musings over urinals, will inevitably sacrifice their reputations. Thus, we are not surprised to discover that Singapore no longer wants its academic institutions to cultivate such brain numbing nonsense.


As for Yale, you can only run the place on your sterling credit, and your past glories, before people are going to get the message. Dumbing down the institution will cause others to treat you as an inferior institution.


Whatever America is selling, and especially whatever the American academy is selling, people around the world are no longer buying. Apparently they have discovered that liberal arts education has become an indoctrination mill, more likely to turn out social justice warriors than people who are ready to take their place in the world economy. One suspects that the authorities at the Yale connected National University of Singapore want to nip the problem in the bud.


The students strolling around the lush green campus of the Yale-National University of Singapore, the city-state’s first liberal arts college, were unusually subdued one recent afternoon.


The Singaporean institution had suddenly announced on August 27 that it would end its partnership with the Ivy League university, leaving students and faculty in a state of shock as the new academic year began. NUS said its decision to end the relationship would pave the way for a plan to “deliver flexible, interdisciplinary education more accessibly, and at greater scale”.


Giulia, an Italian student in her final year, says she is still confident about her career prospects. What concerns her is the message that the move sends about the situation in Singapore. A city she has called home for years is heading down what she describes as a “worrying” path.


Yale-NUS launched in 2011 with the aim of bringing American liberal education to an illiberal city-state known for its exam-dominated curricula and rote learning.


As it happens, and as Ruehl does not understand, students who follow an exam-dominated curriculum and engage in rote learning generally do much better than students who are trying to find themselves in college, are learning how to express their feelings and who are suffering from bloated self-esteem.


Obviously, Ruehl, she of limited intellectual capacity, blames it on xenophobia. She does not consider that American woke culture looks very bad to the peoples of the world. Heck, even France, in the person of its government officials and leading intellectuals have warned against this mental illness. 

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Making Children Crazy

It’s not just a high school student from Sweden. Children around the world are agitated about climate change. They have been fed so much apocalyptic rhetoric that they are now suffering from anxiety. Many are suffering from chronic anxiety.

The Washington Post story (via Maggie's Farm) does not tell us whether the children of our Asian competitors are suffering similar mental health problems, but clearly the children who have contracted this social contagion are not working on their calculus assignments. They are not acquiring the skill that will afford them the chance to excel at tomorrow’ jobs. 


Training to be social agitators, to be activists, they will work hard and long to take down the world energy grid. It's what they are learning to do. It's the only thing they are learning to do. That they have no concept of what will happen to the world, or better, to the Western world once rolling blackouts become a normal part of everyday life, is the least. They might read my post from yesterday on Life in Renewableland. 


They are young and easily manipulated. The activists who have occupied their minds are ensuring that they will be good for nothing else beyond making trouble.


Anyway, the Washington Post has the story:


Mitzi Jonelle Tan was a child when a typhoon knocked out the electricity at her home in Manila for days.


“When it was finally safe enough to step outside, all the big trees I grew up with were uprooted, and I cried,” the 23-year-old Filipino activist said. “I was practically born into the climate crisis.”


That’s what scares her the most. “I know what it looks like, and I know it will get worse,” she told The Washington Post. “And it’s like, ‘Will people care? Will they react?’ ”


So, she was born into the climate crisis. An amazing statement from someone who evidently has not had an education. One typhoon was all it took. As though a single weather event sufficed to convince her that the climate is changing. Beyond that, it convinced her that human beings are responsible for the change. Not just any human beings, but Westerners in particular. It's a curious notion, given that the leading polluting nations are places like China and India.


Again, weather events are not the same as the climate. And, beyond the fact that the climate always changes, many serious climate scientists caution against the notion that we can solve the problem if we replace fossil fuels by renewables. The latter is unrealistic, if not impossible, but that has not deterred the children’s crusade against industry and manufacturing.


Apparently, the climate change hysteria has gone global. Young people might not know how to do calculus, but they do know how to protest, to complain and to cause trouble:


From school strikes to the halls of power, young activists have turned the world’s focus toward climate change. They have rallied the largest protests in decades for the environment and brought it to the forefront of elections.


But growing up in an era of disasters like never before, people in their teens and 20s are also wrestling with another challenge: anxiety about the burning, flooding planet.


We would all be happier if the planet could make up its mind. Does it want to burn or to flood? Why not hope that the floods put out the fires?


A summer of floods in Germany, wildfires in Turkey and record heat in America have raised alarm about the need to act on climate change, and about its impact on mental health.


Experts warn of the emotional toll that will come from the warming of the planet, which for many people, now feels a lot more up close.


Dare we mention that every time you see the word experts your skepticism meter must jump up a few notches. These experts are not all that unhappy. If they are in the psycho field, these anxious teenagers will fill their offices for decades to come. Please don't tell me that they are very unhappy.

Think of it, disasters like never before. How do they know that there have never been such disasters in the earth’s history?


Aren’t they just being manipulated by the media, by the hype. How do they know that these are not just weather events? Was the flood in the New York subway system the product of climate change or was it a function of the mismanagement of the subway system? Are the California wildfires the product of greenhouse gas emissions or were they stoked by the environment activists who file lawsuits every time any government agency tries to clear the brush and to reduce the kindling?


But, the current mass hysteria is causing young people to have significant mental health issues. Now you might ask yourself whether they are having these issues because they are being manipulated by adults into compromising their future success by frittering away their time and energy on protests. Are they suffering anxiety because the more time they spend fighting for environmental justice the less time they will spend acquiring the skills that will allow them to function in the world economy?


Obviously, these children think like children.


In a survey across 17 countries on Tuesday, the Pew Research Center found that more and more people saw climate change as a looming threat. The study found that young people tend to worry more about it harming them than older adults.


“I think it’s because there’s our whole future ahead,” Tan said. “We’re always told, ‘Oh, you’re so young, there’s so much you can still do.’ And then it’s like BAM, is there?”


She has watched floodwaters inundate villages in the Philippines, which has ranked both among the most high-risk countries for climate change and the most dangerous for land defenders.


This Philippine activist is hard at work trying to stifle industry, to return her country to the state of nature. Yet, the Philippines are not a wealthy country. Does it really need people agitating against economic growth?


The environmentalist has tried to channel the uncertainty into her work, talking about the environment at schools, helping farmers get irrigation equipment and joining fishing communities fighting new casino projects.


“A lot of my anxiety really stems too from the knowledge that this isn’t just happening, people are doing it actively … world leaders, the fossil fuel industry,” she said.


Amazingly, this scientifically illiterate children believe that wildfires and monsoons are being produced by climate change. They believe that any bad weather event has been caused by too much carbon dioxide in the air. And they use these events to feed their anxiety:


For many young people, the feeling that governments have betrayed them fuels a sense of doom, according to Caroline Hickman, lead author of a study into how 16-to-25-year-olds feel about the response to climate change.


In India’s Maharashtra, where monsoon rains and landslides killed dozens of people this summer, Jahnavee Palsodkar is fighting to reverse river pollution in her city, but says adults often dismiss her distress. “Right now, we’re seeing out-of-control wildfires and heavy rains,” said the 18-year-old student. “If things are so bad now, what kind of world will I have to grow up in?”


Young people around the world, but only around certain parts of the world, are feeding on a diet of gloom and doom, of hysterical apocalyptic rhetoric.


As it happens, I suspect that if you go to China and Japan and South Korea you will not find young people in a similar state of anxiety. Or, should we call it panic?


In some Asian countries, in the most prosperous Asian countries, children are more likely doing their homework and waiting their chance to prevail over the hysterical ninnies that the rest of the world is actively producing.