..and the average is about seven tonnes of fossil CO₂ per person in Europe). Then multiply by £200 per tonne of CO₂, and suggest the parents pop that amount into a trust fund in case their kids have to clean up after them in the 2040s.
If the parents reply, “don’t worry, dear, that’s what we pay taxes for”, youngsters should ask them who they voted for in the last election and whether spending their taxes on solving climate change featured prominently in that party’s manifesto.
Get angry by all means, but get angry for the right reasons. Action is long overdue, but to a British public sunbathing in February, weird though that was, it doesn’t feel like an emergency. Middle-aged critics would much rather quibble over the scale of climate impacts (as if they have any right to say what climate young people should have to put up with) than talk about the clean-up bill.
Climate change is not so much an emergency as a festering injustice. Your ancestors did not end slavery by declaring an emergency and dreaming up artificial boundaries on “tolerable” slave numbers. They called it out for what it was: a spectacularly profitable industry, the basis of much prosperity at the time, founded on a fundamental injustice. It’s time to do the same on climate change
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