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Pass the baton

By John Haly

Children are striking in the streets and demanding an effective response to climate change, while many adults sit on their hands. It is a sharp illustration of intergenerational conflict, and Greta Thunberg has become a lightning rod for that conflict.

Greta Grief

Children are striking in the streets and demanding an effective response to climate change, while many adults sit on their hands. It is a sharp illustration of intergenerational conflict, and Greta Thunberg has become a lightning rod for that conflict.

Mind you, Greta had demonstrated quite the capacity to defend herself, protesting that, “They come up with every thinkable lie and conspiracy theory.” It’s not like the generational divide hasn’t been a feature of every previous protest and societal struggle, but with the advent of social media, the conservative minority voice has been amplified out of all proportion to their numbers.

Interestingly on that subject, rarely does the subject of the “science” emerge in the conservatives criticism. When it does, it goes beyond parroting debunked right-wing dogma, as it has revealed the enmeshed relationship between the conservative press, mining barons and political parties. These self-interested groups will stop at nothing to protect their vested interests and are quite literally prepared to sacrifice children and their future.

The millions of dollars dedicated to Climate Denial funding

Yet Greta is triggering the troglodytes and eliciting bullying from a notably dominantly loud demographic in our society – Conservative and Privileged Old White Misogynists.

Hypocrisy in action


The rage of Conservative and Privileged Old White Misogynist (CAPOWM) men is leading the charge. Miranda Divine and Daisy Cousens would demonstrate that it is not an exclusively male opposition. #notall[are]men! 😎 Irrespective, the role of women in outrage over Greta, is dwarfed by the sheer numbers of male counterparts.

CAPOWM men feel very affected and threatened by a 16-year-old girl in plaits in a way they do not feel affected by about thousands of scientists and adult climate activists. Despite adults protesting, the idea of children conducting a school strike is seen as an existential threat that invokes a moral panic previously unseen. This “existential threat” is breaching some fundamental principle these CAPOWM men hold to be sacrosanct.

1 These men hold that Elder men are authoritative and demand respect for their “masculine role” and Greta is challenging the status quo and daring to raise her voice to confront her elders on their failures to attend to these climate issues.

2 These men hold that woman and children should be subordinate, and Greta is challenging their authority and refuses to back down to them.

3 These men maintain that they have the right to power and authority, and Greta is building a groundswell of popular power to rise and challenge their “throne of swords”.

4 These men have always been able to blackmail, bully and bribe, but she is so bold and so young that they can find no means of leverage and find themselves in foreign territory. Perhaps not dissimilar to the British response when they faced off Joan of Arc.

5 These men realise they cannot reduce this young woman to being a sexualised compliant tool whom they can manipulate to disparage or compromise. Although Tommaso Casalin, an Italian youth football coach, thought otherwise and was justly sanctioned.

6 These men fear the loss of their wealth, power or privilege or that they will be asked to share any part of it!

7 These men realise it is inherently wrong to attack a child and are confronted by the power of her honesty. They know they lack the moral high ground and hate being out manoeuvered.

Finally, my eighth reason and one – which when I read online – I initially thought was satire. I searched in vain through the article page for the satire disclaimer. It wasn’t satire! I have seen it replicated a few times now. I baulked at adding this because – while acknowledging toxic masculinity – I inaccurately assumed, this was a minority of chest-thumping men who felt afflicted by this issue.

8 These men’s toxic masculinity has such a firm grip on their psyche; they feel that if they engage in eco-friendly behaviour, they’re worried it might undermine their masculinity. In short, being seen as “green”, is perceived as “too girly”. WTF!

As a personal interjection, I find it quite hard to wrap my head around the last one. Since I thought it was satire initially, I can only reference Mark Humphries or The Chaser’s real satire by way of providing these men with clarity.

The critical evaluation of Mysogyny

Decent Men!

Decent older men, don’t behave like this! And I want to finish this article with an inspiration I took from the Student Climate Strike in Kyoto, Japan which our family attended on the 20th of September 2019. My son has not missed any of the School Climate strikes in Australia, but we were in Japan when this one occurred. My son is no “Greta”, even if he understands the crisis of anthropogenic climate change. He is a self-effacing lad not prone to outbursts of radical self-expression or shouting slogans in people’s faces, although I have heard him joining in the chants at protests of his own volition. Although, only when he didn’t notice his proud father looking on. I spoke of his attendance at the first strike in this embedded article.

It was witnessing the “passing of the baton” from one generation to the next, in the Japanese march that caught my attention, amidst all the photographs and recordings I made. The protest started with some speeches at Maruyama Park (an urban park known for its cherry blossoms). Protestors formed an orderly procession under the constructive direction of police officers who at intervals reminded people to drink water to fend off any dehydration. Compared to the harsher attitudes of Australian police over climate protests invoked by Government lies, the courtesy and concern of the escorting police existed as a sharp contrast. The chants expressed by the protestors alternated between English and Japanese.

Casual police presence and peaceful protest

Last efforts to carry the torch for a generation

Amongst the protestors was an old man in a wheelchair, holding a sign in his lap that read, “No peace without Global Justice”. As the parade progressed down the street, I noted he was missing. The young lady (and accompanying gentleman) who had been pushing his wheelchair was holding the sign. After not finding him in the crowd, I approached them and interviewed them, as to where he had gone. As an older man, he wanted to participate for as long as he could in the student’s strike but had a medical appointment pending. He passed his sign back to the younger lady and left, in effect passing the baton back to youth to carry the cause on. She carried his sign until the end of the march.

CAPOWM men trolling the internet

Could we perhaps refrain from being foolish misogynist old white men who keep disparaging our youth? Could we be less threatened, by a forthright young girl demanding we pull our proverbial socks up, and take a lesson from a wiser old Japanese man? There comes a time in an older man’s life when whatever effort we have made to better our world for our children, is beyond us. We pass on the baton to them in the hope they will build a better world from the mistakes we have made. For that task, the only thing worthy of an honourable man, is to pass on whatever encouragement, guidance and blessings he can.

Climate Protest by permaculture

This article was originally published on Australia Awaken – Ignite your Torches and has also been published on Independent Australia.

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  1. David Bruce

    Now that the UN has come out and publicly announced climate change adaptation will require a reduction in world population, I wonder how history will treat young Greta?

    In a paper published in the BioScience journal penned by five scientists and signed by 11,258 other scientists from 153 countries, the scientists declared “clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency”.
    And the main culprits are the earth’s wealthiest countries.

    The paper outlined six areas where policy would need to be overhauled to mitigate the effects of climate change, including:
    1. energy,
    2. pollution,
    3. food,
    4. nature,
    5. economy, and
    6. population.

    Regarding population, the number of people in the world is increasing by roughly 80 million every year – that’s 200,000 every day.
    “The world population must be stabilised—and, ideally, gradually reduced—within a framework that ensures social integrity,” the scientists said.

    There are policies that can strengthen human rights while simultaneously lowering fertility rates and lessening the impact of population growth on greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss.

    Family planning services should be made available to everyone, barriers to access should be removed and “full gender equity” should be achieved including education opportunities for everyone, particularly girls and young women, according to the scientists.

    If the predicted ICE AGE arrives in the next decade, can we expect mass starvation to take take care of the population problem?

  2. Frances

    What can mankind do if the climate change is due to the grand solar minimum and not CO2? Here is a quote from electroverse : Low solar activity is disrupting the jet stream, reverting its usual tight Zonal flow to a weak Meridional one. This wavy flow diverts Arctic air to the lower latitudes —where us humans reside— and for time-immemorial has heaped untold miseries on the established civilization of the day, rendering growing regions useless, leading to famine, unrest, war, and ultimately the society’s collapse.

  3. corvus boreus

    It seems that the ‘electroverse’ is a creation of Roy Spencer that is promulgated through reddit.
    Putting it about as simply as I can, science says that regardless of the recent recorded fluctuations in solar activity, the global human practices of stripping away land forests (which both absorb heat and store bulk water water) and mining and burning subterrainean fossil fuels (old life) raises surface temperatures and global sea levels, through a number of processes that have long been proven.

  4. corvus boreus

    Ps, when I say ‘recent recorded fluctuations’, I mean the standard variations in solar activity that (unlike, for instance, the rise in greenhouse gases) have shown little to no documented/observed correlation with the increasingly observable shifts in our biospheric/atmospheric climate (you know, that general melting, baking, burning trend).

  5. John Haly

    There is a reason why as an online journalist I provide embedded links in my articles for readers to be able to confirm the article is backed up with evidence and perhaps even deals with an issue that they may misunderstand. To that end, I provided such a link to “skepticalscience” to deal with issue just like “Do solar cycles cause global warming?”

    You can read an answer to that specifically at
    I do go to the trouble of doing the research to back up what I write. It is time-consuming and so I don’t churn out articles at a great rate of knots because I do a more than a reasonable amount of fact-checking. This issue you raised was dealt with in the embedded links included in the sentence:
    “When it does, it goes beyond parroting debunked right-wing dogma, as it has revealed the enmeshed relationship between the conservative press, mining barons and political parties.”

    I hope this has been helpful to you.

  6. Frances

    Thank you for all the helpful replies. I, friends and relatives have trouble getting through to the reality of why climate change is happening.

  7. corvus boreus

    At the most simple gut level, to understand why climate change is happening, go out in the middle of the afternoon during a stinking hot day and stand for a while in an area directly exposed to sunlight, then go stand in the shade of a tree. The difference in micro-climates is a small sample of human impact on global climate in terms of surface activities, where a shade canopy surface that absorbs both light and heat is present in one place but not in another.
    On this theme, whilst you are out in the non-shaded you might also note the difference in temperatures between areas of lawn, bare dirt, concrete and bitumen.

    The gaseous part within climate influence is a bit more complex, but basically gases like carbon dioxide, methane and nitreous oxide allow broad spectrum sunlight through but trap the reflected radiant heat, thus atmospheric increases in these ‘greenhouse gases’ can induce increases in surface temperatures.
    Such was plausably hypothesised in the late 19th century and solidified into accepted theory by repeated lab experiments conducted since the 1950s. That is not new or controversial news, and the documented increases in these gases has broadly correlated with the observed and documented rises in global temperatures.

    Ps, Observed ocean rise is another long-documented phenomenon that suffers common public misconception through ignorance and disinformation.

  8. John L

    David Bruce
    “predicted ice age”?
    Good luck pushing that load of shit uphill!

  9. Bronte ALLAN

    A great article & a great read too, John Hay! I agree with al your thoughts etc regarding Climate Change, but just wish (hope?) that all our so-called “politicians”–especially the COALition mob–really get off their bums & start to do “something” about this bloody Climate crisis. Trouble is, IF there is no money or self-congratulations etc in it for them then the chances of anything happeneing with regard to attempting to rectify Australia’s Climate “problems” will remain at the very bottom of their list of “priorities” etc they have!

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