First of all, I did not watch the entirety of the interview, located in the linked URL. Well, I didn’t watch any of it (do not have time at the moment).
But one of Dr .Suzuki’s quotes from the interview really struck me.
“Our politicians should be thrown in the slammer for willful blindness,” the scientist, author and philanthropist said. “I think that we are being willfully blind to the consequences for our children and grandchildren.
“It’s an intergenerational crime.”
This is something that has been nagging me for awhile.
The fact that, most of the people world wide that are making the major decisions in terms of the direction of humanity’s outcome post climate change, will not likely live to see the consequences of their actions. The vast majority of them are middle aged to older in age, half way (at least) though their natural life cycle.
Not to mention, world wide, climate change is currently at a virtual standstill. It has been for the last 10 to 15 years. On its face, one could think that is a good thing. Yet, consider what we are observing even in the window of the last 10/15 years. For big tropical storms, Katrina , Sandy and Haiyan come to mind. Not counting all the other localized and regional whether phenomenon that happens world wide, but does not hit the national (or international) news cycle.
Either way, it is a scary situation. And the quote is smack dab, on the money.
It is an inter-generational crime. Because its affects may/will not affect the decision makers, maybe not even the young adults like me (25 is my age). But its the children, that are going to inherit the mess.
With much of the western worlds attitude toward children being to protect them at all costs, it amazes me that this blatant lack of empathy towards their kids is tolerated. The only thing that is worse, are parents themselves, that are apologists to this abomination of a system.
The fossil fuel industry as a whole, is in essence, causing an abortion of humanity’s future. Yet most parents today, concern themselves with protecting their child from hearing profanity or seeing boobs on prime time television. And the BIG concern of many, is the prevention of/protection from cyber-bullying.
That is not to say, that this is not a VERY prevalent and important problem. I went though it, and it pretty much ruined my high school experience. And I think I STILL have lingering affects to this day, a decade later as of this passing school year (the worst part was grade 9, the 2003/2004 school year).
But its a problem that starts at the local level, and should be SOLVED on the local level.
While the topic of bullying/cyber-bullying suicides have been getting coverage across the US/Canada (and likely everywhere else), especially in the case of GLBTQ oriented suicides, its still a localized (yet pervasive) problem.
The string that holds them all together, is the internet (and other modern technologies).
The growth of social media and mobile smart phone technology, along with the anonymity that can be attained from any of them, has driven up the noticeability of bullying. I do not think that it is necessarily a NEW problem driven by the advent of these technologies. But its more, a bi-product.
Those that were previously in your face about whatever their problem with you was/is, now have the option (and anonymity, if they choose), of doing it from the comfort of a keyboard or mobile device. Given the lax and often lazy nature of modern society, is it surprising that this type of bullying is so prevalent?
And yet, all the national coverage and all the calls to action to stop cyber bullying, seem like a waste of time. And CERTAINLY not a problem of national (or international) importance.
Hear me out.
Social media and the internet, binds the world together. Never in human history, has the communication between individuals of in even the most remote places on the planet, been so easy. Because of this ease in communication, news also spreads like wildfire. One drawback of this situation, is when localized bad news stories get tied together, by people “connecting the dots” to a problem that may not even exist.
For example, conspiracy theorists do this all the time. Yet it also happens, with cyber bullying.
Though the abuse may happen on nationally publicly web portals like twitter, facebook and others, most of the bullies, are local. School mates, people in the area, otherwise people IN the childs life.
The national media attention (and the drive for change on a national and international level), while seemingly good intentioned, is the wrong way to go about it. I could see it as a recourse, if it were hundreds of thousands of random people from all over the internet, descending on one person and driving them over the edge.
But, for the most part, its local people using nationally (and internationally) available services, to harass a local person. Just traditional verbal bullying, with a modern day twist.
Which is why I believe that the national call for changes in law to prevent this problem, are wrong. At best it is just misguided energy to reducing the prevalence of the problem. At worst, its passing the buck that is the responsibility of the problem, higher up the chain. Having such laws, is a recipe for problems (not the least of which, is the abuse of them BY bullies).
First of all, parents need to be able to have an open dialog with their children. While you can set ground rules for them to follow, do not be TO tough (or inflexible). Because if you are, then you are only guaranteeing that they are going to be hiding stuff from you. Well, lets be honest, we all hid stuff from our parents lol. But being a little open and lenient, may help prevent a nasty surprise when your bubble of ignorance is burst.
And when it comes to the schools (and most importantly, school divisions) reaction to this problem, it should not simply be pushing it out of the schools (and into the parents) hands. I take a cue from when my former school division took action to prevent this bullying. They simply slapped a block on basically any and all online communication portals. Web based email, social media, instant messengers, all indiscriminately blocked.
In fact the blocking progran instituted on the server of the school was so indiscriminate in nature, that it often blocked access to legitimately educational materials. I remember having to do research projects that involved using a search engine at home, because the filtering software almost completly retarded my ability to do the research on a school computer.
If one goal of the program was to keep kids on task even when teachers are not looking, then that was a joke.
This is a great example of where the true priority of many school divisions lies. It is not necessarily with the safety of the children, it is in their liability. When it came to most of the decisions made by at least my division, it was more about covering their ass, then protecting their students.
One funny part of this, is that around 3 or 4 years after the filter was activated, the smart phone revolution came along. Soon everyone and their dog had a cell phone, and now a smart phone. So even the best set up filter for a school, is now moot, with the presence of mobile technology. Even a full on disconnect from the internet, would be a useless act. That is, unless they take the ridiculous reaction/cover our asses route again (cell phone ban / installation of cell signal jammers).
The answer is not blanket policies or laws that just cause more problems. In fact, there is arguably no “right” answer. But a big part of the problem, is pretending the problem(s) do not exist, or pushing them under the rug.
Either way, focusing on the issue of bullying (and the whole self esteem movement in general), is risky. People feeling good about themselves and accepting difference’s with one another, is a good thing (don’t get me wrong).
But if you are on the titanic and the iceberg is dead ahead, does it really matter, what the mental state of the passengers is?