Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search

LAS14

(13,865 posts)
Sat Nov 25, 2017, 10:46 AM Nov 2017

My granddaughters were told the earth would be uninhabitable in 30 years.

They are 8 and 14 and heard, or thought they heard this, on a retreat. They came home in tears. My daughter isn't sure where the mis-information came from - whether it was their hearing or the speakers' sources, but it certainly throws a light on the question of how to raise awareness without scaring people into immobility. And as things get worse and worse over the decades, what do people tell the next generations?

Do any of you have examples of what to say to the youngest activists?

54 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
My granddaughters were told the earth would be uninhabitable in 30 years. (Original Post) LAS14 Nov 2017 OP
What kind of retreat? nt DURHAM D Nov 2017 #1
Quaker youth retreat LAS14 Nov 2017 #14
Tell them the truth. democratisphere Nov 2017 #2
Yes. But that may help only partly. Our 11-year-old Hortensis Nov 2017 #33
What retreat does an 8 year old go on? left-of-center2012 Nov 2017 #3
Quaker youth retreat LAS14 Nov 2017 #15
Do the Quakers belief we have only 30 years left? left-of-center2012 Nov 2017 #17
No. This was just one speaker. LAS14 Nov 2017 #21
Large parts of it will be. NickB79 Nov 2017 #4
I wonder if another young guest told them this, Ilsa Nov 2017 #5
I'm sure they meant uninhabitable for polar bears... malchickiwick Nov 2017 #6
Survive maybe. Thrive? No. shanny Nov 2017 #26
They need to know. They also need to process the information. eShirl Nov 2017 #7
No, they don't. That was hyperbole and it is way too much for young children to process. n/t pnwmom Nov 2017 #43
I think children can be told the truth in a way that does not traumatize them. nt Irish_Dem Nov 2017 #8
Tell them that the world will be UNINHABITABLE in 30 years and not traumatize them? pnwmom Nov 2017 #44
Yes correct, telling them that is a lie. Irish_Dem Nov 2017 #48
All countries are on board for climate change except the USA Iliyah Nov 2017 #9
When I was growing up , it was the fear of nuclear annihilation packman Nov 2017 #10
Yup GeorgeHayduke Nov 2017 #47
How do we sugar coat human extinction? roamer65 Nov 2017 #11
No scientist says what you are saying. former9thward Nov 2017 #19
Lets keep pumping out CO2 and see. roamer65 Nov 2017 #25
Yep, keep with the "human extinction" forecasts in 2017 for the "2100s". former9thward Nov 2017 #30
Im all for testing out the Theory of Natural Selection. roamer65 Nov 2017 #31
I don't think an ELE is limited to humans. Likely all mammals gone. JustABozoOnThisBus Nov 2017 #28
You are correct. roamer65 Nov 2017 #29
Telling young kids it's 30 years of course would make them feel hopeless. Children don't have pnwmom Nov 2017 #45
That's just ridiculous. bluedigger Nov 2017 #12
Heck. I'm scared. But children are vulnerable to outside influence and sometimes process fears Lint Head Nov 2017 #13
Humans are very adapatable. Things were very rough in the old days. Kaleva Nov 2017 #16
I suspect that either they or the speakers got a story that SOME karynnj Nov 2017 #18
Remember scholastic news? kimbutgar Nov 2017 #20
I was remembering the Weekly Reader forthemiddle Nov 2017 #22
Your granddaughters are the hope of the world The Blue Flower Nov 2017 #23
Maybe you approach the subject just like you do with any Terminal Illness... mackdaddy Nov 2017 #24
No. The whole world having a terminal illness is infinitely worse than one person pnwmom Nov 2017 #46
Tell them they will hear a lot of things from a lot of speakers, ... JustABozoOnThisBus Nov 2017 #27
In grammar school in 1969, they told us we'd be living in an underwater city - trackfan Nov 2017 #32
It sounds to me like your family is religious FakeNoose Nov 2017 #34
Scientists beleive we are in earth's 6th mass extinction event now. crosinski Nov 2017 #35
Exactly, its not just climate change. roamer65 Nov 2017 #37
By 2050 the warming is about 1 degree centigrade relative to 2000, so no significant change FarCenter Nov 2017 #36
When I was 8, I fully expected nuclear annihilation. cwydro Nov 2017 #38
I read a while back that there will be severe secondwind Nov 2017 #39
Which equals war. roamer65 Nov 2017 #41
The earth pressbox69 Nov 2017 #40
From 2006: "Salt-Water Fish Extinction Seen By 2048" greyl Nov 2017 #42
Yes, and here's a quote from the article I linked to farther up in the thread. We're well into it. crosinski Nov 2017 #49
Canada has never been able to remove the Atlantic cod moratorium. roamer65 Nov 2017 #51
Here is what I told them. LAS14 Nov 2017 #50
Help each other. One life and one person at a time. Care about others. american_ideals Nov 2017 #52
I talk about environmental issues in my high school science classes, Chemisse Nov 2017 #53
I don't believe world will be uninhabitable in 30 years, but I do remember discussing nuclear war Hoyt Nov 2017 #54

Hortensis

(58,785 posts)
33. Yes. But that may help only partly. Our 11-year-old
Sat Nov 25, 2017, 09:04 PM
Nov 2017

grandson became seriously, tearfully frightened that his mother, a Danish citizen who's lived her entire life here, was going to be picked up by ICE and deported. She's applied for the dual citizenship that's now allowed in part to make him feel she's safe, but he's taken such an implacable dislike of Trump that we avoid all mention of that name around him.

Ilsa

(61,731 posts)
5. I wonder if another young guest told them this,
Sat Nov 25, 2017, 10:55 AM
Nov 2017

and your kids were unable to filter the information as to source, etc.

On the other hand, I remember seeing a program about some of the deluxe hideaways that the super-wealthy have built for themselves. Cost them millions of dollars to build and stock. I guess they will learn to do repairs and cook for themselves, though, unless they are going to house security and electricians and plumbers, etc in their doomsday homes.

malchickiwick

(1,474 posts)
6. I'm sure they meant uninhabitable for polar bears...
Sat Nov 25, 2017, 10:57 AM
Nov 2017

...and various other species for whom climate change means extinction. For better or for worse, humans as a species will continue to adapt and thrive and the anthropocene will continue.

pnwmom

(109,056 posts)
44. Tell them that the world will be UNINHABITABLE in 30 years and not traumatize them?
Sun Nov 26, 2017, 05:28 AM
Nov 2017

There would be no way to do that -- and science isn't saying that anyway.

Irish_Dem

(50,251 posts)
48. Yes correct, telling them that is a lie.
Sun Nov 26, 2017, 10:37 AM
Nov 2017

And yes it is quite possible to give children bad news in more sensitive ways.
We can educate them about a number of dangers in a way that does not make them
cry and have bad dreams, etc.

Edit for typos, more comments

Iliyah

(25,111 posts)
9. All countries are on board for climate change except the USA
Sat Nov 25, 2017, 11:04 AM
Nov 2017

and it only takes one major power country to start the annihilation of the world with a trickle down effect.

I am still hopeful tho.

 

packman

(16,296 posts)
10. When I was growing up , it was the fear of nuclear annihilation
Sat Nov 25, 2017, 11:16 AM
Nov 2017

Funny in a perverse way how the Repukes used that as a political foil in framing Americans insecurity - VOTE REPUBLICAN KEEP AMERICA SAFE. Now, we (mostly liberals) are framing the future in preserving the environment.

roamer65

(36,752 posts)
11. How do we sugar coat human extinction?
Sat Nov 25, 2017, 11:33 AM
Nov 2017

Mind you, I think 30 years is overdoing it along with turning it into trauma. The time frame is more like the 2100’s for uninhabitability, but also there is no way to sugar coat an ELE.

The future generation does need to realize what they are up against.

former9thward

(32,373 posts)
19. No scientist says what you are saying.
Sat Nov 25, 2017, 01:20 PM
Nov 2017

No one is saying the 2100s are uninhabitable. Where are you getting this stuff? Over time Humans have persisted in far worse climate conditions than anything that anyone forecasts.

former9thward

(32,373 posts)
30. Yep, keep with the "human extinction" forecasts in 2017 for the "2100s".
Sat Nov 25, 2017, 07:44 PM
Nov 2017

With no basis whatsoever from science.

JustABozoOnThisBus

(23,472 posts)
28. I don't think an ELE is limited to humans. Likely all mammals gone.
Sat Nov 25, 2017, 07:23 PM
Nov 2017

And all birds. Probably all reptiles.

Some fish may do ok, along with many micro-organisms.

But I'm not sure it's a cheery topic for discussion with granddaughters.

pnwmom

(109,056 posts)
45. Telling young kids it's 30 years of course would make them feel hopeless. Children don't have
Sun Nov 26, 2017, 05:30 AM
Nov 2017

thick skins.

bluedigger

(17,106 posts)
12. That's just ridiculous.
Sat Nov 25, 2017, 12:06 PM
Nov 2017

Our civilization will be unsustainable in thirty years, but life will go on.

Lint Head

(15,064 posts)
13. Heck. I'm scared. But children are vulnerable to outside influence and sometimes process fears
Sat Nov 25, 2017, 12:10 PM
Nov 2017

and insecurities differently than adults.
But...The earth could be destroyed by a nuclear war caused by Orange Jesus before 30 years is anywhere close.

Kaleva

(36,558 posts)
16. Humans are very adapatable. Things were very rough in the old days.
Sat Nov 25, 2017, 12:24 PM
Nov 2017

Childhood illnesses took the lives of many along with epidemics such as the flu epidemic, the Black death and the ones that wiped out much of the Native American populations.

Women couldn't vote and blacks were slaves. The only good Indian was a dead Indian.

The good old days sucked.

karynnj

(59,540 posts)
18. I suspect that either they or the speakers got a story that SOME
Sat Nov 25, 2017, 01:15 PM
Nov 2017

currently populated areas will become uninhabitable if current climate changes continue their trend. In addition, all areas will experience change meaning what their children will experience is not what they experienced.

More importantly. Especially speaking to kids, you need the message to be the need to change and what their families can do. It is small, but things add up. For instance, composting can reduce methane.

In addition, technology changes are happening and we need the government to fund research including se cancelled by Trump.

kimbutgar

(21,455 posts)
20. Remember scholastic news?
Sat Nov 25, 2017, 01:20 PM
Nov 2017

I read an old article to a 5th grade class talking about water shortages due to global climate change. And also how water tables could be destroyed by oil and gas pipelines. I was very impressed by the article. The discussion question was, how can you change this?

forthemiddle

(1,392 posts)
22. I was remembering the Weekly Reader
Sat Nov 25, 2017, 03:34 PM
Nov 2017

And in the 70’s I distinctly remember reading an article about entering into a new ice age during my lifetime.
Climate change is happening, but I don’t know if scaring kids is the way to confront it.

The Blue Flower

(5,469 posts)
23. Your granddaughters are the hope of the world
Sat Nov 25, 2017, 03:41 PM
Nov 2017

They are here to create the future. They and all their generation are the reason I'm not afraid. They care, they're intelligent, and they will be resourceful and brave.

mackdaddy

(1,544 posts)
24. Maybe you approach the subject just like you do with any Terminal Illness...
Sat Nov 25, 2017, 06:37 PM
Nov 2017

How do you tell anyone, but especially children when they or someone close has a terminal illness?

Civilization as we currently know it is almost certainly terminal. We have destabilized the climate so that we already have a five fold increase in "severe" weather occurrences per year over that of 50 years ago.

The arctic ice is down to less that a fraction of what it has been for thousands of years, and melting smaller every year. The arctic is warming at a rate several times that of the planet as a whole. The scientist are finding that the loss of artic ice is causing changes is the jet streams which used to be fairly regular and separated the arctic cold from the warmer mid latitudes. Now we are seeing massive slow moving lobes in the jet stream pulling warm air north and cold air south at the same time.
This is much of what has been causing the too wet to too dry swings in weather, with alternating floods and droughts. The warming arctic is also melting permafrost which has been frozen for hundreds or thousands of years. The permafrost has been sealing is massive amounts of methane which is now being released into the atmosphere, accelerating the green house warming even faster.

The big portent of disaster will be when we get repeated crop failures, especially the grains. Grains can only be grown at scale in a few places on earth, and need specific soils and just the right amount of moisture at the right times. Too wet, or too dry and no grains. ND, SD and Idaho had their crops pretty much wiped out due to a "flash drought". Same for southern Europe this year. SE Texas had massive flooding which took out their growing season. When the arctic ice is gone, these no-grow areas will expand.
Thing is, all 7.5 billion people on earth, seem to want to eat every day. And starving people are not very civilized. And when thing break down people might not keep going to work every day, like the people who keep the light on and the water flowing, and the toilets flushing and the garbage picked up, or the shelves stocked. Society could go from "whats the latest Iphone" to a Mad Max dystopia in a matter of months.
Would humanity go extinct, probably not, as many have said here, we are pretty adaptable and have lived in some hostile places. So only 7 billion die of starvation in the first few years, still not a world I would wish on anyone. Of course if no one is tending the 440 nuclear reactors and associated spent fuel pools we could see Fukushima x100 dumping ionizing radiation in to the environment.

I would be very happy is someone could tell me this is not happening now, or why it just could not continue into the next steps of collapse in the next decade much less 30 years or 80 years from now.

I am just sure that this administration will get right on that global warming problem.

pnwmom

(109,056 posts)
46. No. The whole world having a terminal illness is infinitely worse than one person
Sun Nov 26, 2017, 05:33 AM
Nov 2017

being terminally ill.

I can't believe people here are seriously suggesting it's okay to terrify children with the thought that the world only has 30 years left of habitability.

JustABozoOnThisBus

(23,472 posts)
27. Tell them they will hear a lot of things from a lot of speakers, ...
Sat Nov 25, 2017, 07:18 PM
Nov 2017

... and not all of it is true. The 14-year-old knows this already.



trackfan

(3,650 posts)
32. In grammar school in 1969, they told us we'd be living in an underwater city -
Sat Nov 25, 2017, 08:53 PM
Nov 2017

not due to flooding, but domed, futuristic, and wonderful - by the year 2000.

FakeNoose

(33,393 posts)
34. It sounds to me like your family is religious
Sat Nov 25, 2017, 09:13 PM
Nov 2017

If that's the case, I suggest you tell your granddaughters there is hope in the Bible. (There's also bad stuff, but you can skip over that.) The Bible has many good stories about hope for the future.

There's also hope in scientific discovery and medical and technological advances. Without a doubt our time is safer, happier and more meaningful than the people of the early 1900's had. Many people died at a young age, with not even antibiotics available until after World War 2. We've beaten many fatal diseases such as cholera, diphtheria, tuberculosis, polio, and many others just in the last 50 or 60 years. There's a lot to hope for, but it's going to take a lot of work too. So your granddaughters should believe in the future and always be ready to pitch in and help. Maybe they could consider a career in science or medicine, if they have an interest in those fields. Or possibly teaching, sociology or humanitarian (missionary) work.

Good luck and don't get discouraged.





crosinski

(414 posts)
35. Scientists beleive we are in earth's 6th mass extinction event now.
Sat Nov 25, 2017, 09:17 PM
Nov 2017

Here's an excellent article for you from the Guardian:

Earth's sixth mass extinction event under way, scientists warn.

They say, while action to halt the decline remains possible, the prospects do not look good: “All signs point to ever more powerful assaults on biodiversity in the next two decades, painting a dismal picture of the future of life, including human life.”


It's very readable, enlightening, and frightening, but it's the truth and not sugar coated like so much ecological news usually is.

I'm sorry, but I don't know what to say to kids. I can make peace with it because my husband and I are old. Your granddaughters are going to have to be better and smarter fighters than you and I ever were. May the powers that be bless them and give them courage and strength.

roamer65

(36,752 posts)
37. Exactly, its not just climate change.
Sat Nov 25, 2017, 10:06 PM
Nov 2017

Humans are basically crapping in their own nest in many different ways, with complete disregard for the future.

We will eventually come to realize the only solution is population reduction...significant population reduction.

 

FarCenter

(19,429 posts)
36. By 2050 the warming is about 1 degree centigrade relative to 2000, so no significant change
Sat Nov 25, 2017, 09:58 PM
Nov 2017

Nothing really serious happens until after 2050, and then it depends on the model assumptions.

I think that cheap to extract hydrocarbons will soon exhaust, and that the upper estimates will not happen.

On the other hand, severe energy shortages are likely in the second half of the 21st century, leading to economic disruption, famine, war, and societal collapse, well before the ecosystem collapses.

 

cwydro

(51,308 posts)
38. When I was 8, I fully expected nuclear annihilation.
Sun Nov 26, 2017, 12:29 AM
Nov 2017

That fear continued through my teen years.

My mother used to tell me that it was pointless to worry. Just live your life.

She, of course, had grown up in England during WW2.

greyl

(22,990 posts)
42. From 2006: "Salt-Water Fish Extinction Seen By 2048"
Sun Nov 26, 2017, 04:03 AM
Nov 2017
"This isn't predicted to happen. This is happening now," study researcher Nicola Beaumont, PhD, of the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, U.K., says in a news release.

"If biodiversity continues to decline, the marine environment will not be able to sustain our way of life. Indeed, it may not be able to sustain our lives at all," Beaumont adds.

Already, 29% of edible fish and seafood species have declined by 90% -- a drop that means the collapse of these fisheries.

<snip>

"It's not too late. We can turn this around," Worm says. "But less than 1% of the global ocean is effectively protected right now."



https://www.cbsnews.com/news/salt-water-fish-extinction-seen-by-2048/




And aren't we all not entertained.

crosinski

(414 posts)
49. Yes, and here's a quote from the article I linked to farther up in the thread. We're well into it.
Sun Nov 26, 2017, 01:07 PM
Nov 2017
Detailed data is available for land mammals, and almost half of these have lost 80% of their range in the last century. The scientists found billions of populations of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians have been lost all over the planet, leading them to say a sixth mass extinction has already progressed further than was thought.


The study the article was written about was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences ... they're not duffers.

The problem is, these are the species we need to survive. They kept the world in balance, kept the food chain healthy, and contributed to all life on the planet in ways we didn't understand until fairly recently.

So, the problem is huge and current, not like the warnings we used to receive about some theoretical future event. Maybe we can slow things down. I hope so.

Sometimes I think that this is what the sudden worldwide power grab by the world's elite rich is about. Maybe they're grabbing all they can, while they can, by whatever means they can, because they know what's coming.

roamer65

(36,752 posts)
51. Canada has never been able to remove the Atlantic cod moratorium.
Sun Nov 26, 2017, 06:08 PM
Nov 2017

I think it was 1992 they enacted it. The stocks still have not appreciably recovered last I looked.

LAS14

(13,865 posts)
50. Here is what I told them.
Sun Nov 26, 2017, 06:04 PM
Nov 2017

Hi, girls,

Your mom told me about the speaker at your get-away saying that the earth would be un-inhabitable in 30 years. I just wanted to say that is so not true! I'm thinking that what they MIGHT have said, or maybe heard and misunderstood is that some areas of the earth at very low sea levels may become un-inhabitable. And so people will have to move. In fact that has already happened in parts of the south Pacific and Alaska.

But no way is anyone predicting the human beings won't be able to live on the earth in the forseeable future. But it could get problematic for a lot of people in big ways, and for all of us in smaller ways, so we do have to pay attention and elect decision makers who will work on this problem in smart ways.

But I hope someone tracks down this mis-information and puts a stop to it!!!

Grampa and I've talked about this, too. He totally agrees with what I've said.

Love,

Gramma

american_ideals

(613 posts)
52. Help each other. One life and one person at a time. Care about others.
Sun Nov 26, 2017, 06:33 PM
Nov 2017

Control what you can control - you can't control the earth, but you can control the way you treat and help others.

Chemisse

(30,845 posts)
53. I talk about environmental issues in my high school science classes,
Sun Nov 26, 2017, 07:02 PM
Nov 2017

And I handle this by showing the trends, but avoiding doomsday conclusions. Instead I focus on situations in which people have actively made a difference and turned things around.

Acid rain and the Clean Air Act is a good example, as is Rachel Carson with the banning of DDT (when I talk about this, I point out that one person CAN change the world), and even the improvement in the hole in the ozone layer after banning CFCs.

So we explore our climate change problems through the lens of hope and empowerment.

The future of humanity does look gloomy, but kids need to believe that their actions can make a difference.

 

Hoyt

(54,770 posts)
54. I don't believe world will be uninhabitable in 30 years, but I do remember discussing nuclear war
Sun Nov 26, 2017, 07:28 PM
Nov 2017

when I was quite young in the 1950s. Don't remember freaking out, but it was a concern and was probably a more immediate threat at the time, than the "30 years" above.

I think speakers could have couched it differently for youngsters; but hey, nowadays folks thrive on scaring the heck out of people. And, yes, I do believe climate change is real.

Latest Discussions»General Discussion»My granddaughters were to...