While UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson can’t find anything better to say about the Industrial Revolution than that it was the time “the doomsday machine began to tick”, thus cynically throwing fearmongering fuel on an already burning fire of widespread pessimism and depression, a brave year 12 student has written about what should be done instead:
We need to start thinking about how to change the world for the better and create a more hopeful future, rather than always focusing on cutting, limiting and reducing our aspirations. All this does is deprive people the world over of purpose and hope. So, instead of criticising governments for not living up to their own doomsday rhetoric, as climate activists have been doing, we need to push them to invest in science and technology, and improve the lives of their citizens.
She squarely places the blame for why this is not happening where it should reside: with the adults.
It’s not fair to blame Generation Z for their pessimism and fearfulness. It’s adults who have encouraged young people to despair in the face of problems like climate change, instead of instilling them with hope and ambition through a positive story of human progress. We need to revitalise young people’s belief in human ingenuity. We need to restore their faith in the future. And we need to show them that it’s possible to move society forward.