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Blog Action Day, now featuring adorable children


So, it’s Blog Action Day, and the assigned issue is “the environment.” I’m drawing blanks. Comment thread is open if anyone has any thoughts on the environment.

Oh, wait, here’s something — turns out kids really care about climate change. I’ve never seen the reality TV show Kid Nation, wherein a bunch of adorable and appropriately diverse children set up their own society free from adult supervision, save for a phalanx of television producers and cameramen. And I probably never will see it, but it strikes me as a pretty great idea for a TV show.

CBS has helpfully put up a web site with bios of all the kids, complete with Q&A. Skim through the interviews, and two things quickly become clear: 1) these kids are smarter than most politicians, and 2) they are really, really revved up about climate change. Click an any bio. These youngsters are brimming over with both concern and solutions.

For these kids, global warming seems to cut across, um, ideological lines. Do pre-teens have ideological lines? Anyway, check out Jared. He loves Bush, doesn’t trust Bill Clinton (he was four when Clinton left office, and understandably angry), is suspicious of the mainstream media, and takes a hard line on immigration. He also thinks global warming is a fact, and offers up this plan to address it:

Promote hybrid and alternative energy sources. I would give government incentives to actually use alternative energy sources. For example it is insane that houses are built in Arizona and other sunbelt states without solar panels. And to not take advantage of windy locations for wind farms. These are both fairly low cost things that would lower the amount of fossil fuels used dramatically.

Word to that. Jared is 11. Jared, you’re a cool kid, goofy hat notwithstanding.

Almost unanimously, the kids understand that global warming is a scientific fact (you’re breaking my heart, Mallory). Even 8-year-old Jimmy, who believes that the gravest danger we collectively face is the threat of alien attack, seems to have a better handle on climate science than certain senators I could name. Although I might quibble with Jimmy’s plan to ban aerosol spray cans, I heartily endorse his stance on electric cars.

It’s heartening to see these kids so engaged on this issue, because…we’re sticking them with it. My environmental tip for Blog Action Day is to ask an eleven-year-old what to do about global warming, and then to go out and do it.

(Minor aside: I’m a little disturbed by the number of kids who, when asked what person they would switch places with, declined the opportunity. Self esteem is all well and good, I suppose, but how about a little imagination? I just saw the movie “In the Shadow of the Moon” and left with the unshakable conviction that I’d sell my mortal soul to trade places with Buzz Aldrin.)

Update: Um…it turns out that Giuliani has taken a tough line on the threat of alien invasion. As in, spaceman aliens. Passed along without comment.

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