Why Time Magazine Might Have Got it Wrong

 

I have some points to make about the decision to award Greta Thunberg as Time Person of the Year.

 

  1. I think it’s fantastic that a teenager won this prestigious award. It is vital that our youth have role models. There are too many teenagers who are totally unaware of the world around them and have few insights on big-picture issues. I hope Greta’s recognition makes it cool for young people to engage socially and politically.
  2. The slurs against Greta from Donald Trump and haters on social media is absolutely out of line. She is a teenager, and even though she has chosen to become a public face and celebrity figure, we should never, ever forget that she is a minor. Picking on kids is not acceptable.
  3. This doesn’t mean that her style of messaging can’t be criticised. I have long wondered whether scaring young children on climate change is the right approach. Already there have been reports in psychological journals detailing how the doom and gloom style of messaging is causing anxiety and depression in our young children.
  4. My main issue with Greta receiving the award is that, from what I’m told, she does not attend school. This troubles me. I must make it clear. I am not judging Greta personally for not attending school. I am not completely aware of her own personal circumstances, so it would be inappropriate for me to pass judgement. However, widely speaking, I am not in favour of giving prestigious awards to kids that don’t go to school.

In fact, I think the pro-education message is much stronger than the pro-climate message. The more we tackle school refusal and truancy the more likely we will be able to foster generations of kids who will have the tools to speak up about the climate and any other major issue affecting our world.

 

Michael Grossman is the author of the hilarious new children’s book, My Favourite Comedian. You can download a free ebook copy by clicking here or buy a copy by clicking on this link.

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