It’s becoming increasingly clear that kids, not grownups, are driving the global conversation around climate action. As you read this, young people in Europe and the United States are organizing marches, walk-outs, and sit-ins to protest the way their governments are handling (or ignoring) climate change. It’s not just a cute stunt, in many cases, these kiddos are getting serious results.
In the latest round of the kids v. adults showdown: A bunch of children and young folks stormed Senator Dianne Feinstein’s office to ask her to back the Green New Deal. And the California Democrat took the opportunity to publicly back the proposal! Just kidding.
The meeting was organized by the Sunrise Movement, the same climate group that staged a sit-in in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office to demand she support the GND after the midterms. The kids, and at least one adult, presented Feinstein with a handwritten letter asking her to vote “yes” on the progressive climate plan.
Judging by the video, Feinstein appeared prepared to negotiate at first. “I’ll tell you what,” she said. “We have our own Green New Deal.” But after being interrupted multiple times, Feinstein got a little feisty, and things turned testy.
“Some scientists have said we have 12 years to turn this around,” a little girl told the senator. “Well, it’s not going to get turned around in 10 years,” Feinstein responded, which is the political equivalent of telling a kid that the tooth fairy doesn’t exist. Except maybe meaner.
Whether you’re on the side of the kids or the grandma (not an insult, Feinstein reports she has seven grandchildren), one lesson here is that telling a bunch of kids that you won your race by “a million vote plurality” isn’t the best way to endear yourself to an increasingly rambunctious climate movement.