6.5 C
Friday, November 25, 2022
Letter: Climate change editorial was off base

Last week in The Lake Report’s editorial, (“Kudos to NOTL’s young climate activists”), managing editor Kevin MacLean said “congratulations” to two 13-year-old girls for something they have “decided,” for something they have “vowed.”

Apparently they will end their montlhy “climate strike” when our municipality does what they “want” and “declares” a “climate emergency.”

This is, MacLean admits, “a largely symbolic act.”

Anyone critical of this is part of a conservative-agenda “crowd” that would “mock and put down these children,” critics who write at a “Grade 5” level, capable only of the “mock and squawk” form of objection.

But let me take MacLean at least as seriously as climate change. He’s put a lot of pressure on these two minors to keep to their word, to respect their vows, to not deviate or desist.

Their decision isn’t like your son or daughter deciding to take up the violin or to try out for the soccer team. It’s serious. It needs editors exerting all their editorial pressure on them to make sure they turn out to be little Joans of Arc.

You might go so far as to wonder if MacLean has entered into a contract with these two kids. He has given his editorial approval to them, “Yea,” and to everyone else, “Nay.” 

But if CNN can have Greta, then by gum, MacLean can have his activists, too.

His responsibility to his readers is to be impartial, disinterested, and when those principles are in doubt, to editorialize. His responsibility to the subjects he writes about is to always see the truth.

He says, so what, “They’re trying to do something about it.” As if the Children’s Crusade was a good thing! As if that cliche of propaganda, the 13-year-old who pipes up amid the adults giving their all, “I’m doing my part, too,” to tug on the heart-strings is a laudable bit of documentary filmmaking.

What terrible power is preventing every climate-conscious 13-year-old to work for nothing making Tesla batteries so as to save the planet?

This doesn’t sound like a journalist writing an editorial. It sounds like a performer doing the journalist writing an editorial. Like a youth pastor congratulating the young ones for their first communion or their baptism, like a reference in a resume, giving his support.

Your newspaper is great. It’s impartial, disinterested and even fair. Of all things, why does the editorial need its own editorial?

I don’t think MacLean could tell me much about Socrates, Jesus or Shakespeare, but I’ll bet my bottom dollar he could say something about Machiavelli.

Jesse Lepp