Sunday, May 04, 2008
AARON IS SCARED
Danny Weingart said he recently spent a week standing outside his middle school with a sign encouraging classmates to ride the bus because of his concerns about global warming. If the more dire predictions come true, he worries that his favorite cities could flood.
His favourite cities presumably include Atlantis.
“Personally, I don’t enjoy swimming everywhere,” Danny, who is 11, said jokingly as he and more than 20 other sixth graders at Seven Bridges Middle School met in a technology classroom at lunchtime to discuss a weekend trash cleanup project.
Fewer than a couple of dozen sixth-graders meet in a classroom. This is sufficient to draw the attention of the New York Times.
Danny belongs to a school club called Kids Against Pollution ... For five days, club members car-pooled to the school by 6:45 a.m. and counted the number of cars entering and leaving the parking lot. They held up signs with slogans like “Hop on the Bus, Gus” and “Make a New Plan, Stan.”
Sixth-graders are referencing a Paul Simon tune released 33 years ago? And nobody put them up to this? Give me a break, Jake. By the way, here’s the massive sixth-grade uprising that led to the NYT’s coverage:
A staff of 1,332 sure comes in handy when big news breaks. Sadly, the pre-teen protest didn’t work:
The club fell short of its goal of reducing the number of cars driving to school each day by 50 percent, said Andrew Lafortezza, 11, president of the fifth- and sixth-grade classes. But he said that at a sports practice during the week of the protests, several parents said they had to drive their children to school because the bus did not reach them.
“That really shows that parents are aware of the problem,” Andrew said. “And awareness was another one of our goals.”
Awareness is always the goal when enviro targets aren’t met. Awareness is the participation medal of goals.
The club’s adviser, Mike Debellis, 34, a technology teacher at Seven Bridges for six years, raised the idea of a club to Andrew last October. Andrew responded enthusiastically.
Don’t blame Andrew. His teacher’s message was unbelievably compelling:
Who could resist? An environmentalist frenzy followed:
With a club core consisting of Andrew’s friends, word quickly spread, and pupils were so enthusiastic that Mr. Debellis had to cap membership at around 20 because his classroom was not big enough for all of them to meet during lunch periods.
Why, it’s an apocalyptic vision of catastrophic overpopulation!
Most members said they were worried about global warming. Aaron Kohn, 11, said that he had watched the movie “Waterworld,” about a future in which the polar ice caps have melted and most of the planet is underwater, and then researched on the Internet reasons the earth could flood.
When he read about global warming, Aaron said, he got scared.
He’s not the only one:
Sarah Jane Weil, 11, said she is an animal lover and was upset by predictions that in her lifetime polar bears might become extinct as a result of global warming.
Olivia Sacker, 11, said she used to want to be a veterinarian when she grows up but now wants to be an environmentalist because she is worried about the health of the planet.
Olivia is a future member of the shower police. Happily, not all students are buying into warmtherism:
“A lot of kids blew us off, some even flipped us off,” said Zac Gelfand, 11, the club’s president.
Get used to it, Zac.