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Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Friday’s Sydney Morning Herald was green. Literally; the horrible thing was published on green paper. Front page report:

Australia will be hit by more frequent and intense heatwaves, bushfires, floods, drought and landslides as global warming causes the temperature to rise this century ...

Scary! Well, scary if you’re a child. On page 3 (but not published online), the SMH ran this:

Ryan Gwin is oblivious to everybody around him, hunched over the coffee table in the lounge room. He is toiling away with a pencil and paper, putting the finishing touches to an essay about climate change.

He is six years old.

"I wanted to make a book so we wouldn’t use cars so much,” he says, deadpan.

"Because cars use fuel and that goes up into the atmosphere and causes global warming."

Ryan’s book, titled, How To Save Our World: To Stop Globl Waming, contains sketches of cars and planes, crossed through with red pen. It is both disturbing and inspiring.

For the record, the reporter who found Ryan’s book “inspiring” is one Linton Besser. Poor little Ryan - shown by the SMH working in near darkness on his Junior Unabomber Manifesto - is bus crazy:

On the last page, a blue and white State Transit bus chugs its way through the suburbs. In small letters, Ryan has written: “powrd by nachrl gas”.

The bus has become something of a theme - when his father, Rhys, returns from work, Ryan usually asks anxiously if his bus was a gas-powered model ...

Is it acceptable that a six-year-old be rendered anxious every day by the mere matter of bus fuel? His teachers aren’t helping:

“At school, we’re talking about the living planet. Using cars and knocking down all the trees is causing animals to die, because they don’t have a home,” he said.

Ryan’s brother is a co-sufferer, thanks to noted child-frightener Al Gore:

After watching the documentary An Inconvenient Truth, his 12-year-old brother Jake is equally worried: “It made me scared about what could happen and what it was going to be like in 10 years’ time.”

At some point in every warmenist fear-saga comes the moment at which a certain extravagant hypocrisy is revealed. In this tale, the parents of Ryan and Jake claim the stock role:

We were in Los Angeles recently ... and there was so much traffic, and the cars were so huge and we both felt this is awful ,” Mrs Gwin said.

I bet none of those cars were as huge as the aircraft that hauled the Gwins to LA. And little Ryan must’ve spazzed out upon learning jets aren’t “powrd by nachrl gas”. Regardless, his parents rejoice:

They say that it is in their children that they find solace. “What makes me happy about Ryan’s book is that it empowers him,” Mr Gwin said. “He feels he can make a difference.”

It’s a religion, people. All the way.

UPDATE. A correction from ForNow: “It’s too shallow to be a genuine religion. It’s a cult.”

Posted by Tim B. on 04/03/2007 at 11:36 AM
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