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Children’s Moral Power Can Challenge Corporate Power on Climate Crisis

Children’s Moral Power Can Challenge Corporate Power on Climate Crisis

Ralph Nader

The famous anthropologist, Margaret Mead, once said to me that children have a distinct moral authority to change some of their parents’ habits or opinions. She gave use of seat belts and smoking cigarettes as examples.

Indeed, most of us know instances when sons and daughters have looked into the eyes of their fathers and mothers and urged them to wear their seatbelts or stop smoking. They say in their own plaintive way that they want mommy and daddy around for them. Many mothers and fathers have had such experiences.

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In another context entirely, Shoshana Zuboff’s Surveillance Capitalism observes the threat to “our right to a future” from the gargantuan stores of shadow text comprising the market in behavioral futures (interesting read, btw). The fences are rising, keeping you out, not only diminishing the likelihood of a future for children, but also sealing off our current-moment experience from the possibility of profound encounters with Gaia.

Take your children out there: while there’s any manzanita left, it’s for them to see. Please tread softly.