This past Sunday, climate activists in bright orange vests slung mashed potatoes at a Monet painting before gluing themselves to the wall of the museum.

“All you are afraid of is tomato soup or mashed potatoes on a painting,” the protestor yells after gluing herself to the museum wall. “You know what I’m afraid of? I’m afraid because science tells us that we won’t be able to feed our families in 2050. Does it take mashed potatoes on a painting to make you listen?”

Recently, climate activism stunts have flooded the news. Protestors were videoed pouring milk into grocery store aisles to demand an eco-friendly vegan diet since the methane produced by cows amounts to a third of greenhouse gas emissions.

In the UK, two activists threw soup at Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’, wearing shirts that read “Stop Big Oil.” During one weekend alone in London, nearly 100 people were arrested for protest-related activism by environmental groups.

Perceiving destruction in the world around them, these activists respond with their own destruction, in turn, an endless retributional cycle.

Young people have been trained as fearful slaves of Mother Earth.

And they are told she is unhappy.

Though the temptation to dismiss such stunts out of hand is common among conservatives, sympathy is a more proper response to such fearful persons.

A study completed in 2021 across 10 different countries, including the US, reported that 45% of young people aged 16-25 said anxiety and distress over climate change were affecting their daily life and ability to function.

These fearful followers often blame systematic oppression for the perceived hopeless state of our planet, by capitalism, the patriarchy, racism, colonialism, or the West.

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In their worldview, man is not creator but “destroyer of the living world,” according to celebrated biologist E.O. Wilson in his book “Half-Earth.”

These are children raised to understand destruction, only given a hammer, never a nail.

While young people are paralyzed with apocalyptic dates and end game statistics, their only solution is to tear down the systems to prevent further damage. This dystopian future still has a sun, but it rises blood red over the fossils of humanity.

These young adults remain infantile, whining about problems without zeal for pursuing solutions. You see, the clock always ran out in lecture before the professor could cover what ought to be done.

Undeniably, man has abused nature. He has grasped greedily, exploited proudly, consumed gluttonously. Yet truly still man is a created creator.

Therefore, conservatives should advocate for realistic adaptations that can be implemented to deter the ill effects of climate change, while harnessing positive goods like global greening from the carbon dioxide fertilization.

In his book “False Alarm”, economist Bjorn Lomborg concludes that any personal mitigations to reduce personal carbon footprint is futile, for one jet set across the country will discount a year of vegetarianism, recyclable bags, and electric vehicles.

Better solutions to climate change focus on adaptation to a changing world, such as seawalls or geoengineering efforts to innovate affordable, truly renewable energy. All while keeping level heads and our wits about ourselves.
Much has been damaged in our world, but much can be restored.

If we are a people of solutions, not a people who sling soup at the beauty that is left.

Catie Robertson is an intern with the Convention of States Project, a project of Citizens for Self-Government.