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Climate, digitization, corona pandemic: rule against the young

2021-05-11T20:15:03.517Z

The past few weeks have shown how important young people are to the government: not at all. Something is only done for them when there is no other way. It's bad for everyone - and people notice it.



Enlarge image

Government bank in the Bundestag: The future is coming faster and faster.

Politics that are good for the young are good for everyone

Photo: 

Jens Schicke / imago images

The column I have written with the widest reach is probably “The children are far from angry enough”.

It is a good two years old and deals with the question of how it can actually be that today's generation of decision-makers treats the impending climate catastrophe as something that might be dealt with at some point in the future.

Since then, a lot has happened politically in terms of climate, even if still by far not enough.

However, absolutely nothing has changed in the disregard for children, adolescents and parents.

In fact, it got worse.

Incredible communicative ignorance

Christian Stocker

Photo: SPIEGEL ONLINE

Born 1973, is a cognitive psychologist and has been a professor at the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW) since autumn 2016.

There he is responsible for the "Digital Communication" course.

Before that, he headed the Netzwelt department at SPIEGEL ONLINE.

Sascha Lobo rightly scolded the "German rentocracy" on Wednesday: In the past fourteen months, the interests of children and young people have been neglected, then ignored and finally trampled on.

You cannot and should not accuse anyone of childlessness.

But the fact that the pandemic managers Angela Merkel, Peter Altmaier, Jens Spahn and Chancellery Minister Helge Braun all have no children could possibly have something to do with the unbelievable communicative ignorance with which the Federal Government continuously encounters children, adolescents and parents.

Parents are not necessarily better people, but they have a different view of the future.

"Day of Confidence"

more on the subject

EU climate policy: Our only chanceBy Christian Stöcker

Take the excitement topic of the week.

The question is not whether restrictions on fundamental rights have to disappear if the reason itself ceases to exist.

The question is how and when to communicate something like that.

The deputy chairman of the CDU / CSU parliamentary group Thorsten Frei, for example, declared Thursday of this week a "day of confidence" because of the easing.

The parents, students, and schoolchildren I know feel all sorts of things at the moment, but "confidence" is not in the top ten.

Vaccination certificate = pass

Your perception is more: We have changed our everyday life, enduring the hardships and sufferings of homeschooling, the disconnected social life, the extensive cessation of leisure activities beyond the sofa.

And half-hearted lockdowns, curfews, police operations in the park.

With one goal: to protect as many members of risk groups as possible, first and foremost older people, from death or serious illness.

For the same reason, we have accepted it as reasonable that these elderly people should be vaccinated first.

According to the Robert Koch Institute, the proportion of those under 60 who are fully vaccinated is around three to six percent in all federal states, and 19 to 30 percent of those over 60.

As I said: It's all good and right.

But now the vaccination certificates have received a huge upgrade.

In future they will also be a kind of nationally valid pass.

"They show us how unimportant we are"

Those who have been restricted all along are now released from the restrictions.

Not one yourself.

Some feel like they have been loaded.

more on the subject

Two billion euros for children and adolescents: Cabinet resolves Corona catch-up program and entitlement to all-day care

Little or nothing has been done for the boys: no improvement in the digital infrastructure for schools, no air filters, no free digital entertainment and contact offers for children and young people, no relief for parents, nothing.

Soon there will be money for something that will surely inspire children and young people: tutoring worth one Neuntel Lufthansa rescue.

Quote from a schoolgirl from my family's circle of friends: "They show us how unimportant we are."

Generation conflict from above

With all understanding for epidemiological and medical necessities: Politically, that could have been handled differently.

The government creates a generation conflict from above.

In the 2017 federal election, the Union parties achieved their best results by far among 60 to 69 year-olds (35 percent) and among those over 70 (45 percent).

The SPD also achieved its best results among those over 60, although the differences between the age groups are significantly smaller here.

The impression "first they vaccinate their voters, then they privilege their voters" is difficult to suppress for those who do not belong to this group.

The anger after the announcement of the new vaccination permits was correspondingly great and audible.

You could have foreseen that - but apparently you didn't.

The best illustration of the situation was this current report: "Excursions to Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania are allowed for vaccinated people - but children excluded".

Always react only when it crashes

After the sometimes angry reaction to the tempting easing, especially for seniors, Jens Spahn reacted as follows: He promised that children from twelve should be given a "vaccination offer" "if possible until the end of the summer vacation".

All of this fits seamlessly into a pattern that we have become used to: you make decisions that annoy younger people and wait to see if you can get away with them.

Only when a lot of people clearly hear the collar bursting will something be pushed in.

Or when the Federal Constitutional Court intervenes.

The giggle of Friedrich Merz

The sudden willingness to adopt stricter climate targets with concrete milestones fits into the picture: Many of those who will still be living on this planet and in this country in 30 or 40 years are wondering why now suddenly what was not possible when the climate law was passed.

Why the highest court must first point out that the Basic Law says: "The state is responsible for protecting the natural foundations of life for future generations."

If you are looking for a drastic illustration of the attitude of parts of the Union on this question, take a look at Friedrich Merz's reaction in this snippet from a talk show:

The overall impression is: We reign ruthlessly against the interests of the younger generation until there really is no other way.

And giggle at the same time.

The future is coming faster and faster

In the meantime, however, this strategy apparently no longer even works with its own core electorate.

In the two most recent polls on voting intentions, the Union is at 23 to 25 percent, behind the Greens in each case.

And that even though the over 60s alone already make up almost 30 percent of the population.

Meanwhile, the AfD is not winning, so voters are not moving to the right.

(The SPIEGEL climate report - the latest developments, research results and background information on the climate crisis as a newsletter: every week directly to your mailbox.

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My suspicion is that many grandparents are slowly starting to feel that the coalition parties' persistent denial of youth and the future, especially the Union, is a problem.

Our world is in an ever-accelerating transformation process: climate change, extinction of species, digitization, science.

Preserving the status quo is not a sensible strategic goal in this situation.

The future is coming faster and faster.

Politics that are good for the young are good for everyone.

And the kids are still not angry enough.

Source: spiegel

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