It’s been said, “Everything I ever needed to know, I learned in high school.” Well, maybe not everything, but it is surprising how much we learn about social interaction as teenagers, and it is disturbing how much the rest of our lives are based on lessons learned in high school. Let’s see what you all think.
Yesterday morning, GrandmaInTexas posted an article about the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Madrid. Officially, it’s the 2019 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, known as COP25. The problems of group dynamics in Madrid are no different than when we were all in high school. It’s probably why they like Greta so much.
The commies have run out of OPM. 😄 The article is just hilarious. The lies about being able to affect temperatures are epic. Time magazine. Ahhahahahaha!!GrandmaInTexas, December 16, 2019
For the past two weeks, representatives from almost 200 countries have been meeting in Madrid to solve the problem of Climate Change. Contrary to US policy, Nancy Pelosi and an entire US Delegation made the trip to Madrid, addressed the member nations, and Pelosi pronounced, “We are with you.”, even though we’re not. Here’s a list of those who went: https://www.speaker.gov/newsroom/113019
- Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
- Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
- Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Committee on Energy and Commerce
- Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Committee on Science, Space, Technology
- Chairman Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), Committee on Natural Resources
- Chairwoman Kathy Castor (D-FL), Select Committee on the Climate Crisis
- Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN)
- Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR)
- Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA)
- Congressman Jared Huffman (D-CA)
- Congressman Scott Peters (D-CA)
- Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI)
- Congressman Mike Levin (D-CA)
- Congressman Sean Casten (D-IL)
- Congressman Joe Neguse (D-CO)
Greta Thuneberg also made an appearance to much fanfare.
We’ve been watching the news coming out of the Madrid Conference.
It’s not about climate at all.
It’s a money grab, pure and simple, with no decisive leaders. They reached no conclusion, except to spend another two weeks of vacation, in Glasgow next year, for another conference. After two weeks……. nothing. It’s been almost five years since the Paris Accords, yet still…….. nothing.
And then it hit me. My high school classmates were more effective when it comes to decision making. Committees….. yikes!
We learned all about committees in high school, remember? Our school had almost 5,000 students, the size of most small colleges. Strangely, our high school problem was/is remarkably similar to the Madrid Conference.
As a sophomore, somehow I ended up on a committee to decide whether or not we needed a school uniform. Our group was to meet once a week, for a school year, develop a report with recommendations to be adopted the subsequent school year. Similarities to Madrid = Handpicked people, fairly well respected within their own sphere of influence, either ignorant and well intentioned or malicious and aware of the real motives of superior power …… sounds like Madrid Climate Conference. The players are the same since high school.
We were a bunch of young kids who didn’t know any better, right? Chances are, as teenagers, we were well intentioned. Let’s assume COP25 attendees were mostly well intentioned.
At our first meeting, we vigorously discussed the topic in great detail = high energy in the beginning, a lot like Madrid.
Discussions were pretty hot, and our meeting went far longer than we anticipated = Madrid went two days beyond schedule.
Yet, we took several votes, compromised, and resolved the problem = no uniform but a guideline of what was/was not acceptable altering past handbook = UNLIKE like Madrid, we reached conclusions.
I was tasked to write up the results and send to school admins.
Sure, no problem.
Within a few days, I was done and recommendations submitted.
Few days later, I was notified to appear to School Administration office to “report” for a panel discussion later that month.
In the days leading up to the meeting, several other students approached me and warned me to “to a good job”. I got the impression it was more important than I originally thought.
But I was a dumb young kid, right? I wore a suit, reviewed mine and others notes, wrote down our main points in short outline and thought I was ready. How bad could it be?
Five Administrators on the panel and I was questioned like Joan of Arc with Administrators who were giddy, building a fire for my imminent demise. Similarities to Madrid = I was the USA who refused to pay billions/trillions to other countries for an ill-defined definition and promotion of climate change, let alone a financial marketplace like a stock exchange trading carbon credits.
First revelation: It became apparent the panel didn’t like the idea that students came to conclusions so quickly. Well, that was a surprise. We were supposed to take A WHOLE YEAR to decide. They expected us to meet once a week for an hour…. all year long. Does this sound like Brexit to you? Or Climate Change? We don’t like your answer, so we think you need to study it more until you agree with our desired outcome. We don’t like efficiency, we need another vacation at another European capital? Scary similarities.
In reality, our classmates first meeting went almost five hours long at a local pizza joint. We stayed, ate, and drank beer (we could back then) until we figured it out. We were far more effective than those in Madrid. Consensus reached, no pretense. When is the last time it was so easy for the United Nations? When people are left to their own devices, even self-absorbed teenagers don’t like to waste time.
I attempted to counter the panel’s invalid objection as to “proper gestation length” for examination of the problem, discussion, and how fast we could expect a baby – a set of solutions. A “time” objection was false on merit but it’s almost impossible for a teen to tell an adult they’re incorrect. I assured the panel our conclusions would be no different in the spring as they were at the time, and that we were saving time. Be proud of us, please, the problem was solved! Similarities to Madrid = there are valid objections to spending billions/trillions of dollars on models which have previously been proven false, “estimates” of success to any human attempt to change results, undermining our economies, especially with dubious commitment from China/India.
In high school, a problem arose which was clearly defined to us at the time. We were tasked to solve the problem, and we stayed until we reached agreement — like business people do in a contract negotiation. Paraphrasing, “What would be the benefit of a delay once an agreement has been reached? We have resolved the issue.”
Second revelation: The panel was concerned we had not spoken to our classmates, to see “how they feel”.
Well, that wasn’t true. The whole school, particularly the girls, knew the dress code was up for grabs and we were all talking about it. I had, in fact, taken an unofficial poll of my class before I went into the first meeting. I produced my notes to the panel. Standard objections and answers, part of any panel discussion, right? I countered all objections but the panel remained unsatisfied. Why? “Feel”?
“How they feel”……. something about this objection did not ring true, as if the panel had knowledge I did not have. They were condescending towards me, even dismissive and mean. Yet, their assumptions were imaginary, not valid….. and I knew it…. and they were trying to tell me I was wrong….. and I wasn’t wrong. Scary similarities, but the first time I recall this tactic being used. Then, working off false assumptions, the panel made it worse….. They presumed to know how students would feel in the future…… by some arbitrary decision the panel made today, “Everyone will FEEL so much better when they don’t have to compete.” What????? I took a job so I could afford to go to proms. Similarities to Madrid = Working from a series of questionable projections, COP25 presumes an economic solution for a desired outcome. If this doesn’t sound familiar to today’s political battles, we’re not paying attention.
As a 15yr old, I was fairly confused. What was happening? We were the elected student reps and made decisions based on what we thought other classmates would want. We had no malintent and ignorant of the fact that anyone would presume malintent. One panel member rolled her eyes and implied she did not believe me. Similarities = It’s the exact same thing which happens on Twitter today.
At the time, I was shocked. Why would I lie? Why would I want an overly restrictive dress code if I must follow the same rules? Was the panel implying SOME people didn’t have to follow the rules? How could that happen? Gee whiz, everyone not following the same rules would not be fair, right? How could THAT happen?
Third revelation: The panel wanted uniforms. I learned our decision would likely be replicated across district and state – our’s was the biggest high school in the state and being used as an example. Suddenly, it wasn’t only “my people”, it was potentially the whole state full of teenagers just like me. I was on my feet by that point but precise, cold, and calm. If I lashed out, at adults with an ulterior motive, I would be thrown out….. a defacto loss. The idea that students had any choice was an illusion. Similarities to Madrid = Sound familiar?
We were being railroaded, but if I was mad, we would lose our independence to dress as we wanted. “Saddle Oxfords in 1978? You’ve got to be kidding me!”, I thought.
Why ask for our input if they did not want it? (Voting) And not only that, you wanted us to meet for a year, wasting MORE time, on the false premise that we had input into the decision? (We made up our mind) When you’ve already reached a decision? (The elites had decided) Therefore, asking for our input was false, fake, a lie? (Yes) Similarities to Madrid = Why does this discussion sound so much like a preordained outcome for the USA and EU before Brexit and the election of President Trump?
Again, I was the stupid kid, right? Yet, something strange happened along the way, everything turned on a single moment. I began to question the panel, standing, walking, addressing members individually. Please tell me, Why do YOU think we need uniforms? What would be the benefits? What is the potential for downside? What would be the cost? What about cost for large families? What about school spirit Fridays where students wear team/club t-shirts and jackets and what would be the financial loss to all teams/clubs? Doesn’t a “one size fits all” dress code inhibit personal expression? And if we’re really concerned with how students FEEL, then how can we possibly be so disrespectful to presume all students FEEL the same way? I was low, monotone, open palmed without realizing it.
The panel stuttered and stammered, unprepared for questions. Momentum shifted. I pressed and closed in. As seconds and minutes ticked by, I spoke with greater conviction. My voice became deeper, coming from my gut, more powerful, like 5,000 voices. I could feel that power, and trust me…. It wasn’t coming from me…….It came from someplace else…… Similarities to those in Madrid/Brexit/USA Congress = Ruling class is NOT prepared for challenges to authority when they make bad decisions.
And finally, innocently, I lobbed a bomb, “Who among you would benefit financially from a uniform shop?” It was an innocuous question, an afterthought. I threw it out like a fisherman would cast a net, and it hung in the air………… no answer. Silence. Yet,…. I caught something, unknown to me. At the time, I was naive. I had no belief anyone on the panel had bad motives. I was far too young and dumb. Looking back, it was precisely when our panel abruptly ended the meeting. Decision was tabled. There was no more discussion/announcements from the administration. Similarities to Madrid = The media stopped covering it.
The Administration adopted our small changes for the next year, no big deal, practically a rubber stamp. No uniforms for at least another 15yrs. Similarities = At all times, hide the money trail to who benefits. I didn’t expect to get everything we wanted. Cuz, from the Rolling Stones and President Trump, we know, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”. Right? I thought, maybe, “Two Outta Three Ain’t Bad”……….
But in the late 70’s, we were “doubly blessed”.
Lessons learned = Sometimes, it’s not the calculus and chemistry we remember from high school. Sometimes, it’s more.
- Stated objections are often intentional distractions.
- Define the REAL problem and clear definitions, otherwise, time is wasted.
- People who are free to govern themselves, and who are forced to live by the same set of rules, make good decisions…… and quickly resolve problems.
- Follow the money for hidden motives.
- Committees are not always bad………
- The people have more common sense than rulers are willing to admit.