But environmental campaigns often go further than simply informing future generations about the climate. Many initiatives urge children to use emotional pressure to change their parents’ behaviour. One example is ‘Climate Cops’, run by the energy firm npower: school pupils are given police-officer-style notebooks so that they can ‘book’ themselves, friends or family members who are caught wasting energy or performing other ‘climate-unfriendly’ actions.
Wow, this is totally Soviet! Not of my era, of course, because by that time everybody was very cynical about the ruling dogma but back in the 1920s and 1930s.
What’s new, once again, is the realization that totalitarianism doesn’t need a repressive state apparatus to herd people into a state of abject terror. The locus of terror’s control has been moved inside. But the idea of spying on family members are reporting ideologically unsound behavior is age-old. And so is the effort to isolate children and burden them with guilt from the earliest age.