Ray Mears tells teenage eco-zealots to ‘relax and enjoy’ nature, stop blaming older generation for climate crisis
- The presenter, 59, admits he is impressed by the enthusiasm of ‘vocal youths’
Survival expert Ray Mears has said teenage eco-warriors are not saving the planet and should stop blaming the older generation for climate issues.
The TV presenter, 59, said he is impressed by the enthusiasm of ‘vocal teenagers’ in their plight to combat climate change, but said they also need to learn to just ‘relax’ and ‘enjoy’ nature.
Mears, who famously used his bushcraft skills to track down gunman Raoul Moat, said youngsters need to realise that it was the older generation who ‘opened the discussion’.
‘I’m really encouraged by their enthusiasm and their determination to improve the world, but we must also teach them to relax a little bit and enjoy it,’ he told the Hay Festival.
‘Many people the same age as me, we get the blame from teenagers, and we need to remind them that actually we inherited many of these problems ourselves and this is a new dialogue we’re talking about.
Ray Mears believes that young, eco-warriors should just ‘relax’ and ‘enjoy’ nature
Just Stop Oil protestors throwing paint over a show garden at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show
‘Things that 40 years ago nobody was talking about, so we’ve actually opened the discussion.
‘We’ve opened the door and we’ve advanced the knowledge we’re handing on to them. We are not the problem – we are part of the solution.’
He continued: ‘We need to just loosen up a bit. Nature recovers. I’m often torn by teenagers when they say they’re saving the planet. They’re not. The planet will tick on very nicely without us… The question is our survival. That’s what’s at stake.’
Mears also called for more wild camping sites to help build resilience in the young as he claimed we are living in the most ‘dangerous period of our time’.
Referring to Dartmoor national park, which was granted permission to appeal against a decision to make wild camping illegal in April, he said: ‘The small amount of environmental damage, which is ephemeral, it won’t last compared to the massive benefit in the growth of individuals who are training as youngsters or as soldiers on Dartmoor…
‘In the back of my mind is, we have never lived in a more dangerous period of time in our history than now and I worry that we aren’t resilient in the way that we once were.
‘And we need to preserve those opportunities and those places where we can train the next generation to be truly strong so they can face whatever challenges.’
Mears, who was promoting his latest book, British Woodland, also praised the ‘wonderful’ retirees who are ‘chaining themselves to trees to protect them’, adding that people who want to cut down them down have ‘departed from the realms of wisdom’.
How mums put girls off science
Mothers are ‘subtly deterring’ daughters from science careers by complaining about maths, says a top female physicist.
Professor Athene Donald, Master of Churchill College Cambridge, said parents should use ‘neutral’ instead of ‘negative’ language when speaking about difficult subjects.
She told the Hay Festival that mothers in particular are ‘discouraging curiosity from the earliest years’ by asking questions such as ‘Are you sure you want to do that?’
The professor, 70, said: ‘One of the things I find particularly distressing is the number of mothers who say, ‘Oh I could never do maths’. That says it all.’
The academic, who has published more than 250 papers, added that primary school teachers need to be better qualified in order to encourage girls to pursue careers in science.
‘If a nine-year-old asks a question and the teacher says ‘I’ve no idea’ it’s a real turn off,’ she said.
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