Boys State as the proving ground

about 4 years ago

How about this fun group a few weeks ago at Tar Heel Boys State?!?

If Boys State is the proving ground for presidential candidates (and there's some evidence that it is according to a recent story in the Wall Street Journal), the future looks good for action on climate change.

Over the past four summers I've spoken to over 3,900 boys at Boys State, the American Legion program for rising high school seniors. In 2012 it was Nevada, Oregon, Kentucky and North Carolina. In 2013 it was West Virginia and North Carolina. In 2014 it was New Jersey and North Carolina. This summer, it was Florida and North Carolina.

Florida Boys State had more than 600 rising high school seniors in attendance in Tallahassee on June 17. North Carolina Boys State had approximately 300 in Salisbury on June 26. I found them fun, enthusiastic and bright. Maybe that's because they had the good taste to like our "I'm En" and "Climate Realist" sun glasses. More probably, it's because they're with us.

In Florida and North Carolina I asked the boys to stand if they think that Ronald Reagan was a particularly good president. In both places, at least 80% of the boys stood up. I asked them to remain standing if they think climate change is real. Then I asked them to remain standing if they think it's human caused. Very few sat down as I asked the two subsequent questions.

The future has some leaders and a whole lot of followers. I'm thinking the boys at Boys State are ready to lead.

2015 Florida Boys State photo gallery