Students rally on climate change in Hobart earlier this year. Picture: NIKKI DAVIS-JONES.
Students rally on climate change in Hobart earlier this year. Picture: NIKKI DAVIS-JONES.

OPINION: You can't win the debate acting like children

I AM going to preface this piece by admitting I do love seeing people express their views and be a part (in a way) of the political process.

I cannot knock students getting out in their thousands to demand our elected officials do better at their jobs.

But I have a major problem with how painfully ineffective these student strikes are and how I fear their will be rendered useless unless they take a smarter approach.

Now I can already feel the blood-boil of those super passionate about these marches, but we need to face facts.

They are incredibly painful to watch, and it was hurting my feelings to view - but not because I am a so called "climate denier".

What increased my blood pressure over these protests is that it was nothing more than children marching down the street without purpose, waving signs with school yard insults.

Most of them looked like they were marching for the sake of being out of school, and for lack of anything more entertaining on television. 

Be honest with yourself - are you seriously impressed with tens of thousands of students demanding change but not displaying the faintest idea about what change is or how to fix it?

I'm not saying teenagers need to have the answers to the major issues of the world, but what are we teaching our kids by celebrating the nonsense we were subjected to on Friday.

Not one sign I saw and not one comment I read indicated to me we need action.

When you are putting forth an argument, you need to have facts and reasoning.

Holding signs making fun of the Prime Minister does nothing more than show a complete lack of knowledge on the issue of climate change.

By celebrating these actions, we are telling our kids (and the adults who decided they didn't need to work on a Friday) you should be mean, vindictive and ignorant of those who have a different view to you.

Long gone are the days you won debates by being able to successfully articulate your point of view to an opponent.

Long gone are the days when those who had the best argument was considered the winner of a disagreement.

Long gone are the days when we had a respectful discussion about current affairs.

The actions we celebrated across the globe on Friday proved the new way of trying to win an argument is by acting like a child.

Those who think these actions will ultimately lead to change are sorely mistaken because they do not work in the real world.

In the real world, those who can articulate their point of view are those who are listened too.

Take broadcaster Alan Jones as a perfect example of this.

I am not Alan's biggest fan, but I do listen to his show most mornings.

For full disclosure, my mornings also consist of ABC Radio National, approximately five newspapers from my own company, around three mastheads owned by Nine Entertainment, and Fox Sports News television.

Back to Alan - the Anti-Christ of those marching on Friday.

This is a man who repeatedly on his various programs denounces climate change as a hoax.

But he doesn't just call it a hoax, then tell his listeners to take his word for it.

He gives you numbers, facts, figures and points to research and reports to support his claim.

I am not saying he is right - I am not saying he is wrong - but he is articulate and backs up his belief.

That is everything Friday's protests were not.

If you want to make change and you want people to support you, you need to support your own argument.

Don't slag the government, don't make fun of 'ScoMo', and don't use school-yard insults.

Labor tried and the Australia public rejected them - don't fall down the same hole.

If you want to be listened to by the adults, you can't act like children.