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Former children’s TV presenter Johnny Ball argues youngsters are being unnecessarily scared about the future of the planet.

Watch: Johnny Ball’s film for Daily Politics, which is on BBC2 from 1130 GMT

How are your kids, your grandchildren, the next generation? Their potential is incredible.

In a few years’ time, the world will be their oyster. So why are we filling their heads with doom and gloom?

I have a GCSE chemistry book where the first picture you come to is a boy wearing a mask to protect him from air pollution. And then the next 34 pages are just about pollutants in the atmosphere.

This is terrible way to introduce the subject of chemistry to young people.

Why, when everything about our lives is getting better by miles, are we giving our kids the impression that the world is becoming unravelled and may not be able to support life?

What is happening? What is this devastating threat to us all?

We’ve been told the temperature of the Earth has increased in the last century. In the 1960s, there was a dip, and now scientists are talking about a new ice age.

We are told that in the last 50 years, since that dip, it has increased by 0.7C.

We know that every day the temperature changes by much more than that – up and down.

So why are we scaring our kids to death? Our modern technology is quite amazing.

Take communications for example. Everything, from mobile phones to iPads, gets better and better and cheaper.

Why? Because it’s consumer-led and it is what people want. Not one decision in this industry is made by politicians, with their elbows being jogged by lobby groups.

Take a look at technology around energy policies that have been thrust upon us by politicians.

There are wind generators everywhere. And not one would be built without public subsidy.

Two new nuclear reactors on old sites, which produce no new CO2, will eclipse all the wind generators built and planned. But the wind generators are costing us a fortune.

I reckon they will end up costing every family half of their fuel bills and more, making every family and child in the country poorer by far. But to what effect?

All completely natural

All the efforts to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere are patently not working.

From my reading around the subject, only 4% of the CO2 that goes into the atmosphere is put there by man.

The rest is completely natural – the rain falls and washes it out again and so you have to have a carbon cycle to keep replenishing it. It’s all completely natural.

In the GCSE Science Chemistry book, the Carbon Cycle gets a brief mention on page 125.

Every aspect of the technology we use to improve our lives and to lessen our impact on the world is improving commendably, and the future for our children is brighter than we can yet imagine.

And that is the message we should be delivering to every child.

* Johnny Ball talks about climate change on BBC Two’s Daily Politics at about 12.40 GMT on Wednesday 2 March and will debate his claims with MPs Alistair Darling and Philip Hammond.

BBC News, 2 March 2011