Like art,enables self-expression. Also, like art, it can be a catalyst for political and social change.
Finding solutions to global and societal problems involves the same set of computational thinking skills as finding solutions to programming problems. Learning to code is not just about learning to use a powerful, modern 'lingua franca' to develop clever apps, but about developing the ability to understand how to break problems down, to spot patterns, to collaborate, to ideate-try-fail-tinker-and try again, to make sense of the world around us.
It is important then for children to learn about programming and develop computational thinking at an early age - to build their skills, their confidence and their awareness, and to find new ways to express themselves and shape their world. Goodness knows, they will inherit a world in crisis, it is only right that we give them every opportunity to develop their solutions and build the new tools they'll need.