I am part of a generation that inherited the crisis of global climate change. By the time I was able to vote, the problem had already been swept under the carpet for almost fifty years. I get all kinds of reactions talking to people who’re over fifty years old. Some have been working on it all along. Some are starting to get involved. Some, like with all age groups, are in denial. Some tell me that this is something young people have to deal with – that it’s our problem now.

This last is one I hear less than I used to, but I still hear it too much. I hear it from people who also call my generation, and those behind me, selfish, greedy, uncaring, disrespectful, and irresponsible, and it still astonishes me that people who claim to care so much about responsibility are looking for ways to blame younger people for the society they’re growing up in.

I had parents who DID teach me responsibility, and that’s great, but at the same time, I grew up watching adults throw trash out their car windows, and watching our political “leaders” lie regularly, and watching other adults being PROUD of their ability to lie, cheat, or con for personal gain.

And while I was growing up, the same people who are now calling younger generations irresponsible were blithely ignoring DECADES of research and warnings about the damage they were doing.

What’s really maddening about all this is that these same people are still, for the most part, the ones with the most power.

There’s this kid in Germany, Felix Finkbeiner, who’s fighting against climate change. He’s starting a movement to plant trees around the world, inspired by the work of women in Africa, and he’s making a difference. The video is worth watching.

It’s an inspiring video, but since when did we leave it to our children to worry about the future of the world while we go and play with money? How is that responsible. This child is going before a group of wealthy and powerful adults and begging for his future. The first time he went to ask for help, not only did nobody volunteer, they laughed about it. One Euro per ton of chocolate? ONE?

He had to ask twice for even that paltry sum?

And HIS generation is the greedy irresponsible one?

I do NOT advocate violence, but sometimes it astonishes me that we don’t see gangs of teenagers destroying drilling and mining equipment and claiming self defense.

We shouldn’t be inspired into action because of this, we should be shamed into action. This child is forced to do this because the adults who SHOULD be caring for his future are busy breaking it apart and selling it off like addicts looking for their next fix. Good for Felix – I’m grateful for what he’s doing, but this whole situation is disgusting.


2 responses to “(Ir)responsibility

  1. Oy, if only I could retire, but then I would be one of the “Greatest Generation” that has become the “Greediest Generation”. So sad that we think we inherit the land from our ancesters. If only we would leave the world a better place that we found it. In reality we are borrowing it from our children and future generations. My parents had a better life than me, and I have a better life than my children. I am so sorry.

    • Well, while I do like to rant a bit, the flip side of all this is that most of you WERE lied to by people who are paid to be very good at it. The important part, at this point, is to have all the help we can get, so thanks for being on board!

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