Generation X may be squarely in the crosshairs of global warming but a great many of them just don't care. A survey conducted by the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research found just 5% of American Gen X'ers, born 1961 to 1981, claimed to be "alarmed" over global warming. 66% of respondents said they weren't sure global warming was even happening. Another 10% don't believe it at all. Overall, just less than a quarter said they were alarmed or concerned.
“Most Generation Xers are surprisingly disengaged, dismissive or doubtful about whether global climate change is happening and they don’t spend much time worrying about it,” said Jon D. Miller, author of “The Generation X Report.” (Read and download the full report.)
“We found a small but statistically significant decline between 2009 and 2011 in the level of attention and concern Generation X adults expressed about climate change,” Miller said. “In 2009, about 22 percent said they followed the issue of climate change very or moderately closely. In 2011, only 16 percent said they did so.”
The study certainly conforms to my own experience of Canadian Gen X'ers. Even young professionals often seem "disengaged, dismissive or doubtful" about global warming and disinclined to learn about climate change even when that information is at their fingertips.
They don't care, for now. They will, soon enough.
Actually, I don't know that they will care soon enough. This is my generation, and also my experience. I am seriously unpopular at work because responsibility and stewardship and paying goddamned attention are my regular chorus. Honestly, I would say they are going to get what they deserve, but I am just heartsick that you and me and the bears and whales are going to get what these morons deserve, too.
I used to believe that the young would rise in anger and fix the terrible mistakes we Baby Boomers have made.
Now I'm not so sure.
oWEN ALL THE WAY..
I was sure as a boomer I could fix this mess, I failed because of them that have the bucks fail to see...
Do not blame me...
Karen, I suppose what troubles me most is that the Gen X'ers are coming into their own right now. As my generation retires and declines, your generation becomes the dominant economic and, hence, political force. Yet, if the U Mich study is accurate (and I believe it may well be), the Gen X'ers arrive at this position of influence utterly disinclined to exercise it for their own and their descendants' wellbeing.
For the forces of status quo, the onset of a generation of the disengaged, dismissive and doubtful is indeed manna from heaven. I only wish I could believe they hadn't been groomed to this unfortunate mindset.
On the other hand, I seem to have more in common with my child's generation. THEY are absolutely engaged, connected and living solutions right now. They are holding the seminars on sustainable living and community that I attend. They are organizing rallies and protests, creating collectives and taking care of each other. On the days when my co-workers are being willfully ignorant and driving me nuts, I am glad to be around the "kids."
Karen I spent some time today on a follow-up post in which I tried to focus on a generational divide or fault line that I have long felt was coming and that has, indeed, emerged in many other parts of the world, including Europe.
Previously I had thought that divide would emerge between the Boomers and the Gen X'ers. Now I'm coming to think it will be between the X'ers, in power, and the Gen Y's or Millennials, in revolt.
I am convinced that, globally, the 21st will be the "century of revolution" based on the breadth and magnitude of the challenges and threats that loom and the inability of our institutions, forged in different times to meet far different circumstances, to effectively handle them.
I have been fascinated with revolution since I began studying it at university in the States in the late 60s. It's quite a sophisticated, predictable and logical process that has little to do with peasants armed with pitchforks and torches taking to the streets. In the next post I contend that most, if not all, of the precursors are present or nearly so.
Many, many people who are not boomers gave rise to the decaying environment way back in the late sixties and early seventies. Most were looked upon as being alarmists and mentally ill by the baby boomers and those born at the turn of the century. Now we have a bunch of people born since 1946 who think they are entitled and there are many non-boomers...age 62 and up who did not raise their children to be unethical and greedy and not give a dam.
Sure, Anon, a great many things were done in the 60s and 70s that were environmentally harmful but we need to recall what a poor grasp we had of such things at the time.
We really didn't know better. There were a few who foresaw what was coming but they tended to be scientists and, at that, a minority in their own community.
Some of your remarks are obscure and I really can't respond to those.
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