I was recently at a conference where I participated in an intergenerational panel. There were a few of us “older” folks and quite a few young folks, college and high school age.
The younger ones had an edge of anger in their comments towards our generation because of the damage we have done to the environment and our apparent apathy towards solutions to climate change. I believe they had a point, to a certain extent.
I accepted what they were saying but I also pushed back somewhat. The baby boomer generation is not perfect but those over fifty years of age do one thing well, we register and vote at much higher rate than any other generation, certainly more consistently than our youngest citizens of voting age.
When it comes to caring about how our planet, our agriculture and our economy will function today and years and decades to come, younger folks are more active in protests and online efforts but they often fall short when it comes to voting.
Like it or not, our elected officials can do more than any other group or institution to hurt or heal our environment. We need to elect people who accept science and are willing to think and act long-term.
At this conference was talk of “voting with your dollars.” This is a valid effort but I made sure I made the point to these young folks on the panel and in the audience to make sure you “vote with your vote.” That has to be first and foremost if they want to address this crisis.
The mission of Project Green and Grey is to do our part by harnessing the political power of those over fifty to mount the massive, sustained effort that is needed to ensure a livable planet for all generations. Yes, we need young people to vote, to vote for a healthy climate AND to encourage their parents and grandparents to consider the climate when they vote.