My generation, born in the 1950s and 60s are now in power and it is our wisdom that is guiding decision making. We have experienced three decades of economic growth, rising consumption and materially better lives. We have no direct experience to warn us that there may be problems ahead. Scientists tell us about the possibilities of climate change but the evidence is now tainted. Recent polls suggest that only 25% of the population believe that climate change is real and caused by humankind. There is relief amongst many people that they can latch onto the idea that climate change is a hoax. Whether climate change is real, or not, we will find out in the decades ahead. The inability of world society to respond to this threat is symptomatic of deeper problems. My generation are living in denial of the need to make changes to reduce the impact of society on the global ecosystem.
I have been out and about in Berkshire schools talking with sixth form pupils. This has given me huge optimism that real progress towards a sustainable society is possible as they come of age to vote and influence those in positions of power. The younger generation are open-minded and thirsting for knowledge. They are also concerned about the future and not afraid to ask searching and difficult questions.
The younger generation have a different set of observations to guide them. They see a shortage of jobs, a lack of opportunities and an older generation better at generating hot air than taking real action to protect the integrity of our planet’s ecosystem. We owe it to them to start making real progress - and start soon.