I wish this article about young people and their view of the future went into a lot more detail. Unfortunately it doesn’t, and is typical of what is getting published these days on major news sites.
There is pessimism among the younger generation, but also hope “for a sustainable future”. I have to wonder if they really know what those words mean.
In their quest to be environmentally friendly, climate-smart citizens, the young people look for the ‘right’ things to do. Not finding what they’re looking for in the world around them, they express negative feelings such as powerlessness and hopelessness instead of hope that might lead to an ability to act on environmental issues.
“The important lesson to learn from this study is that there are young people aged 17–18 walking around with a very real expectation that their future, and the future of their children and grandchildren, is a world that may be characterised by environmental collapse and climate chaos.”
Cool. At least they get it. I hope. Sometimes fear is a catalyst for action. Or at least personal preparedness. Like learning the essential life skills to stay alive in a declining world. But somehow, I sort of doubt this. The young people I run in to are surly, rude, careless and indifferent (so far). I’m not rubbing elbows with intelligent, capable, competent or even interested young people. Perhaps they’re out there, just not here. Or perhaps this article doesn’t convey the whole story.
If they’re truly aware of the predicament of the future – they already know that they really are powerless within the current paradigm to change much of anything. That would be start – to realize that seeking a system change within the system is already a failure.
The young people in the study also have difficulty seeing how adult society, the education system, politicians and the business sector can help them create a sustainable future.
Well, they can’t. Not really. The education system, politicians and business sector is going to choose the path of self-survival. As always. An entirely new paradigm has to be created – from the ground up, that encompasses real true sustainability (assuming that this could even happen, another topic altogether). But as always, the terminology is always being redefined and watered down to mean something that it was never meant to mean. And the goal posts get shifted around along with new verbiage. What we’re really talking about here is business as usual. The new is the old and the old just doesn’t intend to change.
I feel for the young people, but there’s just not much I can do. Learn life skills for a declining world would be my advice. Quickly. Abandon any and all notions of stability. Know that what you have today will be gone tomorrow. And so on. But I don’t think they read this blog, so I’ll stop here.