What I find annoying is their arrogance in telling everybody what losers their parents have been in doing "nothing", letting things happen and how they squandered the current generation's "right" for a nice clean future etc. etc.
To you, young climate activists, I'd like to say that it's far easier today to get people to engage, protest, organize and scream, now that the climate impacts are far more visible than they were 30 years ago. Back then, it wasn't that visible, and the warnings had been shrugged of primarily by the right, the business world, the banking sector, industrialized agriculture etc. Al Gore advocated his ass off to get things moving, and it was to no avail. You couldn't get a mass movement started on some invisible threat.
Now, as people can see how the climate is changing, it's also a sign that it is already too late. To screech and scram now is easy; but still to come up w/ hapless proposals like the Green New Deal (w/o any concrete policy suggestions and w/o any incorporation of the work of other initiatives) says a lot about the current conditon of this generation of climate righteuos.
In fact, you guys have it nice and easy with your protests b/c the threats are already visible. You can point to them. You can laugh angrily how nobody could have seen this before. It wasn't there then to point to. So try for a moment to think about the moral luxury your protests are based upon. And accept that this mass movement couldn't have started earlier. It could only start now -- when it was already too late.
This doesn't mean that the older generation has given up and lost hope. Or not in that sense. This is not about hopes vanquished and tired old folks becoming curmudgeons. It's rather the sad understanding that we older folks have been right all along. And that we made our decades long "life choices" in scaling down consumption and energy wastefulness not to "safe" the planet, but in reverence for her.
In the end, this may just be about two seemingly very different approaches to devotion -- the devotion of the current protest generation and that of the old one. We had far more time to work through the troubles, to accept that we cannot change or save the world (a.k.a the planet, the earth, life... whatever have you). And it left us, coming through slaughter, on the other side, with a strange form of optimism and hope. Exactly because we cannot do anything to turn things around, to go through this agony, is what created optimism and hope ... as the world is bigger and more complex than anybody can imagine and predict. The young generation has yet to go through this experience. They have to have to experience failure and despair, in order to learn that the way to optimism and hope is strangely through defeat, slaughter, and agony.
In that sense the young protest generation, the climate righteous of today, don't even understand yet what they are really up to and what they are going through. Every generation has its battles through agony and despair; and the acceptance of failure in a weird sense removes panic and makes room for hope, optimism, and the selfless care the planet and all other living beings need.
This is what we older might offer the younger in their struggle to redeem their world: a sad hope, the prospect of care for the planet that is beyond the sense of urgency and practical constraint. A sense of love for this world. An old love, the love for the autumn of the world.
My best wishes for your travels.
Great post. The divisions between activists - tribal, generational, etc - are often depressing, and telling. Understanding how people get things done is key, yet all the bickering gets in the way. I do admire the chaos of the right, which often at least has clear goals (even if greedy and see destructive), and seems to support mutual chaos way more than other activist groups.