A new study finds that the fake generational war on the climate crisis has actually distorted public thinking and political strategy, even though older generations are just as worried about the problem as younger generations.
The idea that young people are ecological warriors fighting the selfish older generation is a common metaphor for the environmental movement. Time magazine named Greta Thunberg Person of the Year for 2019, pointing out that she is a standard in the generation war.
The stereotype was further reinforced when Gen Z, American singer Billie Eilish said: [about the climate crisis]. Old people will die and we don’t really care if we die, but we don’t want to die yet.
But a new UK study, Who Cares About Climate Change: Attitudes Across the Generations, finds that generational divides on climate behavior are a myth, and that differences in opinion between generations about the importance of climate behavior are almost non-existent. found that there is no We are willing to make great sacrifices to achieve this.
In fact, research shows that older people are actually more likely than younger people to feel that they will make a difference if they act in an environmentally conscious way, and are twice as likely as Generation Z’s Baby Boomers to boycott their company for environmental reasons in the past 12 months There were many. .
Generations: Prof. Bobby Duffy, author, who shapes who you are when you are born: Fake conflicts between generations about the climate crisis are dangerous and devastating. He digs into much of the discussion about climate, saying that it has become an accepted truth that young people are not only having no interest in the future of the planet, but are at war with the older generation responsible for the current crisis.
Parents and grandparents care deeply about the legacy they leave to their children and grandchildren, not just about their home or ornaments, but also about the state of the planet. “If we want a greener future, we must act together and unite generations, rather than driving imaginary wedges between generations,” he added.
A weighted study of 2,050 UK adults conducted by the Policy Institute at Kings College London and New Scientist magazine found that 7 out of 10 people of all generations had enough climate crisis, biodiversity loss and other environmental problems to justify serious problems. said big. Changes in people’s lifestyle.
However, it was the younger generation rather than the older generation that were most fatalistic about the personal impact they could have on tackling the climate crisis.
About a third of Gen Z (under 24) and Millennials (25-40) say changing their behavior won’t do anything. This compares to 22% of Generation X (ages 41-56) and 19% of Baby Boomers (ages 57-75).
Rejecting this idea has led to a much greater generational gap. 61% of Baby Boomers disagreed with the statement that there is no need to change behavior, compared to 41% of Millennials.
New Scientific editor-in-chief Richard Webb said: “Although much has been said about different generations’ attitudes to today’s pressing issues, the results of this survey provide policy makers with something to think about ahead of this year’s important Cop26 climate summit. Glasgow in November.
He added that support for action that puts our lives on a more sustainable basis, rather than an obsession with a handful of young, active people, commands widespread support across generations, as we hope to rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic. . It could be a route to increasing participation between groups who are increasingly disillusioned with politics.
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