Our Youth and Sustainability
"... the assumption that young people will somehow figure out a way to undo the deeds of their forebears, has crept into and spread like a cancer through UN climate scenarios."
Lately I have been involved in a series of meetings with about thirty people and we represent all ages. It turns out I'm the oldest of the group and the people I'm most in need of hearing from our younger folks especially on sustainability issues, the most pressing being global warming, because I work from home and there are not many younger folks involved in local organizations including neighborhood associations, museums, and even churches. There are exceptions, of course, but what I see is mostly white hair and I live in a city with a reputation for being where young people come to retire.
After the last meeting I returned to my office and found in my inbox a newly added video to YouTube entitled, Young People's Burden, a conversation between the renowned climate scientist Dr. James Hansen of Columbia University's Earth Institute and his granddaughter Sophie Kivlehan. I ask you to take 17 minutes to listen to Dr. Hansen and Sophie talk about how they both are plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed by Our Children's Trust against the federal government in their efforts to secure "the legal right to a stable climate and a healthy atmosphere for all present and future generations" the very essence of the sustainability movement.
A second and related video is an interview (August 2016) with Julia Olson of The Children's Trust. It is less than twenty minutes and like the Jim Hansen interview I urge you to share it with colleagues and especially your youthful friends and family members.
Finally, Dr. Hansen et. al. published a paper, Young People's Burden: Requirement of Negative CO2 Emissions. Download PDF here.
Both of the above videos are in the EarthSayers.tv special collection, Climate Justice, which compliments our more general climate change and climate change risk special collections. EarthSayers.tv is a specialized search engine to all curated, video content addressing sustainability and advancing those speaking on behalf of Mother Earth and her children.