Overcoming climate despair: We are the U-turn generation

Introducing the U-turn Generation formerly called the Millennials some even call them the Me Generation which I think is completely wrong now that I’ve read this article. When I try to get my oldest child and her friends involved in some of the things I care about, she tells me kids her age feel “they have no hope.” So I have doubled my efforts to convince my peers to change things. Its hard if not impossible when all i get back is…. “The water is fine. I have been drinking the same water my entire life and I haven’t gotten sick.” or “What do I care, I’m going to be dead soon.” Click here to read the full article or an excerpt below.


We are the U-turn Generation.” The concept is this: all of us who have the courage to look the science of global warming full-on wrestle with despair. A clear understanding of what the scientific studies are telling us is that wealthy industrialized societies must be carbon-zero by 2050. Even then, we will still face the challenge of pulling accumulated GHGs out of the atmosphere, in order to get global CO2 parts per million (PPM) down to 350, if devastating ecological and social upheaval and harm is to be avoided. We are forced to live with the uncertainty of whether this Herculean global task can be accomplished. But for now, the task of this generation is the U-turn ­­– to change the direction of the path we are on – to see global emissions slow, and over the next 30-40 years, drop to zero.

An alternative analogy sometimes invoked when explaining global warming is that of a bathtub; GHG emissions are the water coming out of the faucet, while the accumulated water in the tub represents PPM of CO2 that has built up in the atmosphere. While most of our policy attention tends to focus on turning down the tap, it is the PPM accumulated in our atmospheric tub that is truly at the root of the problem with respect to climate change.  Our task for now, however, is to turn off the tap; while it will fall to the next generation to figure out how to drain the bathtub. We can do no more, but we are obliged to do no less. Will it be enough? We do not know. It is the fate of this generation to live with this ambiguity. All we can do is rally to the task at hand, knowing that time is of the essence.


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