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    The Myth Of The Green Young Person
    By Hank Campbell | March 17th 2012 11:05 AM | 51 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Hank

    I'm the founder of Science 2.0® and co-author of "Science Left Behind".

    A wise man once said Darwin had the greatest idea anyone...

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    Young people have to be greener, right?  That crying Indian commercial(1) was 40 years ago, we have to have made progress in pollution by now.

    Well, we have.  But it's not because of young people. Young people are not more likely to be 'green' than their elders, they are less - in defiance of popular perception - just like right wing people conserve energy just as much as the left, despite the perception that they care less about conservation.

    Millennials, young adults who grew up with the global warming discussion and calls to "reduce, reuse, recycle", list the environment among their top concerns - but they seem to mean it should be a concern for other people. 

    Instead, young Americans of today are individually less interested in the environment and in conservation than those of 40 and 20 years ago.  They are also less civic-minded in general. The results were from an analysis of 9 million young adults in the years 1966 to 2009; the University of Michigan's Monitoring the Future study of high school seniors, conducted continuously since 1975, and the American Freshman survey by UCLA's Higher Education Research Institute of entering college students done since 1966.

    "These data show that recent generations are less likely to embrace community mindedness and are focusing more on money, image and fame,"  said San Diego State psychology professor Jean Twenge, one of the study co-authors.

    Some things were up.  Young people were more likely to have volunteered in high school than previous generations but that correlates to a rise in schools implementing a community service requirement because previous generations believed more in community service. 

    What topped the list for the young?  Wealth went from being important to 45 percent of baby boomers to 75 percent for Millennials.  That makes sense. You can't model your career after Kim Kardashian without money. Interest in political affairs decreased from 50 percent for baby boomers to 35 percent for Millennials. That makes sense too; we got a president by having him overthrow campaign finance reform and spend double his opponent in 2008 and in 2012 we have Super PACs so it's easy to become jaded on politics.

    Being green? 33 percent important for baby boomers to do something personally but only 20 percent for Millennials. 15 percent of Millennials said they had made no effort to help the environment, compared with 5 percent of young baby boomers.

    Maybe baby boomers were not the "Me Generation" at all - they instead gave birth to it.

    Citation: Twenge, Jean M.; Campbell, W. Keith; Freeman, Elise C., 'Generational Differences in Young Adults' Life Goals, Concern for Others, and Civic Orientation, 1966–2009' Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Mar 5 , 2012 doi: 10.1037/a0027408

    NOTE:

    (1) The crying Indian I grew up with.  He wasn't Indian, he was Italian. And he was a professional actor.  But it worked. Environmentalist of today would protest if he used a canoe in the water like that.

    Comments

    Turns out that guy wasn't even an Indian; he was Italian.

    Stellare
    Which means that we have to make green economically interesting. That shouldn't be too hard. :-)
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Hank
    Sure, but we (Americans anyway) have gotten too dependent on thinking the government can do it rather than the private sector.  We spent 44 billion USD on clean energy from 2009-2011 and got nothing. In that sense, it is no surprise young people worry less about showing individual initiative - we have told them the government (i.e. someone else) does all important things.
    There you go again, Hank, talking about 'we' and 'Americans' when really you only speak for 'you'.

    Hank
    Yes, you nailed it.  I am the only one out of 320 million people who does not think the government should do everything and there is no individual responsibility.  You should be proud of your overwhelming majority and subsequent suppression of tolerance and diversity. But we know that is what always follows after people shut down mentally and let someone else do their thinking, right?
    Stellare
    As far as I can tell, there's a lot going on in the private sector. They are realizing the business potential related to climate adaptation for instance. Carbon capture is another area where businesses see opportunites for great revenue...

    We'll all come around, eventually!  :-) I do think the business opportunities are under communicated and poorly understood, though.
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    It all looks like more socialist cheerleading and a fail. AGW has been refuted and we are in the long endgame of that reality. More and more I think of the old women walking around Red Square holding candles for Stalin in the early 90's.

    Get over it, it's over.

    Stellare
    I politely suggest you find out the difference between global warming and AGW.

    There is no doubt the planet is warming - we have numerous independent data sets showing us this. Whereas the different contributions to the warming is more uncertain. The climate models are not certain enough to be used as proof, actually in its nature the models can never be used as evidence. As you can tell, there is a big difference between actual observations (the data sets) and the models.

    Nobody realy doubt the fact that the planet is warming (except perhaps a tiny small group of 'flat Earthers' that remains in denial). What is being seriously debated however, is the impact of human activities.

    AGW or no AGW,  there is no excuse not to manage our planet wisely!
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    The problem with environmentalism is that it was co-opted by the so-called "green" movement where we demonized plant food and accused our trace of a trace addition of catastrophically warming the atmosphere. Whole careers were built on promoting that "science". Anyone and anything that preached the right "science" was handed a wad of cash and given there little "green" merit badge. So we got things like cars that ran on batteries. With little thought that the battery had to get it's energy from somewhere. Which is coal for %50 of the US. It wasn't new or novel. Electric cars have been around since the 1800s. But you can't see the smoke stack and that makes it "green" so we tossed money like they were circling a stripper pole this decade. We got wind turbines. Wind power has been utilized for all of recorded history. But now it is as trendy as a hipster hat. Now we a imploding the lungs of endangered birds (and non-endangered), still need conventional power at the ready, and need enormous subsides to even give the appearance that they are cost effective. We had that whole ethanol debacle where even Al Gore had to admit it was a bad idea. Burning food for energy. You know how 'green' that was? It encouraged the destruction of the rain forest for more farmland to grow 'fuel'. Brilliant! We got to see several solar companies go bust. Some that everyone knew were crap but because they were 'green' we had our government hemorrhage our money on it anyway. Everyone, regardless of age, looks at this nonsense and thinks the people still promoting it are crazy stupid. Environmentalism was hijacked by a group that wants people young and old to have their money removed from them and thrown down a rat hole. And you can't understand why they are not all that enthusiastic about it? Especially since it is all done for the sake of altering the planets temperature a degree over a hundred years. How many trillion is that worth? Nobody knows. Nobody knows if it might even be a good thing. But all of the IPCC predictions have failed miserably anyway. The models were created by people that can't even figure out excel and already knew the outcome that they wanted when the started plugging stuff in. They failed to acknowledge the sun and other radiation in climate. Which is understandable because that is largely outside their field. Climatologists are to science what astrology is to science. So we have scandal after scandal related to that. And yes, I know they were 'cleared'. Yes, by the same people that didn't notice a pedophile in their athletic program for years. The same people that made money off their claims. Yet if anyone questions all this, they are branded a mouth breathing "anti-science" redneck who watched fox news all day. No matter if the person saying it is an engineer or scientist. Why wouldn't we have so much failure if all skepticism of any component of it isn't allowed or tolerated? So you get what you have now. People will give it lip service rather than be compared to a holocaust denier or 'flat earther' by some Pseudo-intellectual but won't go out of their way to help these bullies and would rather just watch them fall on their face repeatability. They have given up trying to get that money directed to real an tangible environmental concerns. They have watched as lazy self-righteous arm-chair climatologist sit on their ass and scream for government to do something and mock those not interested in their cries. While at the same time, they see their own decidedly less trendy environmental concerns lose funding to trendy the giant global warming attention whore. Save the whales? Save the rain forest? NOOOO. Why do that when you can save the whole planet by throwing your money down a rat hole? So much easier. You can feel like you are saving the world without getting off your ass. Perfect cause for this generation. You may have saddled the next generation with enormous debt, but they will get a good laugh out of it.

    In keeping with your polite tone, I humbly suggest you find any 10, 20, 50, 100 year period in the entire history of the Earth where the planet was not either cooling or warming. In fact, you cannot find any 24 hour period where that is not the case. The Earth has seasons, it has trends, it has periods categorized by some change.
    It's human nature to think that today is the most important day or that the world should never change negatively from where we stand at this moment, however that is just not realistic. It's as wrong-headed as people who try to "preserve" a forest or tract of land in the exact state it happens to be in today. Forests are dynamic environments, they require trees to die, grow, succeed and flourish. Some even need a fire to release seeds from their pods.
    As for your "flat Earthers" comment, it seems to me that its usually the global warming crowd that refuses to accept any alternate scientific evidence and require a cult-like devotion to the religion of global warming. It's those of us who don't toe the company line that are actually weighing the evidence to decide for ourselves.
    The planet may be warming now, but without warning and without any effect of anything we do, it'll switch to cooling. Short of global thermo nuclear war, the Earth's weather is going to be what it is going to be.

    What is being seriously debated however, is the impact of human activities.

    Debated by intellectual cripples such as yourself.

    Gerhard Adam
    WOW! ... What a brilliant comment.  An anonymous poster that isn't completely brain-dead.   Naaahhhh ...

    Mundus vult decipi
    Please go peddle you book elsewhere... you're not adding anything to the discussion. .

    I'm hopeful based on the idea that a generation of political correctness regarding green propaganda and fake AGW fear mongering will go to the dustbin where it belongs.

    “Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.”

    Commonly, the quote is attributed to Socrates. Other sources claim is comes from an 8th Century Babylonian. The point is, it is not much different than what we hear today in one form or another. What I think is really happending is the youth in a society reflect the underlying values of that culture. Those of us in our 40's may talk a good game, but the truth is what we really seem to value as a society (not all of us as individuals) is mindless pablum like "American Idol" or just about any sitcom you can name. Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton are famous for what, exactly? Add to that Hank's comment above that we have become a society almost totally dependent on the government at all levels "to look after us" that any "problem" is really not "my problem". As a culture, we value fame and wealth - accomplishment is not all that important. Our children reflect this in their high scores for self-esteem compared to other cultures. Now, if they can just start matching the children of other cultures that score well in math and science . . .

    Last I checked, the president didn't "overthrow campaign finance reform" - that was the Supreme Court. http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/08-205.ZS.html

    Whatever your opinion of 'young people' is, please at least get your facts straight when mixing it with opinion.

    Hank
    It is a fact.  He pledged to obey campaign finance reform in 2008 and use public funds.  But when he got the nomination he reneged on that pledge, sticking John McCain with it (and McCain could not opt out, he was the co-sponsor of campaign finance reform).  As a result, Obama was able to raise more money than Kerry and Bush spent in 2004 - combined.

    The Supreme Court had nothing to do with that - it was dead after that election because no president in his right mind would let their opponent have that advantage again. You're confusing that with the Supreme Court opening the door to Super Pacs but Obama overthrew it three years earlier by doing what previously had been unthinkable; shucking off even a pretense of using a level playing field in a campaign.
    It is likely that the younger generations see the hypocrisy of the rabid environmentalists.

    The green mafia keeps wanting to believe that images are what motivated people to support environmental causes. Prosperity is what motivated support, and when the green mafia started overreaching on every "solution" to environmental issues people began to see them for what they are: power hungry. There are thousands of environmental laws on the books that result in the issuance of waivers year after year because the enviro laws demanded the use of technology that did not and in many cases still does not exit. Many of these laws have resulted in a drastic loss of jobs in the US, extreme debt for small cities and towns across America, and human rights abuses in other countries to support quotas in biofuel usage. As far as the young people, well your entire political mantra is someone else can take care of everything for you and you don't have to do anything....then you get people who do nothing, care about nothing, and don't expect to have to be responsible in anyway for their own action. Turn On, Tune In, and Drop Out promoted a drug induced culture that turned on to every imaginable drug possible, tuned in to selfish self gratification, and dropped out of having any responsibility for themselves, their community, the nation, the world, and their environment. And now the purveyors of this lovely philosophy are the leaders of country, why should anyone listen to their views on anything?

    Stellare
    That's right! Blame it all on the green inclined. I mean, absolutely everything that is malfunctioning in this society, global society that is, must be the result of a green power trip....
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    UvaE
    Maybe baby boomers were not the "Me Generation" at all - they instead gave birth to it.
    Of course. At least they raised it because kids absorbed the Me-first attitude and actions, which does not translate into a green approach to life.
    This is ridiculous. The "Millennial" generation, which I happen to be one of, simply cannot afford to be "green". Have you been to a health food store lately? Have you encountered the sheer cost of "being green"? Buying organic, avoiding plastic, and essentially any significant steps to help improve ourselves' and the planet are quite costly.

    Juxtaposed against the worst unemployment rate for age group you're wailing against in the history of keeping up with unemployment, what exactly are you expecting? It's pretty simple; the cheapness of plastics and all the other horrible things (which, ironically, your generation, along with the previous invented and put into widespread use, so much for your "Crying Indian") that we are forced, economically, to buy. How about you engage in some critical thinking before you step up on your pedestal. Of course we want to be green.

    We simply can't afford it. We're way to invested in college debt and the horrible economy that YOUR generation is currently leaving us with.

    So, how about you share the responsibility? Seems like the "adult" thing to do. Perhaps we can become green once the burden of your mistakes is lifted form our shoulders.

    Hank
    We simply can't afford it. We're way to invested in college debt and the horrible economy that YOUR generation is currently leaving us with.
    I agree completely.  When a group in Congress declared that college should be a 'right' because they saw statistics showing that a college education meant more income, on average, lots of us knew that was just going to spike college tuitions and lead to student debt and do nothing for employment. But good luck telling that to college students then and it ain't exactly conservatives running universities.

    Likewise, increasing government benefits to where 50% of the country is getting more than they give is unsustainable but we keep allowing it to happen.

    'My' generation can certainly be blamed along with baby boomers, though continuing to lump all of us in as busybody progressives at fault sort of reinforces the 'entitlement' and 'lacking initiative' claims that get lumped on younger people of today, who think they deserve a golden age for no other reason than that they deserve it. Zuckerberg has no college degree and is doing pretty well for himself despite being a Millenial.

    Your 'we can't afford to buy organic' argument is a little less convincing. It's just a marketing gimmick so perhaps if Millenials were less prone to angst about things they are told they should buy and focused more on what they can do, post-college reality might be less frustrating.
    "I agree completely. When a group in Congress declared that college should be a 'right' because they saw statistics showing that a college education meant more income, on average, lots of us knew that was just going to spike college tuitions and lead to student debt and do nothing for employment. But good luck telling that to college students then and it ain't exactly conservatives running universities."

    So what would ACTUALLY do something positive for employment AND education?

    "Your 'we can't afford to buy organic' argument is a little less convincing. It's just a marketing gimmick so perhaps if Millenials were less prone to angst about things they are told they should buy and focused more on what they can do, post-college reality might be less frustrating. "

    So then you're saying "don't worry about what you can't do, but do what you can", right?

    "who think they deserve a golden age for no other reason than that they deserve it"

    So what if this crappy world is just what is deserved? Then is it really a problem?

    "Zuckerberg has no college degree and is doing pretty well for himself despite being a Millenial."

    So what does one really, truly need a college degree for, anyway?

    Hank
    You have a point.  If Millenials are as focused on money as surveys show, they don't need a college degree, especially when it is something everyone else has and therefore has no advantage.  If you compare millionaires per capita among junk yard owners to university professors, it isn't even close.  Junk yard owners are way out in front. Individual initiative has always mattered more than education but this is the first generation that believed a degree was some magic ticket.

    What would fix the problem, as you asked in your previous question?  Our economy is a lot like NASA.  What used to be performance-oriented has since become a job works program mired in so much regulation and bureaucracy it can't do its mission. And one side insists the only fix is more regulation and government funding.

    Our government from 2009-2011 spent $1 million per job in green energy subsidies yet denied a perfectly safe oil pipeline that would have brought 100,000 jobs.  The week the president turned it down, he bragged that he had signed new legislation to create jobs - by making it easier for tourists to visit.  Instead of highly paid oil worker jobs, he wants us all to be lowly paid waiters for foreign vacationers.

    So not believing the 'you are helpless without us' mantra of politicians would be a fine place for young people to start.
    Is it possible (i.e. non-hypocritical) to promote oil while also promoting "green"?

    Well, there is this: petroleum is the least expensive, least polluting, safest, most available, most abundant, most easily transportable, most stable, highest energy-density fuel available to us. Plus, you know, plastics, fertilizer, and whatever.

    Nothing else even comes close.

    So what would it take for someone of the new generation to be just as good as those of the old, or even better? What does one have to do to be that good?

    Hank
    I don't understand the question.  Mark Zuckerberg is worth $18 billion, more than Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Thomas Edison combined when they were his age.  There is no difference between risks or opportunities.  Anyone who thinks the economic malaise for young people is worse today than it was in the 1970s  or the 1890s is out of their mind.  
    You mention "Wealth went from being important to 45 percent of baby boomers to 75 percent for Millennials." "Interest in political affairs decreased from 50 percent for baby boomers to 35 percent for Millennials." "Being green? 33 percent important for baby boomers to do something personally but only 20 percent for Millennials. 15 percent of Millennials said they had made no effort to help the environment, compared with 5 percent of young baby boomers." "Instead, young Americans of today are individually less interested in the environment and in conservation than those of 40 and 20 years ago. They are also less civic-minded in general." All of those things you ascribe to "millennials" appear to be _negative_ things. What I mean by "good" is to be like the people in the past -- no, do BETTER even in those areas, to be MORE of what they are LESS...

    Well, that's the question, isn't it?
    First, the new generation has to realize that the solutions aren't in turning the clock back to the economic policies of the 50's, as the "progressives" would like to do. Collectivism is not an option based on government debt; the only path forward is to release our creativity and productivity by ending the preemption of positive economic policies because they violate a per-concived ideology. IOW, deregulate and let the creative businesspeople drag us out of the hole.

    Remember, big corporations LOVE regulations, because they create a barrier to new competition. Regulation doesn't hamper megacorporations very much, but it's killing to small business formation --- and that's the engine of employment growth.

    Maybe these young people have had this green nonsense rammed down their throats since the time they could watch Sesame Street. Maybe they're just SICK of it. Sick of seeing the Al Gore movie multiple times each school year, sick of being fearful of the oceans overtaking our cities and polar bears dying, sick of blowhard, phonies who insist that we be green, while they whisk themselves off on their private jets to their 3rd mansion. It's a big business racket all dressed up in self-righteousness. Blah.

    Amen.

    Stellare
    You underline an important point - there's been too much negativism ans scaremongering in the rhetoric. Al Gore might have done a good thing to wake people up, but the continuation with the same appeal to our fear does not work in the long run.

    We all want a better life, rich and poor alike. This fact should be included in the green rhetoric.

    Young people in general tend to oppose their parent generation. In itself something that should be taken into account when developing the communication strategies...
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    As the parent of two "millennials", I became aware some three years ago, of this mindset that plagues most of their generation, that the world owes them a living. I have worked hard in recent years to retrain my children and disabuse them of this notion. My son, who was a Nat'l Merit Scholar, graduated college 2 years early (having nearly 2 years of AP credits when he walked through the door of the University). When he graduated I was floored that he seemed unmotivated to get a job - any job - but instead was waiting for inspiration as to a career path that would offer daily excitement and fulfillment. After a year long process of said "finding" - and even going back to school thinking another degree might be in order- he woke up and realized that more school would just get him into debt and that there was no magic career. He is now working full time at a job that pays slightly more than minimum wage but, and here's the secret, he LIKES WORKING! As I told him when I was getting push back for sending him job listings, that having a job was not about the money or it being the ultimate career move ... that getting a job was about becoming a MAN and taking responsibility for himself.

    @Hank Campbell: So what would it take for someone of the new generation to be just as good as those of the old, or even better? What does one have to do to be that good?

    Speaking from the vantage point of Gen Y/Millennial (I'm on the dividing line), we're cynical about all the attempts to buffalo us into giving up a First World lifestyle. We can see the corruption in the green lobby, as well as the incestuous relationship between scientists and the government, both of whom have been caught repeatedly falsifying data. Frankly, we aren't buying what you're selling.

    Gerhard Adam
    Actually if that were true, then Millennials wouldn't be as politically naive as they are.  Unfortunately, they fail to see that their "first world lifestyle" is already being sold and they aren't even interested in determining why or what to do about it.
    Mundus vult decipi

    I was born in 1948 so I suppose if I were willing to accept being considered to be part of or associated with ANY group of humans, I would be a boomer. And wealth status power and etc. are not that important to me...I’ve had millions, I’ve had power to reshape the country and did, I’ve had the ability to threaten the entire world, personally, and did that as well. Big deal it’s boring. I have also built businesses non-profits political organizations community organizations and reshaped the landscapes of two areas each several miles across in the center of my state’s largest city, such that there is not much in either place that is not there because I said that it should be.I almost but not quite HATE environmentalists, environmentalism, and even the idea of the environment itself. Yet I do more recycling than most people would imagine if asked. I recycle: Houses cars furniture clothes books tools parts appliances knowledge and even friends and associates and jobs and careers. The only things I do NOT routinely recycle are glass bottles cans and paper items – because glass is silicon mostly, cans are iron or aluminum mostly, and paper is cellulose mostly, and silicon, iron, aluminum, and cellulose are about the most abundant substances in existence that are also accessible to mankind, and because I do not give a hoot for running up the work or the costs faced by any public agency, I hate all public agencies except the military and the courts on general principles.
    There were not many who were concerned with either of those areas, or with two others of similar size, who did not, back in the day, hear from EVERY public or private employee not already required to give them whatever they wanted, that in those areas, if you wanted anything at all that you were not already absolutely entitled to, the only way you would ever get it, was to ask me. Now THAT was fun I must admit, although the endless presents were boring.
    The thing about the environment is, people who feel well off care about the human environment, because they can afford to and because they can enjoy, or do notice, its improvement or degradation (regardless of wealth or income, I have little of either lately but my opinions have not changed; where I stand DOES NOT depend at all on where I sit, that I can change any way and at any time I feel like it). People who feel very well off care about the non-human environment as well, for the same reasons, and not only regarding how it may affect the human environment. I care about it too, because I chose to.
    But I am more of an anti-Environmental activist, voter, and sometimes even donor, nonetheless.  I feel that the Environmental movement is THE principle obstacle to progress, to growth, to equality, to prosperity, to peace, AND to a population that cares about the environment.
    I tend to think that what you report about the younger ones (behavior is less environmental in many ways but don’t tell them that they get mad) tends to confirm my opinion: a few of us care because we want to; most who care do so mostly because they can afford to, and also afford to have things that are lost or are gained by immediate local changes in the environment as it affects people.
    I am 60 yrs old. I could care less whether the planet is warming up or cooling down. I will remind everyone of the first scenario back in my youth (was) that we were going into an ice age! Science can be just as self-serving and deceitful as any religion, philosophy or political party. This panic is mostly artificial, I suspect, just like the one in my youth. God & nature still has some surprises up their sleeves. We DO NOT know everything, not yet, not ever.

    But I do recycle - everything I can. I've used cloth bags before it was ever stylish to do so. I don't use many chemicals in my garden, I recycle garden & kitchen wastes. My husband & I were using the CFLs before just about anyone else and we are now using LEDS. I walk plenty instead of drive everywhere... Why?
    Well, why not?

    I don't agree with liberalism or a lot modern culture. I am a Christian Gnostic. But why not leave less of a footprint on the planet or Save money with CFLs or the New LEDs?

    Why not respect this beautiful planet that God gave us? Pollution should be listed under 'deadly sins'!

    What I have seen evolve is an environmentalism that is anti-human and human civilisation - the idea I grew up with was nurturing the planet for future generations and making sure they know the same beauty I have!

    Loving God and all his creation, Doing good, moral things for their own sake. Life is a gift, I do these things of my own FREE WILL - not because some stupid ex-president preaches it to me. Comprehend?

    ALL I have to do is watch the kids walking past my house, dropping their coke cans like slobs to know they don't give a darn and all the preaching and bossiness of modern environmentalists goes for naught.
    I go pick them up and throw them in the recycling.

    Stellare
    You bring up one of my pet subjects, namely that the climate change rhetoric desperately needs updating.

    It is easier to make people understand the immediate benefits from taking good care of the planet when you relate it to their daily lives and surroundings.
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Ms. Bye, Those, like myself who still doubt that there human caused global warming are not flat-earthers. The problem is that a great deal of the scientific and media community would rather feel smug and self-satisfied than actually be respectful towards others and give some inspiration to encourage personal change.

    I don't know whether the sun or man is the main culprit - I believe the changes we've seen could very well be part of the general warming we've observed since the end of the little ice age, but if that is wrong, it still doesn't mean I should show disrespect towards our planet. Making this a matter of belief-disbelief is an awful mistake.

    You (plural) would rather Al Gore screaming vitriol instead of giving true and real reasons for loving this dear old planet and inspiring a change of heart and habit. In the end a slogan won't do it, neither will vitriol, neither will smug self- satisfaction. Neither will living a dishonest life while preaching renunciation and humility to the masses like some medieval pope (while living like a Renaissance Duke or Duchess)!
    Fear sells in the short run but in the long term, panic must die. What is required is a change of heart.

    You are demanding us to believe science as if it is religion and to trust people we don't know and who seem to think they are superior to us in every possible way. My very nature fights against such an imposition!

    The reasons to care for Mother Earth existed long before the Global Warming drama. The reasons I have to care for the planet is that I love it. I love mankind. I love the future generations that must live on her and I want them to prosper and know the song of birds, clean streets and clear skies. That means I, and I repeat, I must leave the planet in good shape - do as little harm as possible. I must balance my wants and needs with the planet's needs. Shirking duty is wrong. No government is going to make me discipline myself to the degree I do myself. Recycling and the rest takes time.

    No modern civilisation is going to be run on solar and wind power (and remember the poor birds killed by the blades of windmills!) WE have to live in a real world and have real, reachable goals - it sounds very silly when people talk about algae gasoline and other unreachable, ridiculous or distant goals.

    Honestly, I look back on the last 40+ yrs.. somewhere back when, environmentalism has lost its way.
    PS - we humans are not a disease on Planet Earth. We are the mind, heart and soul of Planet Earth. Without us, the planet is unconscious and sleeps.
    PSS - OH, get the facts straight. The planet is not in jeopardy.. the planet has known collisions with 6 miles wide asteroids! - we are the ones who are jeopardy. We destroy ourselves, the planet rebuilds even if it takes another 65 million years to do so. We are saving ourselves, not the planet.
    WE are preserving & maintaining this planet as a human- friendly home.

    Gerhard Adam
    Ms. Bye, Those, like myself who still doubt that there human caused global warming are not flat-earthers.
    So which is it you disagree with?  "Human caused", "global warming", or both?
    You are demanding us to believe science as if it is religion and to trust people we don't know and who seem to think they are superior to us in every possible way.
    I don't think anyone is demanding that, yet surprisingly most people don't apply the same criteria to their favorite political "talking head" or the politicians that they support.  Some nitwit with a radio show gains millions of supporters for an position he can barely articulate, would suggest that people believe their politics like a religion more than science.  Truth be told, the only reason anyone is even discussing global climate change is because it comes with attached economic ideas for solutions.  Without that, it would be as hot a topic among the public as superluminal neutrinos.

    In fact, when you talk to most "skeptics" you find that they know little about actual climate change, they're simply opposed to the proposed solutions, which is a different argument.  Similarly arguments that claim that the Earth always goes through heating/cooling cycles are obviously not paying attention.  This isn't the Earth of 500 million years ago.  This is an Earth with 7 billion humans on it, and even the most casual of ice ages or warming could be catastrophic for the dependencies that we have built our societies on.

    So for those that claim we don't know or can't know because we don't have enough precise data.  I would ask if you're just as cautious when it comes to other scientific implementations or if its just this one topic, but if it's the latter, I suspect it has little to do with science and much more to do with politics and economics.
    Mundus vult decipi
    MikeCrow
    Truth be told, the only reason anyone is even discussing global climate change is because it comes with attached economic ideas for solutions.  Without that, it would be as hot a topic among the public as superluminal neutrinos.
    Of course it's because of what they're using the science for, If they were trying to shove a $20T-$100T bill up our ass because of superluminal neutrinos, there's be a lot more people talking about them as well.

    But the real problem is climate science doesn't stand up to the extraordinary claims it makes.

    And as I've say many times in the past, when the people who were fed this line of crap figure out they were treated as patsies, they're not going to like it, and they will push back at the things we really do need to deal with.
    Never is a long time.
    It saddens me to see my post completely misunderstood. I don't think science is a place to vomit one's politics in the faces of the unsuspecting public. I was simply commenting on the facts of the matter, not making normative statements about "green", "environmentalism", etc.

    I appreciate you were exposing the myths of the "green" generation, and I agree fully with your conclusion. I'm just insisting that we're all in this together and should act as such. I was attempting to satire the futility of blaming and finger pointing.

    "Your generation doesn't blah blah blah blah ad absurdum"

    The facts of the matter are that we are one, giant, continual succession and should keep our wits about us. Your deposing of the myth was nice, but don't use statistics to make yourself feel better.

    http://sophismforbreakfast.blogspot.com/

    Hank
    I am astounded at your ability to ascribe motivation to people you have never met or even read before - that is truly a miracle of anthropology. Data are data, I make fun of the left, I make fun of the right, the young and the old. It may be that because you are always looking for sophistry, you find it everywhere, in the same way someone who only has a hammer finds a lot of nails. But it isn't me.  I puncture lots of myths and I have a hundred articles on this site contending young people of today are a lot smarter than they are given credit for - this whole site is founded on the concept that people are smarter than media companies believe.

    What was probably funniest to anyone who has read this site for a while is me appearing to defend baby boomers. There's really no demographic I can possibly be harder on.
    We boomers benefitted from everything from winning world war II, suburbs and sputnik in the 50's freedom and pretended rebellion in the 60's, running away from reality in the 70's, overthrowing communism in the 80's, to setting up a semi-stable world order, trade agreement, and US economy in the 90’s.Then we borrowed the heck out of everything, bankrupted the country, stretched entitlements loose money federal budgets tax loopholes and evasion of commitments from the personal to the international as far they could possibly be stretched, and then farther until everything snapped. So if one choses to pick on us boomers, we certainly deserve it. Everyone is smarter than often believed…if they are human alive and not particularly disabled mentally. By definition. Pretty much everyone can figure out what’s right and what’s not, what they need and what they want, what works in a society and what does not, and one or more ways to fit a person into a world full of other people, who combine to form that third entity, a society. Except. The universe we are designed or evolved for has around 100 people in our society, and we know of maybe 100 other “societies”, and there are maybe 100 or so of these universes of a hundred or so 100-member societies on the entire planet, but we don’t know about those other universes. Now there are 10,000 times as many of us all together and we are all in one big tribe. Our tribe has 100,000,000 times the size power and complexity our body and mind expect, that our personal hardware and software was designed or evolved to handle! I think it’s amazing any of us at all remain alive, under the circumstances. Have you heard of any other living creature that can increase its capabilities by a factor of 100,000,000 in 10,000 years or in 500 generations of its kind? Heck no! With the whole planet connected as to communications, transportation, ideas, commerce, and politics, it’s not surpris8ing that a lot of what once worked no longer does – or maybe it continues to work in those settings where in some fundamental way things have just not caught up with the times. Apple’s supply factory is a bit like Manchester at the height of British domination and of American cotton and slavery. But you don’t see anything like Apple’s factory in Manchester anymore, nor anywhere else that is not dirt poor like Britain really was when it defeated Napoleon and bestrode the world. Dirt poor from a modern western point of view I mean, like China is today. A lot of younger folks refuse to play the old games. I think they are on to something, for I see that the old games, one by one, are ceasing to work. Like colleges and employer-paid pensions, health care, job security, or training. Gone or going, all. Big dumb companies are gone or going, unless they are de facto an empire of tiny agile firms, with only big dumb stuff like the manufacture of Chevy’s or i-Pods done the big, dumb way. One day soon the Federal Government and the five US superbanks are likely to follow…a day I pray comes soon lol.
    One reasons why young people are "less green" may simply be that society has become much "greener" because of efforts of the baby boomer generation. I grew up in the 60s en 70s when all sorts of economic activity were far more polluting. Now much of the industry has cleaned up it's act, landfills are disappearing, more than 90 % of construction waste is recycled, cars consume less and cleaner fuel (well, in Europe they consume less fuel, I don't know about the US), householdsn use 10% less water than a couple of years ago etc. The young simply have less to worry about. And the most effective way to reduce pollution is to make the polluter pay for it. Nobody denies me the right to produces as much household waste as I want - but it's going to cost me lot of money.

    Hank
    It's a fine point. If the problem is mostly solved (or at least lacks the urgency it used to) it's bad news for environmental activists trying to raise money but good for the planet.  Everyone always said they wanted to make the planet cleaner for following generations so it would be odd to resent them for not worrying, just like we wanted.
    amen to last two comments.