I have been trying to tell my fellow white people this (especially my fellow Boomers) for a long time now, that doomerism and hopelessness is privilege.
We don’t get to say that there’s no hope, or that there’s no point in taking individual action. People all over the planet are fighting for their lives; let’s get serious about making real changes in every way available to us!
“Climate doomism is a yt phenomenon” video by @wawagatheru on TikTok (UPDATE: Her video got removed as “hate speech” 20 minutes after she posted it. BUT she was able to get it back up, here is the original. Dated April 6, 2022. If it ends up getting removed again, just go directly to TikTok and search @wawagatheru to follow her; she shares lots of ways to get involved in climate action.)
I wpuld maintain that climate doomerism is a privileged white Boomer phenomenon. And we need to stop it. How did the world’s most influential generation suddenly become so powerless? Answer: We didn’t! We still have all our power. We just got co-opted by mainstream “prosperity” in the 80s; and have continued to choose to look the other way when it meant questioning our cushy lifestyles.
Also, in Europe, six young activists have launched a complaint against 33 countries for their allegedly inadequate efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Three of the activists are minors. So no, we senior adults in the world’s most privileged country don’t get to sigh and moan and say things are hopeless. (All the while enjoying our own cushy standard of living. Hopping on planes and going on luxury cruises multiple times a year just because we can; insisting we need our stock-index funds, which grow at 7% a year at the expense of literally everything and everyone else on this entire planet; pushing our kids and grandkids to join the military-industrial complex, take on college debt, and otherwise keep propping up business-as-usual etc etc etc. And this is fellow self-described environmentalists doing this; I’m not even talking about “civilians.”)
We certainly got labeled the “Me Generation” for a reason. Now we need to turn it around. Let’s reform ourselves into the “We” generation who extend our care to all people, and all other beings. We can do it! We certainly have the wallets, and the loud voices!
PS. talking here about the physical climate, but this can just as well apply to the political climate. Can we please break the pattern where rich white boomers are whining about how they’re going to have to move to Costa Rica or Michigan or wherever because things have gotten so terrible? Or how they’ve gotten so tired of politics, they can’t talk about politics anymore, they weren’t planning on this in their retirement years, yada yada yada? If we, the most resourced generation in history, do not feel empowered and obligated to change things, Houston we’ve got a problem.