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Climate Change: Own It

I'm always amazed by the antipathy Greta Thunberg seems to trigger in some people. I understand she's not everyone's cup of tea, but even so... I guess they must feel threatened by her in some way, or perhaps by her message.  

I've regularly seen them post this kind of image on social media - I'm not sure where this one was from originally, but I bet it has been taken way, way out of context:

I can't overstate how offensive I find this. The implied narrative is pretty clear. The young have never had it so good. Did these snowflakes but know it, they're in the land of plenty. They don't have any actual serious issues. They're oblivious to the sacrifice of previous generations, specifically in the First and Second Wars. 

I'm a boomer - born in the early sixties. Our grandparents' generation made huge sacrifices, in either the First or Second War. My grandfathers both had terrible wars, and were lucky to survive. I'm incredibly proud of what they did, and painfully aware of the three great uncles who were killed. And their children - our parents - inherited their sense of social cohesion and public service.

It's our generation - ironically the majority of anti-Thunberg keyboard warriors - who have bollocksed this up. In many ways my grandparents and parents would have been disappointed by the state of the world today - disappointed and in some ways alarmed.

Of course Grandpa Mann and grandpa Bennett fought - and many others died - to give their children and grandchildren a better world. And in many ways we have let them down; in my darker moments I think the only thing we have managed to do is to consume. I'm not spreading inter-generational angst - the problems we are faced with now are of our own making. The grownups in the painting are boomers, not millenials. 

As for the young, they have major struggles ahead. They most definitely don't live in a land of milk and honey. Among other challenges they're not just lumped with climate change, but also fighting the kind of intolerance my grandfathers would have recognised only too well.

Vent over.