Climate Mamas and Papas come in many shapes, sizes, nationalities and ages. An increasingly vocal and visible group are those mamas and papas who identify themselves as elders; those who are witnesses with experience and knowledge earned through living many years on our planet. These elders are regularly seen standing shoulder to shoulder with younger generations. These elders are demanding a chance for our youth; a chance to live in a world that is hospitable, safe, secure and sustainable and which isn’t ravaged nor doomed by climate change. These elders have recognized that on their watch, the epoch of the anthropocene has emerged. But at the same time, they are fighting back for control and a livable future and now. Join us as we share with you this wonderful post by Ellen Moyer which offers insights about the many climate elders groups springing up around the planet, and what is driving them. We are reposting Ellen’s article with permission from our friends and colleagues at Boomer Warrior.
Climate Action by Elders
by Ellen Moyer
Elders the world may be our best hope for solving the “super wicked” problem of climate change. Short-term thinking created our current climate predicament. Despite warnings and predictions from the scientific community, the developed world spewed greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Given that problems, solutions, costs, and benefits play out over time frames spanning generations, the situation calls for intergenerational climate-change activism.
Photo Credit: We are Seneca Lake
Why would seniors enlist in the crusade? They have a long view due to the number of years they have already lived, during which many have witnessed changes in the climate. Many also have passion to protect their children and grandchildren. Halfdan Wiik of Norwegian Grandparents Climate Campaign says, “For me, it’s all about love and optimism. Elders of today have lived our lives in a world of great changes, for good and for bad. We know it can be changed once more.”
Elders often work with a sense of urgency, realizing that they may have relatively few years left in which to leave their legacy. And generally speaking — and with countless exceptions — compared with younger people, elders often have more free time, financial resources, wisdom, experience, economic and political clout, sense of connection to nature, and freedom from worries about job security, mortgages, and dependents. Continue reading