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Miscellaneous

Baby Boomers Love to Change the Subject

I’m 33 years old now. Throughout my life, there has never been a UK Government that cares even the slightest bit about me or anyone else my age or younger. Why would they? They haven’t needed us to win and they still don’t.

Baby Boomers are an interesting bunch. Like all generations, there are good ones and there are bad ones. Unfortunately though, there are a hell of a lot more bad. They are entitled, they are selfish, they are destructive, consumptive and they love machines that pollute (the smokier the better).

The bad ones are also extremely adept at lying and changing the subject when faced with inconvenient facts that threaten their world view. Especially when said facts pertain to the climate disaster, capitalism vs socialism, electric vs fossil, bike vs e-bike (both obviously) and so on.

It would be bad enough if these nature destroying, garden paving, decking loving, petrol lawn mowing, 2m fence building nut jobs would leave it there. But sadly that’s not the case. They also find it necessary to tread on the futures of their children and grandchildren by continuing to vote in huge numbers for their own interests. And without a second thought about how the following generations are going to live on a rapidly deteriorating planet.

To be fair. there are some good Boomers. But in my experience they tend to be the quiet hippy type, who generally don’t like to speak up to authority very strongly and so they don’t make much progress when dealing with less than useless local politicians. They’re easy to ignore and get away with it (just like millennials).

The other major problem is political apathy and lack of political education among people under 40. And of course our entirely corrupt media which exists purely to get anyone centre right to far right wing elected while screwing over anyone who dares to question the corporate status quo (see Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders). But I’ll do another post soon on the problem with the quiet majority.

Another thing that Boomers are really good at is finding far right conspiratorial nonsense on Facebook. They’re incredibly efficient at finding and spreading it far and wide in fact that a significant percentage of the British population hate Jeremy Corbyn for no legitimate reason whatsoever. A percentage that certainly couldn’t be due to newspaper and TV news alone.

They’re also ruining the train network by holding it back. Fetishising smokey diesels and arguing against progress towards a fully electric network. The same thing applies to roads, cars and car ownership as well as the fuel that powers them. Slowing down EV uptake, the building of bike infrastructure and the transition to a car free society full of cargo bikes and e-scooters, and I’m just scratching the surface.

I think the saddest thing for me now is just how these despicable people who don’t give a fuck about anyone younger than them, will never have to face justice. By the time the mainstream figure out that they’ve been betrayed and left to suffer in a hellish future, many of them will be dead. They’ll never feel bad about what they’ve done. They’ll just lie, deflect, and die happy. That’s a sickening thought. Especially when it comes to the right wing politicians and fossil fuel CEOs of that age group who have presided over the last 3 or 4 decades.

Yes, they’ll be remembered as villains for the rest of human civilisation. But maybe that won’t even be very long. These excuses for human beings need to pay for their crimes of ecocide before it’s too late. We have Baby Boomers in power with outdated / wrong ideas listening to other loud Boomers with the same mindset. We’re never going to get the change we need in the timescale necessary unless we stop this.

Perhaps the real saddest thing of all will be the realisation of those boomers who aren’t climate deniers or hippies, but those who just did nothing. When they realise that their kids and grandkids will not forgive them for not acting when they had so many chances to do so.

I don’t really know what to say at this point other than I’m so sick of waiting for them to decide when their time ends and ours begins. I feel both the most optimistic and most pessimistic I’ve ever been. Totally conflicted about where we’re going. All I know for sure is that our time is now or never.

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Miscellaneous

I Don’t Feel Like I Identify With Anyone

Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

Recently I’ve felt very alone in my views on the world. When I look at other people who I agree with on certain things, there are other things about them that bother me. Sometimes a lot. One of the only people I can think of who I agree with on pretty much everything is Greta Thunberg. She understands the immediate danger of the climate crisis, and she understands everything that is required to create a sustainable future. She understands social issues, and she understands economic issues including the fallacy of eternal economic growth.

Perhaps I’m on the autism spectrum as well. It would explain a lot about me and my uncompromising mentality. When she said that hope comes from action, it resonated with me strongly. When I don’t see action I feel deeply depressed and angry with the world. When I see corruption or apathy I despair at what we still are not as a global society.

I’m not one of those eternal optimists who always see the positives. Sometimes there are no positives. You have to have the ability to acknowledge that and take action to make the situation better. If you’re an optimist perhaps you don’t see the problem at all and therefore don’t take any action. Maybe eternal optimists are a big part of the reason we’re in the middle a climate disaster, and all of these far right wannabe dictators are running so many countries into the ground.

I’ve had people complain to me about how the country is or how the world is etc. But they told me that they believe whatever will be will be. It’s all fate. I would obviously counter that by saying if that’s what you’re resigned to, then that’s what you’ll get if you don’t engage with democracy. The bad people keep winning. And maybe stop complaining about how much Brexit sucks now too.

There are so many examples of times where I get frustrated when I’m dealing with people I broadly agree with. On the local Facebook cycling group, people are happy about the council doing next to nothing about cycling, and I come across as really negative, because I know what needs to be done and how fast. People don’t understand where I’m coming from and I just appear to be rude to them.

I commented on a YouTube video about sustainability talking about electric pick up trucks. It’s a channel I’ve subscribed to for years and really enjoy. I used to love electric cars. But because I’m always challenging myself and changing my mind on things, I’m now anti private car ownership (especially large cars). Most EV fans haven’t had the realization that cycling, Micromobility and autonomy are the future, and so I don’t get a lot of support.

The thought of how long it will take before everyone does get on the same page is terrifying to consider. Every day we waste is compounding the situation when we’re already facing a rapidly accelerating increase in temperatures, ice loss, sea level rise, extreme weather disasters etc. I spent 5 minutes this evening just looking out the window at the busy road which is basically back to the usual insane traffic level. The noise of every car just pisses me off at this point. I saw one Model 3 and one BMW i3, and even the two EVs I saw out of the hundreds of cars overall still made almost the same amount of noise due to the tyres. And then one girl on a bike rode past on the pavement, and there was no noise at all. One single cyclist. And not even one pedestrian.

When everywhere you look you see people who think net zero 2050 is a reasonable time frame for action and that we need to replace every single fossil car with an EV, it’s easy to feel like you’re alone. I feel fortunate that there are at least a handful of people out there who truly get it and help me to stay somewhat sane in an utterly mad world. I keep thinking the worst must be over by now, but it keeps surprising me again and again. I just have to pin my hopes on the way back down from the summit of stupidity being immensely faster than the long and arduous climb the last half century has been.

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Miscellaneous

Talk about Climate Solutions (and make changes yourself)

The biggest problem with the youth climate movement right now is that there’s not enough talk about the actual solutions which we can implement in our own lives as well as from a political and business standpoint. The science is clear. And we have to unite behind it. But people don’t know what that means, and this is still the biggest stumbling block. I want to focus on individual action and list all the things I’ve done so far. Or at least everything I can remember. Individual action is incredibly important, and I’ve realised how much recently. Just going out on the streets to protest is effective, but without voting with our wallets and our behaviours, it’s probably not going to cause significant change in the short term. Politicians aren’t yet worried about kids who aren’t old enough to vote, and businesses are unlikely to change unless they see strong trends away from their current products or services. Or because they’re being forced by regulation, which is obviously less likely due to the previous problem I just mentioned.

Here’s everything I’ve done so far:

  • Decided not to have kids (obviously we need people in the future, just less than now. And I don’t want to put any kids I could have through our likely disastrous future)
  • Cut out red meat entirely and cut back on chicken and fish
  • Insulated home
  • Switched to green energy supplier
  • Bought an EV (smaller / more efficient the better)
  • Cycle (buy a nice bike or e-bike. You’ll thank yourself for it)
  • Bought a reusable water bottle (and don’t buy a bunch of them, just one or two)
  • Use reusable coffee cup or flask and ask Starbucks or Costa to fill them up
  • Avoid as much single use plastic as possible.
  • Switched to LED lightbulbs (Philips Hue)
  • Don’t buy stuff I don’t need
  • Limit new technology purchases where I can. I still have my iPhone 6 (2014) and iPad Air (2013), original Apple Watch (2015). Need to replace them all soonish though. But 5 years is a good lifespan for tech. Don’t buy a new one every year or two.
  • Buy only digital games and other media.

If many more of us did these and other things, it would be impossible for governments to ignore the calls for massively increased climate action.

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Miscellaneous

What Happens Now After The IPCC Report?

There’s going to be more news coverage on climate. There will be far less tolerance of denialism and more pressure on governments to act. But will anything change quickly? Probably not.

I think governments like ours in the U.K. will maybe do something positive. Some small gesture to shut us environmentalists up, or attempt to. But they will not change tack and immediately shut down coal plants, stop pushing fracking, scrap nuclear power station plans and start building onshore wind and battery storage.

They won’t acknowledge the climate crisis as a crisis and act accordingly. The only way that could happen would be if everyone gets together to put them under pressure. But that hasn’t been the case so far and there aren’t many signs of that changing quickly enough to make a big enough impact.

I talk to quite a few people at work about climate, and Brexit, and US politics etc. They’re all left leaning people around my age or less. And only one of them voted in the EU referendum or prior general elections. They complain about how Brexit will likely screw everything up, make things more expensive, damage our environment even more, and have no real positive impact at all. But they didn’t make their opinion count at the polling station.

It’s incredibly frustrating to know how different the result could have been. I don’t believe for a second that there are any leave voters that didn’t vote. But remain voters on the other hand. We are talking about a huge number that didn’t turn up for Britain.

When right wingers talk about the will of the people, they don’t mention this. They don’t mention the fact that the electorate is not a static thing. The people who will vote in a second referendum are not the same as the people who voted in 2016.

But going back to climate change. I think that the net is closing in on the deniers. The corrupt governments of the world cannot continue to run amok in the way they have done. Every year, every month, every day even, the world is going more progressive. And their days in power are numbered. It might not seem like it with the Kavanaugh travesty, the horrific front runner in Brazil’s election etc. But we are getting there.

Now that we have a very clear idea of what the state of play is, and what needs to be done, thanks to the IPCC report. It makes it much easier to hold governments to account. So every year, we’ll know exactly what has been done and who’s failing to address the crisis. The scientists can single out bad governments.

The issue is that we’re extremely short on time. By the time the next one of these reports comes out, what will it say? Get off your fucking asses and do something right now? That seems honestly not too far from reality. Such is the madness of the plight we’re in. You see these reports, and you get energised. You go outside and see everyone just driving around in their big SUVs, and you’re perplexed. Have these people seen the same report as me?

We just have to be patient, and wait for the next, even more dire warning. Because people truly do not get it. STILL. THEY DO NOT COMPREHEND THIS CRISIS.