I just heard on TV that “Millennials are a generation that never experienced prosperity.”
When I hear this kind of thing, I lose all hope that anybody would do anything on climate. If it’s acceptable to say something like this about people who have known nothing but – God, forget prosperity – obscene opulence, then it’s hopeless.
If even this kind of completely out-of-control consumerist existence is perceived as hardship and privation, if they honestly believe they don’t have enough shopping, enough consuming, enough devouring the planet, then they need a whole galaxy of planets like this one to satisfy their hunger.
And yeah, yeah, it’s relative prosperity, Boomers or Genexers or whomever supposedly had even more gewgaws, I’ve heard all that chaloimes* many times. It’s really helping the climate to nitpick about all that.
I can understand the approach of “I get that the level of consumption in the US is ridiculous and if other regions of the world try to achieve it (and why shouldn’t they?), the planet can’t sustain it. But I don’t care because I just can’t be bothered.” I’m not discussing the morality of this position, but I get it. It’s deeply cynical but at least it’s honest.
But this whole “I care deeply about the planet but what we’ve got in terms of prosperity is insufficient” is so insanely hypocritical that I don’t have words for it.
And it’s also the smug shamelessness that kills me. Go tell people from Eritrea that you never experienced prosperity. Go to Cuba, to El Salvador, go to fucking Magadan and tell people who shit in outdoor toilets at -50 degrees how you are generationally deprived of prosperity. This is colonialist mentality on steroids. And it’s precisely the mentality that despoils the planet to feed a relatively small group of spoiled brats who feel hard done by if not every whim is satisfied immediately.
And I mean, just go be who you are, whatever. But don’t pretend to care when you clearly don’t.
* It’s what we call empty blabber in Yiddish.