Of Course You (Probably*) Would!
An even more specific question: How far would you go? Would you put your life on the line for them? I don't have kids of my own, but I've heard lots of new parents pledge they'd do anything to save their babies from a deadly threat – empty their bank accounts, take up weapons, cut off their right arm(s), climb the tallest mountain – yes, even die for them. (*One mother I asked did say a pretty clear NO to the dying-for-them-option – maybe too many exhausted days with A Terrible Two ?)
Think about our parents' generation. As a Baby Boomer, I look back in awe that so many of our fathers and mothers – some still in their teens – signed up and put their lives on the line during World War II, prepared to die taking on what they saw as a mortal threat to their families, communities and country.
Right now, our kids and grandkids are facing a threat unlike any other in human history – the slowly unfolding catastrophe called climate change, with effects expected to get much, much uglier during their lifetimes. Meanwhile, millions of people in vulnerable places such as the horn of Africa, Bangladesh and on low-lying Pacific islands are already experiencing the climate consequences of higher temperatures on Earth: extreme heat-waves, super-typhoons, rising sea levels and chronic droughts. And, according the best climate science, there's a lot more to come, everywhere.
The much better news is that the worst climate consequences don't have to happen if – though it's a big if – enough of us step up, break the silence and insist on real action to solve this immense problem before it spirals out of control. Now that Canada has a federal government dedicated to climate action, and the Paris climate negotiations are history, we need to move forward FAST! And Boomers can make a crucial difference.
A bit of background: Over the past 250 years, since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, we humans in 'developed' countries have driven up the average global temperature by 1º Celsius. How? Mainly by burning fossil fuels – coal, oil and natural gas – to develop and keep our modern economies growing. One degree Celsius sounds ridiculously trivial, doesn't it? But virtually all climate scientists agree that calamities such as 'super storms', killer heat-waves and chronic droughts are growing in frequency and made more severe by this small, human-caused temperature increase. At 2ºC of warming, there's the real possibility of 'large, abrupt and irreversible climate changes', making Earth hostile to human life. (Even 1.5ºC is considered by the world's most vulnerable nations to be the absolute upper limit for warming without skirting unmanageable disasters.) At 4ºC of warming – the path we're currently on – the climate scenarios are devastating – and not just for humans, but for nearly all life on Earth...
Yes, it is scary, even overwhelming (been there). So what can we do, especially as Baby Boomers? Well, we have a choice: We can turn a deaf ear – a lot easier for some of us these days :) But forget about that: The best and only decent option is to muster our gumption to make sure all kids everywhere will inherit a livable planet. It's not too late, and it's doable. But we need lots of caring Boomers aboard to help. (If you're thinking "Who me? What can I possibly do?" go here now.)
By writing the handbook available on this web site (FREE to all my Best Baby Boomer Friends, aka BBBFs :) I'm betting on us, on the power of Boomers to use our collective clout to make a real difference. We don't have to be experts – the climate science is crystal clear. But we do have to do our part convincing politicians that acting now on climate is Job #1 – failure is simply not an option. Why focus on politicians? They're the ones with the power put in place laws & policies that will shift us quickly off dirty fossil fuels and into the new world of clean, renewable, healthy energy alternatives. Here's the best part: We already have the answers to solving this climate mess - scientists predict that by 2050 - some say sooner - all of our energy needs could be met by renewables. The only thing missing is the political will – and that's where you and I can make a big difference.
Welcome to Climate Action for Baby Boomers. If you say YES to taking action, let's get started! Click on the climate action handbook up there on the right (free as a download from this site, or $20 if you'd rather have a 'real' book in your hands, mailed anywhere in Canada). Sign up for email tips about simple, effective things we can all do. Talk to friends, neighbours – everybody – about the many solutions to climate change. One thing's 100% certain: Our silence won't save us, and definitely not them – even if they are in their Terrible Twos.