My name is Liz Armstrong (see photo down below; I'm not the one up there in pearls :) I'm an 'early wave' Baby Boomer (born 1947), and my book-with-the-world's-longest-title: A Handbook on Climate Action for Baby Boomers: How History's Most Privileged Generation Can – With Guts and Gumption – Still Leave Our Kids a Livable Planet (whew!) is a retirement project. It's my best attempt to answer a friend's exasperated question about the difficulty of acting on climate change: "It's such a huge, overwhelming issue! How do we grab hold of it to do something – anything – that will make a difference?"
Yes, it's important to shrink our personal & family 'carbon footprints' - to cut back on jet travel, take public transit instead of the car, eat more vegetables and less meat, install solar panels, upgrade home insulation, and so on. ALL good, but – no matter how energy-slender we individually become – adding these efforts up still won't be enough to curb climate change. Success means governments around the world putting in place policies that trigger a mass shift to clean, renewable energy sources, with conservation being a key - a watt saved is a watt earned. And for that to happen, citizens everywhere need to push our politicians to act, and ASAP. That's the pressure point for success...and where we Boomers can make a difference.
I'm very lucky to live in a beautiful rural area of Southwestern Ontario, near the village of Erin. I grew up beside one of Toronto's wildest ravines, and have always loved being outdoors, blessed with a lifelong sense of wonder about Nature (though not too crazy about large spiders). I'm NOT a climate scientist, though I deeply respect the work of thousands of them world-wide trying to wake us up to the climate change threat, and I take their urgent warnings very seriously.
So the question you may be asking right now - and a fair one: Why is an aging Boomer from SW Ontario with no science background writing a book for other Boomers about global warming & climate? Well, first, it's NOT a science book, although I've done my best to present the science simply and accurately (with more than a little help from knowledgeable experts and colleagues). Rather, it's a book grounded in my unshakeable belief that each one of us can do something – maybe even a lot – to make a difference, even on an issue as formidable as climate change. We definitely helped cause this crisis – even if we didn't know it early on – and we can definitely help solve it, if not for our own sake, then for everyone and everything we deeply love on this miraculous planet of ours. So it's really a motivational book, above all, with fellow Boomers the target – because we do have a whole lot of clout if we choose to use it!
I also staunchly believe in the power of positive tipping points, that the more people acting for what's good & healthy in our world, the far better the chance of our mutual success. So please come along. Who knows? Some unsung Boomer reading this, then expressing concern about the fate of their grandkids in a warming world – to a neighbour, political candidate, their boss – may turn out to be 'the small unnoticed stone that starts the avalanche that fills the (climate) abyss.'