Year 3, Month 7, Day 30: After The Break, The 8th Anniversary Of Janet Jackson’s Nipple!

More on the “Generation X doesn’t give a shit” story, this time from U.S. News And World Report:

If each season was progressively a little bit warmer, people might be able to more easily understand climate change, but “if it’s perturbed, it’s hard for people to grasp,” he says. “I’m not sure common sense alone will ever carry the day on this. The pattern is not likely to be consistent.”

Climate change, besides being controversial, isn’t something that can be easily solved with a couple of regulatory changes, and behavioral changes today will take decades to reduce the atmosphere’s carbon levels, Miller says.

“It’s a challenging political problem because it won’t cause a lot of problems in [Generation X’s] lifetimes,” he says.

In the study, he writes that “adults have a limited attention span for public policy issues and tend to grow tired of the same issues if they persist over a number of years. This argument was made in regard to the public reaction to both the Vietnam War and the Iraq War and it may be applicable to a long-term issue such as climate change.”

So, in a world that expects quick responses to imminent problems, people are ambivalent towards climate change. Miller says that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as long as elected politicians take the long view and don’t let the issue die. According to the study, just 10 people are “doubtful” or “dismissive” about climate change, and that most are simply “disengaged.”

I wonder why that is? Sent July 19:

In an informational environment dominated by celebrity scandals and the manufactured hysteria of the 24-hour news cycle, Generation X’s dismissal of climate change is understandable if unforgivable. The difficulty of explaining statistical correlation to an audience fixated on Missing White Women means that the dangers of an accelerating greenhouse effect are still not part of the national conversation. Our media and political establishments reap profits and accrue power through exploiting America’s national case of ADD.

The NSF survey confirms that 37-40 year olds are too preoccupied with immediate issues to worry about the decades-away effects of increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and an acidifying ocean — but their troubling indifference to the issue is a single symptom of a systemic problem. When it comes to the future of our planet and our civilization, the broadcast and print media have made it easy for all of us to evade our responsibilities.

Warren Senders

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *