The National Geographic Greendex survey of sustainable consumption is out, and most of the 17 countries in the study have improved over the past year. In the lowest-scoring one, though, consumers are actually less concerned about the environment and think that the whole issue is being exaggerated. And a majority in that country believe their current habits are unsustainable, but they're cool with letting their grandkids deal with it.Judging by my own observations in the condominium community where I live, I have to confirm the survey's results as accurately describing my neighbors behavior. However, it appears to me that this phenomenon has little to do with age as suggested by the writer of the article. In fact, it appears to me that younger people are most negligent about recycling and sorting of recyclable materials.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up