In recent years, youth activists have led the charge to demand action on climate change. But Bill McKibben believes young people should not have to face global warming alone.
“I’ve heard too many people say, ‘Oh, it’s up to the next generation to solve this problem.’ And that just seemed … impractical,” he says. “We don’t have 30 years for them to grow up and take the reins of power.”
McKibben is an environmental writer, activist, and the founder of Third Act, a group that organizes people over 60 to push for climate action.
Read: What baby boomers can do about climate change, according to Bill McKibben
Third Act has chapters all over the country and organizes group actions ranging from letter-writing campaigns to a recent “rocking chair sit-in,” protesting fossil fuel investments by major banks.
McKibben says older people often have plenty of free time to volunteer, and they may not worry as much about participating in civil disobedience that could get them arrested.
“One of the few unmixed blessings of growing older is, you know, past a certain point, what the hell are they going to do to you?” McKibben says.
And many older people feel a personal responsibility to fight for climate justice.
“Legacy is something very real,” McKibben says. “It’s the world you leave behind for the people you love the most. And we’re in some danger of being the first generations to leave the world a much shabbier place than we found it, and people do not want that.”
Reporting credit: Ethan Freedman/ChavoBart Digital Media