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Gen X has survived its gloomy formative years Now we will have

first_img Share | Pick Report | Pick Report 7 8 16 17 Wed 20 Feb 2019 19.08 EST Last modified on Thu 21 Feb 2019 01.28 EST 21 Feb 2019 11:32 Facebook Reply And there are plenty who have never owned a house. 21 Feb 2019 11:48 But first, handouts for wealthy, entitled baby boomers. Share on Facebook The flipside of the irony and gloom that characterised Gen X culture may be a kind of pragmatic resilience Reply Facebook Report To the extent that the world looks to the old for wisdom, we will be in the hot seat. What will we do? What advice can we give? We may be better prepared for it than we imagine.For one, some of us have been hearing about climate change since we were schoolchildren. We are far less likely to deny the realities of what is happening than our predecessors. (Research in the US suggests an age gap on climate change – only 31% of 65+ Americans in 2015 believed it was happening due to human activity, whereas majorities did in all age groups under 50).So we may be more prepared to recommend or support radical solutions in a way that our complacent elders have not.We also have a radical political history of our own, which the culture has not memorialised, which too many of us have forgotten, and which we may be able to draw on.In 1992, LA erupted in response to police violence. Throughout the 1990s, the pioneers of third-wave and intersectional feminism challenged all expressions of misogyny, patriarchy and homophobia. ‘In Generation X, Douglas Coupland identified the mandatory veneration of the 1960s as “legislated nostalgia”.’ Photograph: Joern Pollex/Getty Images for Konica Minolta Facebook Reply We seem to be picking up pace Erik, more like a jog than a walk. | Pick Share on Facebook Report Facebook Given that all of these generational names are just marketing labels, and that Gen X was initially labelled so because it seemed to have no defining characteristic…perhaps its time to retire them? As humans, we’re all obsessed with patterns – hence the continued popularity of astrology. We look for similarities, and hence identify with these exceedingly hazy labels. Apart from the shared timeframes, economic and social environment, is there really anything that binds the so-called “generations” together? Particularly as the concepts are used universally in the West, but the variables and conditions in countries vary so widely during these time periods.While I do share the feeling of impending doom…I feel this cuts across generations! I’m not sure you can blame Baby Boomers for their relative affluence and privilege, any more than you can blame the whole previous generation for WW2 and so on and so forth. We will need all the wealthfare clawed back then, not just the franking credits and the removal of part of the capital gains tax discount. Fully reinstate the CGT and a price on carbon please. Share on Facebook Share Facebook Given its more cramped and gloomy formative years, can Generation X age more gracefully? Once again, the answer may come in the midst of circumstances we would not have chosen, given the chance. The tests ahead are sterner than those that any generation has faced in some time.Generation X will grow to old age in a world which (it seems inevitable now) will be ravaged by the effects of climate change. We may be the last to grow old in anything resembling a stable form of modern civilisation.The stresses currently warping politics in liberal democracies are set to become worse. There will be more refugees as a result of climate change, and the refugee crisis may hit even closer to home: parts of Australia and the American south-west will be effectively uninhabitable. Some places are almost there already.Our economies are likely to be irreparably damaged as cities and towns are repeatedly pounded by storms, wildfires and floods. We may not be able to grow enough food — we may even have trouble pollinating some food plants due to the decline of insects.As resource constraints increase, so will conflicts over them. Wars of all kinds – civil, global – will be more likely in a world turning upside down. A new book by David Wallace-Wells, The Uninhabitable Earth, spells out all of the likely consequences in detail.The boomers can take comfort in the fact that most of them will be dead before the worst of this arrives from the middle of the century. Generation X will likely face dire crises in what may otherwise have been its golden years. Those of us with children have even more to worry about. When we understood, early, that we may not do as well as our parents did, we didn’t know the half of it. Share on Twitter Twitter Share via Email Facebook Reply ildfluer Members of the Rainforest Action Network drop a banner, protesting the World Trade Organisation meetings in Seattle on 29 November 1999. Photograph: Barry Sweet/AP Share on Twitter Twitter GGHH74 21 Feb 2019 14:41 Reply Climate change 25 Opinion CatsOfLove In 1992, LA erupted in response to police violence. Throughout the 1990s, the pioneers of third-wave and intersectional feminism challenged all expressions of misogyny, patriarchy and homophobia. If the boomers had the abortive revolution of 1968, we had 1999 and 2000. In Seattle, at Woomera and in Melbourne, an anti-authoritarian, leftwing protest politics was enacted which was unconnected to authoritarian state socialism, and had nothing to do with the cold war. Facebook Share on Twitter 23 24 Reply Bradtheunveiler Facebook Share on Messenger Share on Facebook | Pick Show 7 more replies 21 Feb 2019 12:12 Jump to comment Facebook Twitter 21 Feb 2019 11:53 Guardian Pick MsPandora Jump to comment Share Share on Facebook Share on Twitter “we may be more prepared to recommend or support radical solutions in a way that our complacent elders have not.” But not work & pay for ….. Facebook leon depope Report Share on Facebook 21 Feb 2019 13:13 Twitter Share Share on Twitter Twitter Share on Twitter 21 Feb 2019 11:15 Reply RJander Share 21 Feb 2019 14:39 21 Feb 2019 12:04 Share on Twitter Facebook 21 Feb 2019 12:00 21 Feb 2019 11:11 CatsOfLove AwakenstoEmptiness Reply This means that, as of 2019, the entire generational cohort has entered the broadly recognised parameters of middle age; the oldest Gen-Xers are now in their mid-50s, and some now eligible to cash in whatever superannuation they might have managed to accumulate.The next stop is old age. What will we do with it? Many boomers have failed the test of ageing gracefully. That generation’s youth has endlessly been replayed to the rest of us as a moment of near-revolutionary exuberance (in his book Generation X, Douglas Coupland identified the mandatory veneration of the 1960s as “legislated nostalgia”).But now, some boomers have hardened; too many are shouty Facebook uncles or Nimby aunts. Not all boomers are reactionary, or economically privileged, of course. But disproportionately it is boomers – especially white boomers – who elected their generational counterpart Donald Trump president of the United States. Also, boomers disproportionately voted in favour of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union. AwakenstoEmptiness Twitter RogerComstock Share Facebook Report Share on Facebook Twitter | Pick | Pick Share on Facebook | Pick Share 21 Feb 2019 12:59 Facebook Share on Facebook CharlesWilsonJohnson Share Twitter 25 26 4 5 21 Feb 2019 13:04 Show 1 more reply Twitter As a baby-boomer it’s lucky I am not sensitive!! I have voted left all my life because of the experiences I have had. Gen x now outnumbers us by quite by a margin and seems intent on blaming us for everything. You are being drawn into the web of blaming someone else as you feel you yourself could not possibly be to blame for anything. You did not turn out in numbers to defeat Trump or other right-wing nut jobs around the world and are paying the price.Who you vote for actually counts and years of saying “They are all corrupt” has allowed the presen political condition to flourish. Look for another excuse please. Share Share on Twitter Twitter The flipside of the irony and gloom that characterised Generation X culture may be, if we can maintain it, a kind of pragmatic resilience. We have survived. Any future that may be left to us is a bonus. We were never really in charge anyway, so let’s keep rolling with the punches. Share on Facebook | Pick 9 10 Share Move over, millennials and Gen Z – here comes Generation Alpha Share on Twitter 36 37 GGHH74 | Pick Share on Twitter Twitter Erik Frederiksen Nobody in their right mind should vote LNP period.I have never voted for the corrupt filth and I am in my 60’s. Share on Facebook Reply Yep. I’m sick of the relentless baby-boomer bashing in The Guardian. Guardian Pick 71 72 Reply Share Share on Facebook zoerib Facebook Facebook I can’t wait for the striking schoolchildren to grab the reins of power Share 21 Feb 2019 13:41 AwakenstoEmptiness Share on Facebook 6 7 Facebook Loading comments… Trouble loading? JosephMcD84 71 72 Facebook Share on Twitter Reply Twitter | Pick 21 Feb 2019 Unfortunately the Gen X legacy of Identity politics put the last nail in any hope for Climate Change united action.Breaking news: Tribalism & majority social responsibility don’t go hand in hand… Reply Report 14 15 Share on Twitter Twitter Share Share on Facebook Facebook Suzanne Moore 21 Feb 2019 11:42 Reply | Pick Share on Twitter 0 1 AwakenstoEmptiness 8 9 Facebook Reply Wot? The oldest Gen X person this year is 58 years old. The youngest is 38. I am not intending to be a ghost. I am, and will continue to be a fighter for a fairer more just humanity. Although I recognised the emerging planetary emergency decades ago, for so long most people I know, both within my family and outside, have told me I was “alarmist” or “extreme” – now the things I was most concerned about decades ago are mainstream issues. Facebook Show 2 more replies Share on Twitter 21 Feb 2019 11:51 Twitter Reply Share Twitter 6 7 Most importantly we must, as we age, know when to exhibit what may be our best trait, and a skill that the boomers never mastered. We must remember when to fade into the background, when to let others say their piece. We should endeavour to become, where circumstances require it, like ghosts. 6DCC38AC14 21 Feb 2019 14:06 21 Feb 2019 20 21 You mean using a pencil to rewind the tape? I’m an old Xer. Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter | Pick 21 Feb 2019 13:42 21 Feb 2019 14:28 Report 21 Feb 2019 11:36 17 18 sorrentina Report Share Fred1 Facebook Balthazars Reuse this content,View all comments > Twitter 21 Feb 2019 13:59 Facebook Report 21 Feb 2019 11:41 | Pick That may be but somehow it doesn’t appear that way. Gen X has survived its gloomy formative years. Now we will have to deal with climate change Share on Twitter Share on Twitter Share Report 30 31 | Pick Report RogerComstock Bradtheunveiler Consigliere1 zigzagzig Of course it is that way. One only need to get out and talk to them. But first, handouts for my parents/grandparents. As the last who remember the cold war, who were adults as the war on terrorism began, it is up to us to remind people why they must resist such solutions. It is up to us to preserve, as long as we can, the memory of what flourished in the gaps during the 1990s as the world transitioned from one system to another. I remember being in my teens when I first began hearing about climate change (I’m an older Xer). Perhaps I come from a family that has always taken science seriously, but I understood then that this was very real, and very scary. I also knew that governments would be unwilling to do much about it. It was a key reason for me deciding not to have children. I’m very glad now I made that choice. The effects of climate change are happening way more rapidly than we thought back in the early to mid 1980s and as I predicted governments do very little to address it. I’m deeply sad for future generations, but to be honest it’s the rest of the animal kingdom that really breaks my heart. Every problem we face today is man-made, yet it’s the rest of nature that suffers most – widespread extinction, cruelty, brutal killings of endangered species by the desperate and the despicable. What a world! Share Twitter If the boomers had the abortive revolution of 1968, we had 1999 and 2000. In Seattle, at Woomera and in Melbourne, an anti-authoritarian, leftwing protest politics was enacted which was unconnected to authoritarian state socialism, and had nothing to do with the cold war. On its own terms, much of it found short-term success – the police were outwitted in the Battle of Seattle by technology-enhanced protesters; the Woomera protests contributed to the centre’s closure, although the policy of immigration detention remains in place and is harsher than ever.This protest wave was interrupted by 9/11, the so-called war on terror, and the subsequent ramping up of security states around the world.There will be plenty of authoritarian solutions preferred for what’s coming down the pike. Eco-fascism is on the march; its solution to the climate crisis is genocide. “Normal” conservatives will seek to build walls and detain or refoul the desperate, and if recent history is any guide, the centre-left will dutifully maintain them. The radical left, too, has succumbed to the temptation of authoritarianism in the past in the face of perceived disorder and subversion.As the last who remember the cold war, who were adults as the war on terrorism began, it is up to us to remind people why they must resist such solutions. It is up to us to preserve, as long as we can, the memory of what flourished in the gaps during the 1990s as the world transitioned from one system to another.The flipside of the irony and gloom that characterised Generation X culture may be, if we can maintain it, a kind of pragmatic resilience. We have survived. Any future that may be left to us is a bonus. We were never really in charge anyway, so let’s keep rolling with the punches.Most importantly we must, as we age, know when to exhibit what may be our best trait, and a skill that the boomers never mastered. We must remember when to fade into the background, when to let others say their piece. We should endeavour to become, where circumstances require it, like ghosts.• Jason Wilson is a Guardian writer and columnist Share on Facebook Wow. Reading this article is like listening to some dreary mid-90s post-grunge record: nihilistic, monotonously going over the same ground, and yet, not really going anywhere. You really need to get out of Portland, Oregon, Mr Wilson. Try sunny San Diego. That way, as an Australian columnist, you can at least have the same weather as the people you are writing for, even if you no longer live among us. Facebook … in our natural world, we refuse to turn away from the climate catastrophe and species extinction. For The Guardian, reporting on the environment is a priority. We give reporting on climate, nature and pollution the prominence it deserves, stories which often go unreported by others in the media. At this pivotal time for our species and our planet, we are determined to inform readers about threats, consequences and solutions based on scientific facts, not political prejudice or business interests.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on Twitter Share Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Reply Fred1 Social trends Reply Twitter In 1990 the first report from the IPCC was published. Since then our emissions have increased globally by 60 percent. As difficult as this is to imagine, we are walking into this mess with our eyes open. ‘Grunge aestheticised the conditions of unemployed dirtbaggery that the 1990s forced upon us.’ Photograph: Paul Bergen/Redferns | Pick Reply zoerib Share on Facebook Report comments (99)Sign in or create your Guardian account to join the discussion. Share on Facebook | Pick Shares381381 | Pick There is no more entrepreneurial generation than our Gen X. We were outsiders so we make our own rules. We are about to have our chance – research shows that the most successful organisations are typical founded by those in their late 40’s to late 50’s. Climate change and myriad other global challenges give us the market and cultural permission to disrupt everything – and so we shall! Share 7 8 5 6 21 Feb 2019 11:42 Report “Increasingly, the science suggests that many of the impacts are occurring earlier and with greater amplitude than was predicted,” Mann said, after considering new research since the milestone of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment, which served as the scientific basis for the Paris Agreement. “We have literally, in the space of a year, doubled our assessment of the potential sea level rise we could see by the end of this century. That is simply remarkable. And it is sobering,” he said.” Report Phoenix1122 Report Share on Facebook Share on Facebook Sam Nelson 21 Feb 2019 14:25 Report Report VettelCrashes Erik Frederiksen Facebook Gilluca Twitter Hotspringer Share on Facebook 6 7 Twitter Report Reply AwakenstoEmptiness Share Share on Twitter Facebook Facebook No use protesting, Gill – according to Guardian logic, you are personally responsible for Brexit, the election of Donald Trump, and climate change. Not only that, but you were born – not with a silver spoon in your mouth – but a free house, free education, a stable job and, if you were fortunate enough to be born in the Lucky Country, all the franking credits you could poke a stick at. 21 Feb 2019 11:59 CatsOfLove jeroenspeculaas zoerib If all else fails give a millennial a cassette tape and a pencil, 30 seconds on the clock to work out how they are connected or the phone signal gets cut. 14 15 Twitter | Pick Share on LinkedIn Monkeybiz Gen X, Gen Y and the Millennials are being left a shit sandwich sure enough.Meanwhile the LNP “champion” debt free million dollar home owning oldies getting tax free incomes greater than most peoples wages. And they want tax refunds as well!And are leaving an enormous climate change mess to clean up.Nobody in their right mind under 50 should vote LNP. DunningKruger 21 Feb 2019 13:31 View more comments 21 Feb 2019 11:56 zoerib Report 21 Feb 2019 13:07 19 20 36 37 Share on Facebook And remember some boomers own a house because they spent 40 years working to pay for it. It doesn’t happen miraculously. Report 21 Feb 2019 12:31 zigzagzig Report Share Report | Pick 21 Feb 2019 13:53 Twitter Twitter Share Facebook | Pick Twitter Reply | Pick Please select Personal abuse Off topic Legal issue Trolling Hate speech Offensive/Threatening language Copyright Spam Other Monkeybiz 13 14 21 Feb 2019 13:50 MsPandora Who needs a pencil to do that? You can just do it with your finger. Share on Facebook Share Twitter Twitter Share on Twitter Twitter Share Report Consigliere1 | Pick ValleyGrl MadgeIsntBoomer Reply Share | Pick The baby boomers gave us Trump and Brexit. Can my generation age more gracefully? Interestingly, the ozone hole over Antarctica has contributed to reducing the warming there. As that hole closes up, Antartica will warm more rapidly. Report | Pick 16 17 Twitter Share on Facebook | Pick | Pick 14 15 Share on Facebook Twitter Twitter LordMondrake Twitter Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Report Share 2 3 Scott Morrison is Generation X. Stew on that. As a Generation X myself I have actually moved away (tried to) from falling back on lazy tropes and clickbait pieces that newspapers trot out regularly about different generations – “boomers vs millennials vs generation x” etc. Indeed I remember some of the old generation x cliches that were trotted out in the 90s which are just simply being regurgitated for the same age bracket now. But really get us nowhere. In my opinion the issue is class not age. Years of neoliberal supply side economics has caused rising inequality in Australia and in no way are boomers or gen x or millenials or whatever immune. Many boomers, for example, live and will live in poverty. Let’s ditch the tired generational labels. 21 Feb 2019 13:08 Twitter Facebook Facebook WombatDreaming Chris oneill Reply 22 23 Report Mate judging by your profile photo there is no way you were born in my generation you look as old as my father. Topics AwakenstoEmptiness Share on Twitter Reply A bit of history. The Great Crash of 1929 was due to unregulated markets called ‘classical economics.’ The British economist John Maynard Keynes said the solution was governments to have some control over the economy with their fiscal and monetary policies. Due to World War II governments took more control over people’s lives. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s full employment was accepted by all political parties because memories of the Great Depression were prevalent.The new generations had no experience of the Depression. Full employment, owning your own home were taken for granted. The free marketeers such as Friedrich von Hayek and Milton Friedman were beavering away with their ideology. Economic rationalism was a reversion to deregulated capitalism: profits before everything else.The boomers were just lucky to be born when they were. The forces that shape society are beyond individuals.People have to organise to improve the situation. It won’t happen by itself. 21 Feb 2019 13:24 Report Facebook Show 3 more replies | Pick Reply 12 13 28 29 21 Feb 2019 13:18 25 26 30 31 Facebook Share on Facebook Share on Facebook misterwildcard 5 6 Twitter Twitter Share on Facebook Share Report Report Facebook Just spent 2 weeks in Oz for work. I have to say that the media here are some of the most mishonest, reactionary and right wing that I’ve seen anywhere. The stories seem to revolve around sex scandals (normal), why coal is good, why labour are all anti Semitic, why everything should be done for farmers and why a change of government would Rob retirees of their nest eggs. But what rabid language. Article after article demonizing the young and protecting the boomers. This country has a life threatening case of newscorpitis. Needs urgent surgery imho. Otherwise, nice place. Apart from the alcoholism. Reply Share Guardian Pick Reply RJander Read more | Pick Comments 99 Read more misterwildcard Share on Facebook Contact author Yes, that is what I am going to sound like and no apologies. Nothing else matters. Twitter Twitter Most importantly we must, as we age, know when to exhibit what may be our best trait, and a skill that the boomers never mastered. Facebook Share on Facebook Monkeybiz | Pick | Pick 21 Feb 2019 13:06 Facebook Reply Share on Twitter 100 RJander 30 31 Twitter 21 Feb 2019 13:23 I thought we were only allocated a decade and a half according to the article. You speak in riddles but are not funny. TheCedarRoom Show 1 more reply Report misterwildcard 21 Feb 2019 13:16 21 Feb 2019 11:34 All 20 21 Reply Well played. The other thing I find curious is this constant waiting on baby boomers to die. I’m not a baby boomer but my parents are and, call me sentimental, I can’t say I’m in any rush to see them go! But this is the thing about breaking things into tribes. Whether we’re turning on other races or ages, it’s all about de-personalising the “other” so we can blame someone else. Presumably moaning G-X’ers, millenials and Whatever-am-I-als all have parents many of whom are baby boomers. I wonder do they blame their own parents or just “other people’s parents”. I want my parents to live but those lot over there to die. The main reason for this impatience is of course the advances in modern medicine which have blessed us all with living longer. One of the downsides to living longer is that everything gets drawn out. I’m making shit up now but for Baby Boomers the model was basically: 20-30 Get a job, get married, buy a house, have children30-65 Work65 Retire. For later generations that’s all been pushed back by at least 10 years: 20-30 study and travel30-40 Get a job, get married, those lucky enough buy a house and use IVF to have children40-75 Work75 Retire. There’s a good chance that people may become first time buyers (if at all) in their 50s when the sad day comes that our parents can no longer be with us. We will get there eventually. We just have to be patient. Due to modern medicine you see. Share on Twitter https://insideclimatenews.org/news/26122017/climate-change-science-2017-year-review-evidence-impact-faster-more-extreme Email (optional) 20 21 Share Fred1 misterwildcard Share on Facebook | Pick This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our community standards. Replies may also be deleted. For more detail see our FAQs. Share on Twitter Those of us in High School in the 1980s knew about climate change. For some reason the Liberal Party, and its older demographic base, like to pretend: that (a) its not happening (b) its a marxist conspiracy (c) we shouldnt have to adjust our energy, transport or agricultural systems to mitigate it. I guess the last thing you want to admit if you live near the water is that your house is an insurance risk? Twitter comment Reply Share on Facebook Facebook | Pick 3 4 Be that climate nag. Our lives depend on it. 21 Feb 2019 11:24 45 46 It would appear that boomers are very selfish and don’t care that we perceive them as such. Share Close report comment form 21 Feb 2019 12:06 | Pick CatsOfLove Twitter Share Report Bradtheunveiler Ageism is as bad as racism or sexism or any other discrimination . Bigots are bigots. Erik Frederiksen Report Share on Facebook @jason_a_w Facebook Twitter Share on Twitter | Unpick Generational politics is bullshit, but a Gen X guy would say that. I sometimes wonder, though, whether whatever is distinctive in my generation’s experience (and haunting our minds) might have something to offer the future.After a brief flurry of interest in the 1990s, thinkpieces on my demographic quickly waned. There were never that many of us; the meat in the sandwich was and is meagre.Tired of their younger cousins and brothers, around the turn of the century, boomer pundits pivoted to an obsession with their millennial children. Those children stared back at them with mostly well-founded resentment. Both sides continue to have this out, ad nauseam.This oedipal struggle has tended to crowd us out; as the New Yorker writer Emily Nussbaum pointed out, Generation X is now sometimes forgotten altogether in articles pondering generational difference. In a tweet Nussbaum called our generation “gloomy, curmudgeonly ghosts”. By trying to relieve the gloom with a self-deprecating wisecrack, she exemplified another generational tic. We need to learn about how country’s finances work….. (Hint: taxes didn’t pay for the war effort or much else). The main thing we need to do is to make climate change front and centre at election time, no matter what level of government we are dealing with and no matter what country we are in. In order to achieve that we need to build up grassroots pressure and be visible, audible and legible on this issue at every possible occasion. This applies to your private and your professional life. Be that climate nag. Our lives depend on it. | Pick Twitter Generational inequality 21 Feb 2019 13:51 Share on Twitter LordMondrake Share Share on Facebook Share on Facebook Share | Pick | Pick 21 Feb 2019 12:08 Share | Pick | Pick 9 10 TheCedarRoom Share on Twitter Pinterest | Pick 23 24 Reply | Pick Share Facebook Reply Erik Frederiksen Share 21 Feb 2019 13:26 Facebook Show 3 more replies Twitter At least we get to kick back, watch TV and get high, secure in the knowledge we will never be burdened with property or power. jeroenspeculaas Share on Facebook Share on Facebook Reply | Pick Report | Pick 24 25 Sam Nelson 21 Feb 2019 12:30 1 Share on Twitter Facebook Twitter Share Sign in or create your Guardian account to recommend a comment Share Facebook Reply | Unpick Reply Report 21 Feb 2019 14:14 Reply Not clear on how you have uni debt at 45 unless you spent around 15 years studying and haven’t worked since. I managed to do a 7 year degree that set me back 10k starting in the mid 90s Share on Facebook Share on Twitter 21 Feb 2019 12:09 Share on WhatsApp Reply Hotspringer Do you want a prize? Share on Twitter Twitter Facebook CatsOfLove | Pick Show 5 more replies Share on Twitter 21 Feb 2019 14:39 Twitter | Pick Reply Twitter I’ve got an idea……the Great Sacrifice….. If we’re going to tackle climate change we need to unite people behind a single objective. The war generation had a single objective – winning the war. Everything was viewed in relation to that one goal. People sacrificed their lives and their money for that one goal. Today that is how that generation is defined. We look upon that generation with gratitude and respect. They sacrificed themselves so that we could live in freedom. Our generation has the chance to be remembered in the same way. Except the sacrifice we make will not involve dying. It will simply involve re-adjusting our lives. We won’t even need to get anywhere close to the level of rationing that the WW2 generation reached. And we will be remembered fondly for it. We could call this period The Great Sacrifice (don’t forget the capital T). For a sustained period of 5 to 10 years our generation will declare a world war on climate change. Every man, woman and people who identify as neither will work towards this one goal. Here’s what some countries spent in WW2 dollars: 1. U.S : $296 billion (roughly $4,104 billion dollars today)2. Germany : $272 billion3. Britain : $120 billion4. Soviet Union : $192 billion5. Italy : $94 billion6. Japan : $56 billion. How did they afford this? Well because governments with their own currencies can afford lots of stuff but also because all resources, all spending, everything was directed to the war effort. Imagine this money being thrown at the war against climate change? What would that look like: Some of the solutions are just about putting in the hard yards. Nearly every building needs new insulation so we just need to get on and do it. In Australia we need to paint the roofs of houses a brighter colour. [Go the war effort] Some the solutions require existing or emerging technology like smart meters, new battery technology, new sources of power etc. So for this we just need to get on and innovate. Some of the solutions require a whole new forms of science and technology. This would require bringing all of the finest minds together to deal with this one challenge. A global Manhattan Project. We need new developments in food production (e.g. lab grown food), new types of cities (domed and floating cities) and, yes, colonisation of Mars or another planet. There’s 7.5b people and counting on this planet and that is one of the main causes of climate change. We need another planet. Like the actual world wars, it is not guaranteed that we will win the climate change world war. We may never be able to get off this planet. But by god can we try. If we try and fail then future generations might look at us like the Gallipoli generation. But if don’t try at all, well, we’ll be viewed like the generation of Germans from the 1930s to 1950s. Our choice. This relative invisibility has had many consequences. One is that, while the economic plight of millennials has been considered at length, the difficulties of Generation X, which in some ways paralleled or even prefigured them, have received less attention.My sliver of Generation X (I’m 45) exited high school into the early 1990s recession. The oldest Xers did the same a decade earlier. On the way to Brisbane for university back then, I remember that each provincial Queensland town I passed through looked like a bomb had hit it. After a brief moment where the same towns were full of jet skis and new utes, post-boom, post-flood, many have now returned to their former state.This was formative: I for one never expected to find a real job. (Outside a few brief stretches, this expectation has been met).Although Generation X were the last to taste the fruits of postwar, middle-class stability in advanced economies, they were also the first to see major elements of it snatched away – especially in Australia.In Australia, after 1989, we didn’t receive a free higher education as many baby boomers did (I still have student debt). We were the first whose adult lives unfolded entirely under the cold skies of a “reformed” neoliberal economy, with weakened worker power and radically diminished job security (not to mention social security). We were the first not to exceed their parents in terms of many markers of wealth and success. Share Report 21 Feb 2019 13:19 Facebook Share Share on Twitter Report 57 58 Jason, you talk about Gen Xers having a radical political history of our own, but you’ve left out the biggest one: the AIDS epidemic and the radical queer activism that came out of it. Every LGBTIQ Gen Xer who came out as a young adult was confronted by HIV/AIDS and the failure of political will that left thousands of us to die. I’m 53 now and my life is still shaped by it. As the crisis escalates… Share | Pick This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our community standards. Replies may also be deleted. For more detail see our FAQs. Reply Facebook Order by oldest Report Reply | Pick 21 Feb 2019 11:40 Share Share on Twitter Report You cannot preserve in the minds of all the lessons of the past and at the same time fade into the background. Of course, the caveat “where circumstances require it” is the catch. But you can read ‘where circumstances require it’ as ‘impossible to discern’, for practical purposes. For that reason, I hope gen x finds its voice and does not lose it anytime soon. Report Share on Pinterest Fred1 Fred1 Runerunner Share Share on Twitter MsPandora Share on Facebook Many of them believe God will save us – and I am being serious. I worked for a company run by Mormons (no, don’t go there) and they honestly believed that God’s will had more impact on their business and our planet than their own decisions or anything ‘man’ did. Furthermore and more worryingly, they believed that He would save them before any catastrophe would happen. This is engrained in them.Look at our wonderful leader – Morrison – a right wing, religious nut.I still maintain, a belief in God should ban you from politics. Full stop. There is too much at stake to have decisions made by people who think they are getting advice from a mystical being in the sky. Twitter Share | Pick expanded | Pick uptherecrazies Report Jason Wilson recommendations 21 22 Reply misterwildcard Share zigzagzig | Pick 8 9 Share on Facebook Share NoLegends Yes, Jason should get a haircut and a proper job. Facebook I’m the same age as you- and in the late 80’s and early 90’s as an adolescent- I became convinced the world was heading towards ecological catastrophe. The writing was already well and truly on the wall. Here we are nearly 30 years later- and my bleak pessimism has only been confirmed. And still- even as the Sky rains Blood and the Horns of the Apocalypse sound- there are many who are blind as we hurtle towards the precipice. Notably are despicable Government. Twitter Reply Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Reply Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Bradtheunveiler | Pick Share 20 21 Report Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Facebook Please, please believe not all baby-boomers are the same. I HATE what the old farts are doing to the UK. I HATE that those who buy into fear-mongering are going down the LNP trash route. We’ve lived in our 2 bed house for 31 yrs – no plans for leaving. We have no govt pension. We AREN’T sucking the life out of your aspirations. If only we could get more of your generation to actually CARE and get involved maybe we could make things better. 12 13 Fred1 Twitter Share on Twitter Share Share Share on Facebook Monkeybiz 39 40 Shhhhh…..! Report Show 25 Facebook sorrentina Share Twitter unthreaded Share on Facebook He might be an x by birth but I’ll bet he didn’t spend the 90s listening to Nirvana.. Cliff Richard maybe. Share on Facebook Share via Email Report Reply mintslice Share on Facebook 21 Feb 2019 11:06 Reply Reply To the extent that Generation X received much attention, it was during this period: the time when we — and our designated generational representatives — were declaring ourselves creeps, losers, slackers. It may have displaced analysis away from the structural causes of our failure to economically thrive, but there are worse coping strategies.Other more militant expressions of disenfranchisement that were not simply generational appeared in hip-hop. NWA’s records anticipated the grimness of much of the alt-rock boom but transmitted the devastated post-Reagan social landscape of the United States much more vividly. Hip-hop was also more specifically targeted for censorship in the wake of the Los Angeles riots. During the 1990s Australia’s pop culture institutions, such as Triple J mostly shut out hip-hop altogether.The achievement in all of this cultural expression was to take seriously the idea that there may be no golden future. Some of it questioned the idea that there may be any future at all.Unfortunately (for some of us at least) a future has after all arrived. According to most definitions that offer precise generational boundaries, Generation X are those born between the mid-1960s and the late 1970s. (Boomers and millennials even get to inhabit larger slices of time, with two decades apiece). EddieLL 21 Feb 2019 11:11 Share on Facebook Twitter | Pick AwakenstoEmptiness LordMondrake Share on Facebook In the lead up to an election most countries seem pretty whacky to the outsider, as civility is put aside for political gain. The US and UK seem positively bonkers at the moment, and have done for a good while. Getting out and hanging with the locals usually takes the edges off the sharp one sided (non)arguments found in the media, and we realise it’s not such a bad place (whatever modern democracy one happens to have landed in). Share on Twitter RJander Share Report Facebook Consigliere1 Share on Twitter Report Share on Facebook I remember being in my teens when I first began hearing about climate change (I’m an older Xer). Perhaps I come from a family that has always taken science seriously, but I understood then that this was very real, and very scary. I also knew that governments would be unwilling to do much about it. It was a key reason for me deciding not to have children. I’m very glad now I made that choice. The effects of climate change are happening way more ra… Share on Facebook We have also had to wait longest for the boomers to leave the stage. Way back in 1997, Mark Davis’s Gangland spelled out the stranglehold that baby boomers retained on Australian cultural life. Sadly, while the book expressed the feelings of a generation, it didn’t change much. Even now, many of the commanding heights of the culture are still in the possession of a generation that refuses to retire, despite Gen Xers entering what would ordinarily be understood as their late career.As was pointed out in a recent episode of US-based The Nostalgia Trap podcast, those early economic travails may be what gives so much of the youth culture of the 1990s – the only decade that Generation X can really call its own – a distinctive, depressive quality.Grunge – both the Seattle-born musical genre and the short-lived Australian literary movement – aestheticised the conditions of unemployed dirtbaggery that the 1990s forced upon us.Praise, the ur-grunge-lit novel by recently deceased Brisbane writer Andrew McGahan, blankly told the story of Gordon, a man who lives in a boarding house, and drifted drunk and aimless through his life. Gordon can’t be described as a failure because there’s little indication that he’s really trying. 9 10 Show 1 more reply Share on Twitter Share on Twitter Reply Bradtheunveiler Gilluca Entitled to work hard and under less regulated conditions. Entitled drive less safe cars and use less capable health services. Entitled to grow up under cold war and rebuild many war ravaged countries. Entitled to have a fraction of today’s technology at their disposal. Entitled to less safe and much more expensive air travel. Entitled to less equality between races, genders and other minorities. Entitled to less social security and higher degree of old age security. Entitled to less education and career options. Are these the sorts of entitlements you are referring to? Report Share on Twitter Reply Facebook Share on Facebook Twitter | Pick Read more Pinterest Reply Share Report Guardian Pick Share Share Report 10 11 Share on Twitter TheCedarRoom Share on Twitter Pinterest Elgordo1 | Pick 21 Feb 2019 14:24 14 15 I wouldn’t say identity politics is a legacy of Gen x. There was a universalism to Gen activism with regards to equality which has been bastardised by the victimhood culture of millennials. Share on Twitter Share Facebook Twitter collapsed I suspect life gets in the way – kidlets are expensive things, I’m told. Not to mention housing. | Pick Share on Facebook Share Facebook 21 Feb 2019 12:32 Support The Guardian Share on Twitter There is no more entrepreneurial generation than our Gen X. We were outsiders so we make our own rules. We are about to have our chance – research shows that the most successful organisations are typical founded by those in their late 40’s to late 50’s. Climate change and myriad other global challenges give us the market and cultural permission to disrupt everything – and so we shall! Facebook Share on Facebook 50 7 8 newest 19 20 14 15 Sorry about that, our papers are awful, decent coffee and wine though! Share on Twitter | Pick Reply Facebook Report 21 Feb 2019 12:58 Share on Twitter Facebook Reason (optional) 17 18 Share on Twitter Share on Twitter 21 Feb 2019 11:50 So basically keep to the status quo and in a decade you will still be wondering why nothing has changed. Environmentalists have always been willing to nag, to be vocal and engage in activism, and yet the result has always been the same… If you want to motivate ordinary people into action, you need to offer them something better than a future of subsistence living and living standard regression. 21 Feb 2019 12:59 Report Climate change ‘We’ve been hearing about climate change since we were schoolchildren. We are far less likely to deny what is happening than our predecessors.’Photograph: Glenn Hunt/AAP 20 21 Opinion Consigliere1 Twitter Report People on social networks hate baby boomers (brexit, trump). Facebook 7 8 Twitter Much of which began well. These movements have since themselves become authoritarian, often without those inside even realising it, and are now a bigger risk to society than what they sought to change (or now, replace). Many of gen x, including myself, looked hopefully, even smugly, to the promise that the rapid development and widespread deployment of new technologies would solve the most the most difficult of our problems. And great strides have been made. The mistake was in thinking that they would, or even could, solve social problems. In a world of greater physical surplus, it won’t and it can’t. This: Report is somewhat incompatible with this: Twitter Share on Twitter Report Share 16 17 Facebook 1 GGHH74 Reply Share Share on Facebook 21 Feb 2019 13:40 Facebook ildfluer Reply 2 geejays 53 54 Report Share on Twitter 7 8 Share on Twitter Reply Twitter I am about the oldest Gen Xer. I remember being absolutely terrified about ozone depletion. W e fixed that. Global warming looks like it will be the end of civilization and much other life on Earth. It is mostly the animal life I grieve for as well. Share Col Stokes Reply Reply Share on Facebook Facebook 24 25 Twitter Report | Pick Report Facebook 23 24 Twitter Reply LordMondrake Share RJander Runerunner Report Reply Report 2 Show 2 more replies Twitter Threads collapsed Share on Facebook Reply Reply | Pick Any migrant with half-a-brain will tell you the same thing. Sorry there was an error. Please try again later. If the problem persists, please contact Userhelp Reply Twitter 21 Feb 2019 11:45 Share on Twitter Facebook Reply jeroenspeculaas Facebook The boomers can take comfort in the fact that most of them will be dead before the worst of this arrives from the middle of the century. Share on Twitter Erik Frederiksen Share Runerunner Share on Twitter 21 Feb 2019 13:21 | Pick Facebook MsPandora oldest Report 13 14 21 Feb 2019 13:16 21 Feb 2019 13:17 21 Feb 2019 13:13 Twitter Twitter Share on Twitter 35 36 | Pick Share on Facebook Share on Facebook Share Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Reply | Pick Report Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 2 3 The Uninhabitable Earth: A Story of the Future by David Wallace-Wells – review Share on Twitter Report 21 Feb 2019 13:04 Reply Twitter RogerComstock 21 Feb 2019 13:54 Report Facebook That’s not quite true. Most if not all, though knowing this will not affect us, agonise for our children and grandchildren.last_img read more