When mil­len­ni­als go green

Panay News - - LOCAL -  By Kathren Joy B. Ofi­cial

WHEN you’re born in an era where so­cial me­dia al­most seeps through an in­di­vid­ual or so­ci­etal’s nook and cranny, may it be your per­sonal life or pub­lic, and when post­ing and cu­rat­ing your mul­ti­ple so­cial me­dia plat­forms are more im­por­tant than es­tab­lish­ing an up­close in­ter­ac­tion with your friends and fam­ily, chances are, you fall right un­der the cat­e­gory of the new gen­er­a­tion – mil­len­ni­als.

Mil­len­ni­als are of­ten looked down upon by the mul­ti­tude prej­u­diced per­cep­tions by ear­lier gen­er­a­tions. Everyone thinks they have his or her fingers on the pulse of who Mil­len­ni­als are, but very few peo­ple have an ac­tual work­ing knowl­edge of this dy­namic gen­er­a­tion. They have heard it all; com­pla­cent, lazy, spoiled, Happy – Go – Lucky, vain and a per­sonal fa­vorite – en­ti­tled. What’s more is they are be­ing overly scoffed at just by con­sum­ing way too much caf­feine or al­ways loung­ing in café’s and bars in­dulging in ei­ther boozy brunches or eat­ing heav­ily-av­o­cado-laden-every­thing food. Let’s not even start with Uber. Just be­cause Uber was con­ceived dur­ing the time of the Mil­len­ni­als does not equate their guilt to its in­cep­tion. Why, be­cause mil­len­ni­als tend to forego pub­lic trans­porta­tion in fa­vor of Uber? Who could blame them? Have you seen the state of our pub­lic trans­porta­tion nowa­days?

While it may be true to some de­gree and may ap­ply to a per­cent­age of millennial’s pop­u­la­tion, these be­hav­iors should never be­come a sweep­ing state­ment in defin­ing this naive gen­er­a­tion & ap­par­ently, the hope of our fu­ture. In fact, mil­len­ni­als are a gen­er­a­tion of in­no­va­tors and crit­i­cal thinkers, tasked with un­rav­el­ing com­plex chal­lenges and prob­lems pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions have never had to strug­gle with dur­ing their younger days. Fun­da­men­tal to these prob­lems is the loom­ing and in­sid­i­ous, heav­ily de­bated climate change.

In a study con­ducted by the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum’s Global Shapers in 2017, Mil­len­ni­als high­lighted that the most im­por­tant global chal­lenge of our time is Climate Change and the

Destruction of Na­ture. Ac­cord­ing to the sur­vey, nearly half (48.8%) of the sur­vey par­tic­i­pants chose climate change as their top con­cern, and 78.1% said they would be will­ing to change their life­style to pro­tect the environment.

What used to be eas­ily dis­missed as noth­ing but a hoax and gov­ern­ment pro­pa­ganda to fur­ther ma­nip­u­late peo­ple, is now a multi­bil­lion dol­lar re­search and de­vel­op­ment sci­en­tific fron­tier aimed at mit­i­gat­ing the steadily in­creas­ing cause and ef­fects of Global Climate Change.

We are talking about sea level rise up to 6 feet by the year 2100 as the ma­jor­ity of sci­en­tists will con­cur. Small is­lands van­ish­ing from the world map as soon as they have been swal­lowed up by the sea, be­low sea level cities and ur­ban ar­eas will be flooded with sea­wa­ter as a re­sult of a steady es­ca­la­tion of global tem­per­a­ture, which in turn will melt po­lar ice caps and glaciers. Mil­lions and mil­lions of peo­ple will be dis­placed from their homes, with bil­lions of prop­er­ties de­stroyed, and et voilà, a global refugee crisis on an un­par­al­leled scale is born. In the Philip­pines alone, low ly­ing land masses could be un­in­hab­it­able in the next 50 years.

In a study co-pro­duced by the Asian De­vel­op­ment Bank and Pots­dam I nsti­tute for Climate Im­pact Re­search ti­tled “A Re­gion at Risk: The Hu­man Di­men­sions of Climate Change in Asia and the Pa­cific ”,7 Philip­pine cities were cited as a high risk for a 1-me­ter sealevel rise. The Philip­pine cities cited were Manila, Taguig, Caloocan, Davao, Bu­tuan, Mal­abon, and Iloilo.

The climate-re­lated chal­lenges millennial gen­er­a­tion will face are un­set­tling at best and will re­quire a mas­sive ef­fort and in­no­va­tive mea­sure stoat least al­le­vi­ate if not hin­der. Fur­ther­more, de­spite the dire state of the world to­day — and the stereo­type that mil­len­ni­als are self­ish and ap­a­thetic — the gen­er­a­tion aged 18 to 35 cares deeply about global is­sues, and they’re de­ter­mined to tackle them, ac­cord­ing to the sur­vey of World Eco­nomic Fo­rum’ s Global Shapers in 2017.

Mil­len­ni­als are ag­gres­sively ques­tion­ing con­ven­tional in­sti­tu­tions, con­glom­er­ates, oli­garchs and power struc­tures that have failed to mit­i­gate green­house gas emis­sions. In ad­di­tion, mil­len­ni­als are tack­ling the is­sues they best know how – tech­nol­ogy. In do­ing so, they use in­no­va­tive plat­forms, such as so­cial me­dia, to mo­bi­lize ef­forts at pre­serv­ing a liv­able environment for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

While there is still quite plenty of room for growth in the ac­cep­tance of en­vi­ron­men­tally suit­able poli­cies amongst some of the millennial pop­u­la­tion, all signs seem to sug­gest they are rene wing the way they in­ter­act with our planet.

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