Wanted: Angry Young People from “Generation Hot”

Claire Morgenstern

Grist, the environmental news website has a good piece about a book called Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth about “the 2 billion or so young people who will be stuck dealing with global warming and weirding for their entire lives — and who have to figure out how to do it sanely and humanely.”

As the author of the book Mark Hertsgaard notes in an article  in The Nation adapted from his book, “”My daughter and the rest of Generation Hot have been given a life sentence for a crime they didn’t commit.” Despite all scientific evidence to the contrary, there are still climate deniers out there who claim that global warming isn’t real–and we need a multifaceted, aggressive, solutions-oriented approach to overcome that hurdle and start cooling things down (so to speak). The latest paleoclimate data suggests that things are even worse than computer models have projected–up to two times worse, according to Climate Progress author Joe Romm.

States like Massachusetts are developing nation-leading strategies to reduce that life sentence, maybe even with a chance of parole. Most recently, last month, Governor Patrick announced the release of the Massachusetts Clean Energy and Climate Plan, which will reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. That’s the maximum target authorized by the 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act— a sign that the state is committed to combating climate change. A centerpiece of the Plan is Pay-As-You-Drive auto insurance (PAYD), a market-based, mileage-based solution that rewards drivers for driving less, and an initiative that CLF has been working on for over a decade.

But the work is far from done. Before we can implement measures that will lead New England to the clean energy future it deserves, we have to eradicate the outmoded, dirty sources of power that brought us here in the first place. CLF’s Coal-free New England campaign is designed to do just that, by pushing for the shutdown of the seven major coal-fired power plants in New England that are still in operation, and combined provide about 10 percent of the region’s power and 25 percent of the power in Massachusetts.

Generation Hot may be hot right now, but you know how trends work–they fade. And with a lot of hard work and ingenuity, Generation Hot will be on its way to becoming the most unfashionable generation yet.

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