Needed: A new generation of problem solvers

Left portion of a computer keyboardSanta and the grandkids are gone, leaving in their wake a pathway to my garage piled high with cardboard and torn and crumpled wrapping paper, as well as numerous smaller boxes that once contained the makings of various foodstuffs. All must be cut or crushed and delivered to the end of the driveway, where it can be disappeared, first into a big truck and then into a landfill most of us know, or care, not where.

Leftovers, the main evidence of completed feasting, hang loosely around my midsection. Even the bedroom scale, normally known for fibbing mightily in my favor, indicates I have partaken too enthusiastically the past week. The good news is the bags of chips are gone with the progeny for whom they were purchased and who turned out to be suddenly healthy-eating offspring.

My emailbox runneth over with offers of offers. “Take this 30-second survey and we’ll offer you an exclusive award worth over $50.” What they craftily don’t tell you — until after you have submitted your name and address and answered all questions about how wonderfully they — Best Buy, Sam’s Club, (fill in the blank) — have served you is that you generally have to buy more stuff to qualify for the bonus. It is a relatively innocuous con, but a con nonetheless.

Like the con that says fossil fuels bring jobs and “the good life.” Pay no attention to the rising sea levels or the dwindling supplies of fresh water.

There was little mention of the environment during the recent presidential campaign, but the message is getting out. Some Virginia beachfront landowners are donating their land to non-profit agencies. It’s a nice idea. They get a tax gain from the supposed value of the contribution, and still have access to the sand while they watch the ocean cover it a few inches at a time. And then they are not saddled with the financial loss when finally salt water laps at the pilings attempting to keep the first floor livingrooms dry.

Cutting your losses isn’t the same as solving the problem, but a new generation is stepping up. I read somewhere that industry, especially the media, is infatuated with what drives folks 30 and younger. It’s simple, really.

Young people in the 18-30 year old group are old enough to feel the target on their backs, and young enough to not fear the cost of removing it. Few of them have heard the word “impossible,” and fewer accept its meaning.

When the earlier generation’s computers hung up, or the game was deemed unwinnable, they hit F2 – the universal Reset button – and started over.

The previous generation comprised Baby Boomers who marched in the streets and, some of them, fled the country, in protest of a war that seemed especially targeted at them. In the end, they ended a war.

This new war also is targeted at the young, risking their futures in pursuit of profit for sellers of new versions of arms disguised as life enhancing subsurface energy sources, but actually threatening the very planet upon which the fight is being waged.

Young people are leading today’s charge, marching in the streets for carbon tax and fresh water and clean, renewable, energy sources. They are beginning to hear of “climate refugees,” and habitat lost to warming climates.

Millennials are at the forefront of the environmental battle. The alternative to winning is the next great extinction, but young people who do not believe they can die will do what needs done to ensure they survive.

To accomplish that, they will hit F2 as many times as necessary.

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