Photo courtesy of Third Act via The Revelator
As their twilight approaches, elders supercharge climate action on behalf of future generations
This story was originally published by The Revelator. Eduardo Garcia is a New York-based climate journalist. A native of Spain, he has written about climate solutions for Thomson Reuters, The New York Times, Treehugger and Slate. He is the author of Things You Can Do: How to Fight Climate Change and Reduce Waste, an illustrated book about reducing personal carbon footprints.
Thousands of senior Americans took to the streets in March in 30 states to demand that the country’s major banks divest from fossil fuels.
This “rocking chair rebellion” — organized by Third Act, a fast-growing climate action group focused on older Americans — shows that Baby Boomers are becoming a new force in the climate movement.
Third Act cofounder Bill McKibben, who joined a Washington, D.C., protest, says it’s unfair to put all the weight of climate activism on the shoulders of young people. It’s time for older Americans to take a central role.
“Young people don’t have the structural power necessary to make changes,” McKibben tells The Revelator. “But old people do. There are 70 million Americans over the age of 60. Many of us vote, we’re politically engaged, and have a lot of financial resources. So if you want to press either the political system or the financial system, older people are a useful group to have.”