My 12-year-old granddaughter, Evelyn, did the right thing in sending me an "OK Boomer" hoodie for Christmas.
While at first I took it as a putdown of my baby boomer generation, upon further reflection I see it as a totally justified putdown of my generation.
About the same time as the arrival of the hoodie, TIME magazine's Person of the Year issue arrived. It featured Greta Thunberg on the cover, with the words "The Power of Youth."
Since, that issue has been sitting in my pile of Things to Blog About One Day. That day has come, in part because next Monday, February 3, the Oregon legislature convenes in a short even-numbered year session.
A revised cap-and-trade bill that would reduce greenhouse gas pollution in the state will be introduced and, hopefully, passed. Republicans are threatening a walkout to deny the quorum that is needed for the legislature to function, but this would be unpopular with voters who like to see elected officials perform the job they're supposed to do.
The following excerpts from the TIME cover story about Thunberg probably wouldn't change the minds of climate change deniers. However, I was moved by them. My generation truly has let young people down when it comes to protecting our one and only planet for human habitation.
Pass the cap-and-trade bill, Oregon legislators. Listen to what the youth of the world are saying...
The common thread is outrage over a central injustice: young people know they are inheriting a world that will not work nearly as well as it did for the aging adults who have been running it.
"It's so important to realize that we are challenging the systems we are in, and that is being led by young people," says Beth Irving, 17, who came from Wales to demonstrate for sweeping changes outside the U.N. summit.
Thunberg is not aligned with any of these non-climate youth movements, but her abrupt rise to prominence comes at a moment when young people across the globe are awakening to anger at being cut a raw deal.
The existential issue of climate puts everyone at risk, but the younger you are, the greater the stakes.
The scale of addressing climate change -- the systematic transformation of economic, social, and political systems -- animates young progressives already keen to remake the world.
Karin Watson, 22, who came to the climate summit as part of a delegation from Amnesty International Chile, describes a tumultuous, interconnected and youth-led "social explosion" worldwide.
She cannot disentangle her own advocacy for higher wages from women's rights and climate: "This social crisis is also an ecological crisis -- it's related," she says. "In the end, it's intersectional: the most vulnerable communities are the most vulnerable to climate change."
In the U.S., Jaclyn Corin, 19, one of the original organizers of the March for Our Lives anti-gun violence movement, framed the challenges at stake.
"We can't let these problems continue on for future generations to take care of," she says. "Adults didn't take care of these problems, so we have to take care of them, and not be like older generations in their complacency."