Just Chill?

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Courtesy of Forum for the Future

Young people, they’re the ones who care about the environment, right? “Well, if you mention it in our economics class, or we talk about who’s responsible for problems, most people in the class just brush it aside.” The attitude of Rosie Bristow’s A-level economics class paints the picture of a generation that reckons it has got its priorities sorted: get a grip and don’t even go near that sad environment stuff.

Ironic, isn’t it? Just as the green movement is getting at least of some its messages taken on board by ministers and chief execs, the teenagers and early twentysomethings – who would once have been its stronghold – are disengaging from the cause. At a time when climate change has made it so big it has hit Hollywood, the generation that’ll have to face up to these global issues like no other before it is telling the pollsters it’s just not interested. “Maybe retired people, who haven’t got enough to do, they’d find it interesting,” suggests one schoolgirl helpfully. Britain’s 18 – 24 -yearolds are the least likely to feel concerned about the environment, according to MORI; those who really care are in their 40s and 50s.

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