Intergenerational Conversations on Climate Crises
VOICES for Sustainable Communities and Environments have started a new project to explore the attitudes and concerns of young people and senior citizens in New Brunswick today. Approximately 20 conversations will be recorded around the area of the Lower Wolastaq during 2022. The conversations will be reduced to podcasts and published globally by social media.
Episode 13 – Bruce and Angie – Intergenerational Conversations on Climate
News media and academic reports have appeared recently discussing the concerns especially by adolescents using descriptors such as anxiety, dread, grief, and hopelessness. The reports were summed by an article in The Lancet (“Climate anxiety in children and young people and their beliefs about government responses to climate change: a global survey of beliefs about government responses to climate change”, v. 5, issue 12, Dec 1, 2021). The report is especially stark when documenting the pervasiveness of feelings of dread and it effects on youth. How common are the feelings of hopelessness in students of our region? The conversations will try to assess the problem.
Questions given to both senior citizens and high school students are designed to be specific and relevant to the participants. Questions aim for feelings of concern, not for factual climate data. Sample questions are these:
Some questions investigate feelings of powerlessness:
Where do you get your climate information and who do you trust?
How worried are you and your friends about climate threats?
Do you trust our political leaders to protect Canadians from climate crises?
Who has more to lose from climate disasters, students, or senior citizens?
Some questions explore possible actions:
Have you ever written to your MLA or MP about climate action?
Why are students not out in the streets every day demanding action?
Should schools teach communicating with elected officials?
How would you feel about Canada giving the vote to 16-yr olds?
What are things YOU can do today to fight climate change?
Would you be willing to take a deduction on your paycheck to avoid Climate Crises?
If Elon Musk agreed to fund all your expenses for two years to become a green caped-crusader — what single project would you tackle?
Answers to each question are discussed by the participants with the aim of discovering differences between them. A summary report will be issued by VOICES personnel before the end of 2022.