Monday, October 15, 2007


In response to this article:

You scoff at my generation. To you, we are a sarcastic and apathetic bunch. The stereotype is fitting. For me, though, as many Gen-Xers, it's all a front. On the inside, we are hard workers, passionate, and eager to see results.

We formed a new kind of environmentalism in the last 20 years - have you see me?

I don't just "plod through" Environmental Impact Reports. I write them, provide the research for them, speak to at risk communities about them. I studied them, in college courses designed by your generation. I am quite fluent in "jargon," but fortunately also in "plain speak."

I'm here to not just carry the torch, but to find the torch to carry. I anticipate problems before they affect our environment, our residents. I bring my findings to communities to discuss solutions, solve problems. I enforce laws created to save planet earth and its inhabitants.

You come to meeting with sleeves "rolled up," anticipating a fight from me. It is no longer Me versus You. It is Us. We are of the same mindset. I came into this career to help people and the environment, not to carry on the status quo. I am more flexible, giving, less bureaucratic. Trust me, the money is crap - something else is keeping me here!

I am an activist, of a different sort. I do not own a government-issued rubber stamp. Instead my days are spent finding custom answers to complex problems. I expect to see action. No phone call goes unanswered.

In my private life, I am a little more subtle in my ways. I like to keep to myself, and don't broadcast my message as boldly as you. But, I show my true spirit in small ways. Some people notice, and ask where to get their own reusable shopping bags, for example.

I'm sad that our generation has been cast out in your eyes. That means our work has gone unnoticed. Now, I understand, from firsthand experience, the emotional side of your fight all these years.

I am committed. So very much so. I am qualified for other jobs with more money and flashier titles. But here I sit, planning for a meeting with stakeholders with a myriad of objectives. My goal is to find the result where nobody is happy. Sounds odd, doesn't it? No - when everyone is satisfied, that is when I know I have found the correct solution and have done my job well.

You are mature, the foundation the environmental field needs to survive. I am young, and growing every day. Eager to reach the sky.

I am an environmentalist. Called to action as a government employee. It may sound funny to you at first, but you'll warm up to the idea!

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day


Junie Moon said...

Good for you--a great response. I am one of the baby boomers and honestly don't think this is an age thing peculiar to my age group. In fact, I actually believe that the younger generations are more involved in working towards a better environment than those of my generation. At this point, I'm grateful for anyone of any age to do something instead of sitting on their duffs and whining. Whining doesn't solve anything, action does.

Heidi said...

Well said! Too many boomers think their way is the only way to do things.

African Kelli said...

Seriously? Best written piece I've seen in bloggosphere in a very long time. Nicely done! You speak for me too. Please.

telfair said...

You rock. I am proud to be your blog friend. I am going to link to this, girlfriend!

It made me proud to carry reuseable shopping bags, too. At least I can say that.