The age of "Not My Fault"

Lately, young people changing the world has been a big thing in the media. I approve - if anyone can do it, it's teens. They have an energy and drive that we adults long since forgot.

Naturally, there's a backlash - mainly from white men - who do all they can to slander the new generation. (Read, Greta Thunberg.)

"Did you see this? She can't even talk if she doesn't have a script. We're all being played."

It's true: Greta Thunberg sounds better when scripted. We all do. And to be perfectly honest, there's a prominent figure in a large country to the west of me that can't speak coherently even when reading from a script. They still let "grab them by the pussy" lead one of the largest nations on the planet.

"It isn't my fault. These damn kids keep blaming my generation, but when I was a child, we got milk in glass bottles. I liked glass bottles. They use plastic and throw it away."

I've seen this image shared probably 20 times in my Facebook newsfeed in the past few days. Sometimes it says Britain and sometimes USA, but the sentiment is the same.

I don't even know where to start with this one.

First of all, if it wasn't your generation, who do you think did it?

I was born in the 1970s. The glass bottles were gone long before I was born. We had milk cartons and I learned to read from them. We still have milk cartons and I still read from them. Nowadays I buy oat milk and not milk from a cow, but it still comes in a carton.

If remembering milk bottles is your great argument for how the current environmental crisis isn't your fault, I have to ask, what did you do when "progress" replaced them?

Obviously not enough - they disappeared. Having liked them back in the day when they still existed does not absolve you from guilt and the milk bottle argument is moot.

Who removed the milkman you're so proud of remembering? Who brought plastic toys to fast food chains? Who invented polystyrene food boxes? Who invented the "mummy's 4x4" - it wasn't the children of today!

Another one is, "When I grew up, we learned to use things over and over again."

I did too. But be honest: Ever since then, you haven't purchased a new item in your life?

I bet you have participated in modern society with the same enthusiasm as the rest of us. Is that a gigantic widescreen TV I see on your wall? And a new iPhone in your hand?

When this is written it's 2019 and I think Greta Thunberg is 16. That means she was born in 2003. She didn't create the consumerist society and the problems we have today - she was born into a way of life we created. You, me, all of us. We might not have made the inventions or the major decisions, but we did our part in making it happen. Her generation never had a choice.

All of us who are adults today have contributed to the problem. If you don't think it's your generation, I'd love to hear who you think did it?

It's not the children of today, because the problems were here when they were born.

I'm not innocent. I love technology and I bought a brand new computer this year. Sure, my old one broke and I need a computer to work, but I could have found a used one.

I try to telecommute as much as possible, but sometimes I fly. To the other side of the world. And I have the audacity to enjoy it. It's true: I like flying.

Meat is a large environmental problem and today we humans consume it as never before. When I was a kid, you had potatoes and vegetables with a small piece of meat. Today, the steaks are larger than the plates. But I'm sure you who are so innocent don't eat that?

I don't eat meat and I strive to grow a lot of my own vegetables, but this does not absolve me of guilt. I have dirty secrets: I love imported fruits and vegetables. Especially avocados. They're apparently a huge culprit of the current environmental crisis, but I still sometimes buy them.

We live in a time where the global seed vault on Svalbard ran into problems because the permafrost is gone. People on Iceland recently held a funeral for an ancient glacier that disappeared. The ocean levels are rising at a never before seen level. Koalas are functionally extinct and the bees are dying out. (The bees are a problem that will affect you too, because you will starve to death.)

But sure, your generation is innocent, because when you grew up, there were milk bottles.

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