Sunday, 15 January 2017

Born into debt

Millennials are coming to expect to be less well off than their parents. What hasn't yet received much attention is that millennials are probably also the first generation to have a black mark against their name from the moment they're born.

To be alive is to consume. In today's world, that means that to be alive is to have a carbon footprint, and a waste footprint.

Just by being born, we're guaranteed to have a negative impact on the world.

That's been true since the industrial revolution, but millennials are the first generation to have been born and raised since it became almost universally accepted and the consequences so readily and devastatingly apparent.

To be alive is to contribute to the loss of the ice caps, the accumulation of landfill, and the degradation of habitats.

Millennials are the first generation to have a genuine original sin: their very existence.

The implications of this for environmental policy are one thing; more interesting from a cultural perspective are the implications for the generation's collective psychology.

Will millennials' art bear the cringe of innate guilt, or the striving of a need to atone?

Will their actions?

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