A young Canadian journalist argues that a unique generational values shift is occurring that may upend just about everything to save the planet.
In 2014, Dembicki, a Vancouver-based reporter for the The Tyee, an online news journal, produced a series of articles titled “Are We Screwed?” for that site. Here, the author expands and updates those pieces. In Dembicki’s view, it falls to his generation, millennials, to bear the brunt of the climate disaster facing the planet in coming decades. The author argues that millennials view the world differently than their elders and, contrary to what some believe, are not apathetic and cynical when it comes to politics. “It seemed that people of older generations were much more interested in speaking to us—or about us—than in listening to what we had to say,” writes Dembicki. To support his thesis, he profiles a number of young people working for change: a young man choosing to live off the grid on a small island near Vancouver; a group of Middlebury College graduates who, with distinguished professor and author Bill McKibben, made the Keystone XL pipeline a global issue; an American college student who started the movement that persuaded hundreds of universities to divest trillions of dollars from fossil fuel industries; and a young Canadian activist who spurred the turnout of the youth vote that ended the career of fossil fuel–friendly Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The author also cites Bernie Sanders, who turned a fringe candidacy into a passionate social movement by tapping into this already existing revolution. Dembicki can be repetitious and sometimes comes across as self-righteous or smug; however, his profiles are wide-ranging and well-researched. He concludes that despite the presence of a climate denier in the White House, millennials are not going to be screwed—if they take action now.
A hortatory call to arms for young people and a harsh critique of their ruling elders.