Calling All Young Eco-Geniuses!

NWF   |   August 14, 2008

DotEarth, a popular NYT blog which examines efforts to balance human affairs with the planet’s limits, has been discussing the idea of "Generation-E," a new way to think of the young people stepping up to the challenges of environmental work and climate change. Andy Revkin, Science reporter for the Times, uses E for energy and environment. He says:

I’ve heard more than a few sociologists and historians opine that we’re
essentially going to have to grow past our fossil fuel norms and into a
new relationship with energy in which environmental considerations are
integrated seamlessly into how people make choices related to energy.
Maybe this is starting to happen among those who will inherit the consequences of energy decisions being made (or not made) today?

I agree with him, but also added that electronic, economy, and perhaps ego ought to be included to that list of Es. The first is for obvious reasons in a wired world, and the second because it’s absolutely ludicrous to talk about energy and conservation without an understanding of global economies and human systems. I also think ego may have a place, since preserving natural resources is also preserving our own home, and perhaps a certain amount of self-interest will lead to a more involved populace. Regardless of how you define your own particular generation, it makes sense to think of your place within the world, and how you intend to live your life within society and the wider world that you call home.

In a later post on the same blog, an enterprising fellow named Paul Horan asked members of this Gen-E to speak up. Paul’s invitation, originally posted here, is to young "eco-geniuses" who want to help him define what it means to be sustainable. He’s offering a prize, his $600 tax rebate, to six young people at $100 each. It’s his version of "stimulating our economy, aiming to serve youth better, by learning to listen to the customer." His site, YESSS, is still a bit scattered, but I’m sure he’d appreciate your input.

So, do you have a genius, sustainability-defining idea? Would you like to elaborate on Gen-E? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

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