You know when you get the feeling that something really huge is just lying under the ground waiting to happen, but it never quite does? Well, there is a movement called the Great Turning, who’s most famous proponent is Joanna Macey, a scholar of Bhuddism, and a believer in the power of social movements to create change. The Great Turning, or Time Of The Turning, is based on the belief that the gradual build up of discontent and opposition amongst a general population can lead to a fundamental “turning” of the way in which the world is run. That is the simple explanation, anyway.
I am no sociologist, but I do have a bit of a maven streak in me, that means that I sense when things are happening for no apparent reason – somehow all of the available information comes together to form a conclusion. I had the feeling that something really huge was lying under the ground waiting to happen, and I wanted to make sure it did. It was this :
There are 37 million people in the United States over the age of 65; in Canada there are 4 million; in the UK, 9 million; in France, 10 million; and so on. These are people who are likely to have children and most notably, grandchildren. These are people who have seen the world change over a long period of time – in some ways for the better, in some ways, for the worse. These are people who heard of The Silent Spring the first time around, and have had the time to notice that the summers are getting gradually drier, the winters warmer, and the weather more unpredictable.
These are people that are likely to be concerned about the environment – yet in any one protest, direct action or major environmental action seem to be conspicuous by their absence. Why is environmental action such a young person’s game?
The answer lies in time. Young people are usually in touch with the zietgeist – in fact, they are the zietgeist – but more importantly, they have fewer commitments and responsibilities than those people who have children and have full time jobs. But what of the millions of concerned people who have retired, whose chicks have flown the nest, and now have the time to focus on other things?
There is a huge untapped potential in the millions of Green Seniors out there, and that is what I want to tap – for the good of the planet. So please, if you have a web site, if you can spread the word, or know other people who can spread the word, let other people know about www.greenseniors.org. This may just be the thing that turns the planet around.
P.S. Thanks Naib, for giving me the space to say this.