I think people who currently speak as wise commentators have absolutely NO idea how much of a generational sea-change is occurring in the human ability to shift ideas and actions to face climate change and other challenges. 1/X (sorry not sorry)
Older people feel comfortable centering preferences (utility theory!) and habits (eating meat, taking flying holidays ...) over planetary & common problems.

Younger people (my students, kids I know) prioritize principles and common good, and make choices accordingly. 2/X
They make principled choices often and openly despite convenience, personal advantage and taste. My kid gave up dairy milk overnight because of his love of the rain forest. My students/postdocs forgo career opportunities because they won't fly. 3/X
This doesn't mean they are moralistic or no fun or purity-maniacs or anything like that: just that they have a big old moral compass, based on curiosity and education and concern, and choose to live their lives guided by it. They are NOT utilitarians. They are stoics, maybe. 4/X
I see this attitude reflected in the uncompromising demands of the #Parkland generation, in the climate ambitions of @Ocasio2018, in divestment and @PlanB_earth lawsuit initiatives. 5/X
This is a fundamental shift: addressing climate change and other challenges demands facing and shutting down harmful industries and ways of life, not just trying to tilt the balance slowly towards less harmful alternatives. 6/X
A utilitarian worldview (the old order) implies slowly crowding out bad things (fossil technologies) with better ones (renewables, say). It forgets agency, morality, long term views, and is blind to political forces. It's terrible and has cost us decades in action on climate. 7/X
Utilitarian views then claim they are human nature, that humans are slow to shift, prioritize short term comfort, etc, like @NYTmag piece which started all this. But this is not human nature at all, and it's sure as hell not the way young people see themselves, or act. 8/X
They see urgent priorities, ambitious goals, and go straight for them. They don't try to take some cost-benefit optimal path that coddles the status quo and wastes precious time & effort for no gain. They go for the vision, no apologies, just strength. They give me hope. 9/X
And I really wish the older dudes who don't or won't listen to anyone who is unlike them would just shut up and go away. They are holding us all back. 10/10

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