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When you were a teenager, did you think much about issues concerning the environment, such as climate change, pollution, recycling, energy and water conservation and so on?

46 Comments
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"Climate change and the environment" were not the fashion then. We had other fads to complain about.

8 ( +19 / -11 )

50+ years ago, many of the words weren't even in the "Dictionary".

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Yes, from before I was a teenager. In the 1970s we had the wombles in the UK.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPpNLfJzIOQ

6 ( +9 / -3 )

When I was a teen, none of that stuff existed. They use to double bag at the supermarket.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

When I was a teenager, the popular fears in my country were nuclear war and drought. I wasn't that worried about nuclear war, but drought was a not-irregular concern. We hadn't had climate change shoved down our collective throats at the time.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

I remember being deeply impressed and troubled by Rachel Carlson's "Silent Spring."

3 ( +4 / -1 )

that time did not need to worry abt carbon print when some apples from NZ were delivered to Europe to some supermarket as we ate local ones...

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Yes, as a young lad considering a science career, I deeply considered the environment. And at that time I saw no strong link between human life and climate change. After many years of study and science degrees at University, I still see no strong link. The world climate has always changed and today it is slightly warming.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Consumer capitalism encourages us to think about nothing except satisfying the trivial desires it has excited. It's no surprise that that is what most people are wrapped up in.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Teenagers back then had one thing on their mind, and one thing only! X generation.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

We were more concerned back then about the russians/soviets going crazy and starting a nuclear war.

Plus ca change.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Yes, I was an environmentalist by the age of 16. Member of Friends of the Earth. Helped by making offset printing for mags. Member of a socialist party and attend discussions.

https://friendsoftheearth.uk/who-we-are/our-history

I also had a pile of Motown singles to chill out to.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

By 17 I was an active member of the Diggers Movement. Started going to outdoor festivals, Discovered brown rice and organic foods.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I remember in the 80s and 90s recycling was a big thing and people talked about the poisoning of the oceans with plastic, and I was concerned about that. I don't recall the atmospheric temperature being an issue though.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Back then it was called "global warming". 1990s... And yes, we had our fair share of peaceful street demos to raise that issue. I planted many trees as well when I was around 15. I can only imagine how those trees have grown up on the mountains where I planted them.

There were many essay writing contests, poster-making competitions and even speech competitions with the environment as the core theme. There was proper decorum and the way to deal with it was respectful and cordial.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yes because I took Geography throughout primary and secondary school and had teachers who were passionate about saving the environment. We even had composting classes and volunteered at recycle centers.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

When I was a teenager it was nuclear war, gay rights and apartheid.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

No, most were wondering if after just being hired we were about to be let go.

Investment bank Lehman Brothers collapsed soon after I was employed.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

At school/college most were bothered about grades.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I was heavily involved in many social justice issues from a young age.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I was vegetarian for two years before coming to Japan. Japan killed it and it'll probably take my kids leaving home to revive it. My favourite form of environmentalism now is insulating houses, because houses that are warm on their own are so much nicer than cold ones with big energy bills. After (happily) driving hybrids for over fifteen years, a twist of used car fate has got me driving a V6, so I'll be a bad boy till the transmission or whatever goes on that.

Props to whoever decided to phrase this question "Is environmentalism something for naive kids that they'll grow out of?" Maybe tomorrow we can have "Are you woke?" :)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Environmental issues were in the mix along with nuclear disarmament, apartheid and the brutality of Thatcherism.

My father went to a lot of poor countries in his lifetime and couldn’t stand wastefulness. ‘Do you realise how many kids don’t have…?’ was common in our house.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

As a teenager I had two concerns - getting bullied at school and worry about failing exams at school... the environment was so far off my radar as to be non-existent. Model kits, science fiction and riding my bike kept me occupied at home.

To me then the world was in danger of a Soviet attack rather than angst-ridden Swedish girls shouting at me from the telly.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

As a teenager I had two concerns - getting bullied at school and worry about failing exams at school... the environment was so far off my radar as to be non-existent. Model kits, science fiction and riding my bike kept me occupied at home.

To me then the world was in danger of a Soviet attack rather than angst-ridden Swedish girls shouting at me from the telly.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

As a teenager I had two concerns - getting bullied at school and worry about failing exams at school... the environment was so far off my radar as to be non-existent. Model kits, science fiction and riding my bike kept me occupied at home.

To me then the world was in danger of a Soviet attack rather than angst-ridden Swedish girls shouting at me from the telly.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As a teenager I had two concerns - getting bullied at school and worry about failing exams at school... the environment was so far off my radar as to be non-existent. Model kits, science fiction and riding my bike kept me occupied at home.

To me then the world was in danger of a Soviet attack rather than angst-ridden Swedish girls shouting at me from the telly.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Let's see.... feer of nuclear war, feer of the ozone layer dissapearing, concern of desertification of forest and jungle, water pollution, reseading ice caps... trash mouting, air pollution, food poisoning, asbestos breading....

I think, I was more concern in surviving.... i think i am still now.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Where are all those massive hurricanes or rising sea levels again, Mr. Gore?

We should all be under water by now. But we're not. Teenagers, please relax.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

When I was a teen, there was only recycling, don't know if it was something to worry about though, beyond separated trash cans.

I certainly hope the others listed does not turn out exactly like recycling...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What I find laughable about all this save the planet thing is that the top 1% don't give a crap. One rocket launch in to orbit creating more CO2 than 1 billion people in a lifetime. Fly around the world in private jets, drive around in gas gazzling vehicles, eat as much red meat as they can possibly do. But it is the other 99% that suppose to cut their emissions and say no to cattle farming. Screw that!!!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

When I was a teen scientists and media told us that we were heading for a 'new ice age'.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

wallace

By 17 I was an active member of the Diggers Movement

Wow, I had no idea you were over 350 years old, did you know Oliver Cromwell? ;)

No as a teenager we were more concerned at the very real prospect of nuclear annihilation. I was unusual among those I knew in that I had a degree of awareness of the plastic pollution around but “environmental concerns” as we think of them now, no.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Back in the 70s, the elementary school age me was educated about the world ending threat of litter which we were urged to pick up and from US CMs - give a hoot and not pollute.

My friends and I sort of complied by collecting soda bottles which we cashed in to buy candy. The wrappers of which I hope we discarded in the trash and not along the bush trails and riversides where we hung out.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nope, had no worries. Too busy with the ladies for all that. Joys of the hood in B-more back in da day.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

When I was a teenager on the east coast of Australia the issue was the hole in the ozone layer. There were many campaigns promoting the use of sunscreen in the 80's. Sadly, I was a teenager in the 70's and now have quite a few skin cancers. Some have been removed and others are on melanoma watch. I have to visit a skin cancer clinic twice a year.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

When I was in high school, we knew that although there were certainly environmental problems, it wasn't at a "crisis" level -- and, short of nuclear war or some other similar massive catastrophe, never would be.

Ah, the good old days. When the only agendas were fact and reality.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Of course, as a teenager/young adult we were told by the environmental gurus that paper bags, Milk cartons, newspapers were destroying the environment especially the tropical forests.

So we demonstrated, boycotted, demanded businesses stop using paper bags, etc..

So soon we had milk in plastic bags and plastic containers, our supermarkets were using plastic wrap for the deli meats and other meat cuts (instead of the previous butcher paper and cord) and the now infamous plastic bags.

But the rub came when we found out may years later that nearly all that paper was locally produced on Poplar farms in our course.

Yes tell young people today that we are dealing with plastic bags and plastic bottles because the previous environmentalists told us to switch to plastic to help the environment.

They won't believe you

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@englisc aspyrgend Were you too lazy to read to the end of the Wiki entry?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

englisc aspyrgend

   wallace

   By 17 I was an active member of the Diggers Movement

> Wow, I had no idea you were over 350 years old, did you know Oliver Cromwell? ;)

There were people in the 1960s &70s who were into the philosophy of the Diggers Movement and started communal living. John Lennon was one of them buying and donating the Irish Island of Dorinish. Started by Sid Rawle. Then came the Teepee Village in Wales. Diggers and Dreamers.

https://diggersanddreamers.org.uk/community/tipi-valley/

Life was fun.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Not so much, I was too busy studying, working, and focusing on other things.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

mountainpear, chill man, I was joking!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

50+ years ago, many of the words weren't even in the "Dictionary".

Yes. But, "pollution", "ecology", and "environment" were. And, they were big concerns for people who cared about things bigger than themselves.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I barely didn't, but I wish I had considered such things. I'm surprised to see the result from the pole, which many people had not though about them. I think it's time to introduce more about the environmental issues on child education. Teaching the importance of preserving our environment to kids in the early stage, they will get interested and it'll be passed to next generations.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Pollution was the thing then

That being said, climate change acceptance or denial regardless, action leads to cleaner environment on the whole.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Back then we did not have these issues, we had Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Hot rods, Coka Cola, and Ice cream, and drive inn theaters, and REAL not fake teen girls to deal with.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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