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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?

33 Comments
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I grew up being aware to the environment at a young age due to watching nature documentary shows and some cartoons (Captain Planet in particular) that encourage loving the environment. I also grew up in the outdoors and I experienced how nature in our area has worsened, which made me even more concerned and aware about it.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Nope. Still don't. (Bring on the down votes.)

-22 ( +9 / -31 )

yes. these problems existed back when I was a kid.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Yep, growing up surfing in Cornwall,U.K,we were often surrounded by untreated sewage,hence Surfers Against Sewage started,and constantly fighting government indifference.

Luckily,my son plays outdoors all day long here in The Ryukyus,and he and his friends beachclean and are well aware of ocean plastic pollution.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

I think I always loved nature more than humans, whom I always saw as a devastating force on a beautiful planet. Even back in the 60s and 70s when I was a child it was all I could do to stop the tears when I saw rainforests felled or saw seabirds floundering in vast oil spills on TV. Neil Young sang, "Look at Mother Nature on the run in the 1970s" (released in 1970) and now she seems to be only just grimly clinging on. I feel sorry for those who cannot appreciate the beauty of the planet and the benevolent life-support it gives us. They seem to nihilistically will our own demise as well as nature's.

-1 ( +11 / -12 )

Back in the deep, dark past of the 70s, I do remember anti-littering campaigns but little else that I was aware of.

The American 'Give a Hoot, Don't Pollute' campaign comes to mind. It even wormed its way into this Canadian's psyche.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I remember when we went from paper bags to plastic bags at the supermarkets.

Paper bags were bad, they told us. Plastic bags would save the earth.

Now, they're telling us plastic is bad. We're banning plastic straws and going to paper ones.

I wish the enviro-rads would make up their ever-loving minds.

Of course, that's not even close to being the first enviro-hoax. This "movement" has a severely long track record of failed predictions, false information, and outright lies.

Any other "movement" with this sort of track record would have been sent off to the irrelevancy it deserves, and many years ago.

Why does this "movement" get to retain its credibility after giving us one lie and failed prediction after another after another, in a way that no other group of people ever would?

-4 ( +12 / -16 )

I am in the yes group. We lived in the nature. Worked on farms picking vegetables for pocket money. Time spent in the beautiful English Lake District. Became aware of the environment and joined environmental movements like Friends of the Earth.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

I said yes, only really or pollution. Back in the sixties nobody had heard of climate change or recycling and energy and water conservation were not really thought of as problems

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I think I always loved nature more than humans, whom I always saw as a devastating force on a beautiful planet. 

Encapsulation of the irrational, Rousseauian, modern environmentalist.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Is that bad, Anonymous? Worse than loveless exploiter of the planet? In my 60 years or so I have not seen the environment get better overall. It's our life support system. Don't you want to save it too? Or what do you advise I do? Become rational and indifferent to life on Earth?

5 ( +8 / -3 )

When you were a teenager …

That’s quite a span.

I read “Silent Spring” ten years after its publication after having left my teens behind. The environmentalist movement among the general public was still in its germinal period even at that time.

If one were a teenager last year then you grew up in an entirely different informational “environment” and likely never heard of Rachel Carson’s book and are also very much unaware of just how much better the environment in many places - far from all places - has become.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Before I was a teenager, there was a switch to smokeless coal in Glasgow. I remember the big change when walking to school in winter - clear blue skies. Later, there was a big concern about pollution from vehicles, especially from leaded petrol. But as Hello Kitty said above, the global warming concern was unknown to most people at the time.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Yeahright...

Nope. Still don't. (Bring on the down votes.)

Beat me to it. I use as little as possible to reduce waste and save money not to "save the world" or other such nonsense.

-13 ( +4 / -17 )

As others have said, there were other environmental concerns, like save the whale or acid rain.

The big worry in the 1970s and 1980s I remember was nuclear war, which didn't happen but we now know human error came very close to starting on a couple of occasions. Even now, I wouldn't say it is something we should be complacent about.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Voted yes though strictly speaking it was more pollution and degradation of the natural environment. Climate change wasn’t a thing then and we were much less of a throw away society though it was growing. Back then water conservation in these soggy islands would have been laughed at and the energy consumption of the average household was so small as to not be a problem.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Didn't back then (so voted no) but certainly did shortly after. Having to "ditch the gash" in the ocean when I was a young seaman just days out of my teens was immediately repugnant to me. Made a bit of a stink about it to the RN higher ups, but not sure they listened to me. I'm sure that was stopped a long time ago. Things are improving despite the mad conspiracy climate deniers not caring about trashing the planet.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Paper bags were bad, they told us. Plastic bags would save the earth.

Said no-one, ever.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

I'm 69, when I was in high school the big concern was nuclear weapons.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

runner3Today  08:46 am JST

I'm 69, when I was in high school the big concern was nuclear weapons.

Same here. And it still is.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Yes, nothing new!

It was acid rain, hole in the ozone, and my favourite " the new/early ice age".

The later is a perfect example of what happens when something is picked up by MSM and others and blown out of proportion!

Yes a few scientist had a prediction of a possible new ice age etc...but in reality they were a small very vocal group and not the majority of scientists, the majority were looking more at probable warming.

We now know the ice age thing was wrong and the warming was right or at least seems to be right!

But this episode should be a warning that we need to stay level headed and be careful regarding the loud vocal groups that are so sure they are right and know better!

Had we had the social media and the hardline craziness of what we see some groups doing today that use social media to get attention and cause trouble, one can only imagine the poor decisions that would have been made based on the hysteria they could have created based on "the ice age" is coming.

Back then scientists had time to properly do the needed work, politicians had time to properly check the data and consult with experts

Today everything is knee jerk reactions in every direction without taking the time to ask, "will this be long term feasible?" " is this practical globally or only a few rich countries?" etc....

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Fighto!

Today 08:00 am JST

Paper bags were bad, they told us. Plastic bags would save the earth.

> Said no-one, ever.

Actually anyone that was not in diapers in the 70s and 80s if they are honest will remember "save the trees" campaigns pushing for paper bags to be eliminated and use plastic bags.

The "inventor" of plastic bags actually developed them precisely for that reason, thinking it would save trees!

Supermarkets pushed the idea using the unsuspecting "environmentalists" because plastic was cheaper.

But yes it was a thing, as a child in our public schools in north America we were made to create "save the trees" posters in art class etc...

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

I think people may get the wrong idea based on my two previous post!

I am not a climate change denier.

It is quite obvious we are in a serious environmental problem situation!

And yes humans are a major factor.

The point I am trying to make is we need to be careful and calm down to come up with concrete solutions and not hysterical knee jerk reactions!

Right now our political leaders are are flailing their arms in every direction because of the more vocal and disruptive activists that think they have all the answers because they got it on social media.

Glueing yourself to the road and throwing soup on paintings isn't going to get people to listen but it may get some vote hungry politicians to pass regulations that may not be sound or based on what is best and more importantly not lead to more problems down the road.

Take nuclear power!

We were told it was the future.

When concerns about nuclear waste were brought up, we were told not to worry, "with technology we will develop ways to deal/neutralize it in the near future".

But here we are over a half century later and how are we dealing with nuclear waste?

Exactly the same way as back then, mainly burying it or putting it in big storage units.

And again we are being told the same about nuclear, solar, batteries, etc....

What environmental disaster will we be dealing with in the future because we didn't stop and think about a solution to a problem we know will happen but say "future technology will find a solution"

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

I was a small child in the 1970s, watching the Wombles pick up litter, reusing and recycling it, 'The Good Life' and 'The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau'. 'Stig of the Dump' was a favourite book.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

As a gen Xer, we had more of a one track mind, but it wasn’t on global doomsdayisms or activism thankfully. Our main focus was more about the propagation of the species.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Yes, my school made great efforts to involve its students in local environmental conservation organisations and events by tethering it to school projects, extra curriculars, school trips, working with said organisations to enlist volunteers, and scheduling days where students could raise money and awareness for XYZ charity or cause. I also feel like a lot of cartoons and TV shows revolved around environmental and pollution issues and its consequences when I was a teen (Captain Planet).

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I did, but not a lot. I tried to keep showers to a minimum (time-wise), didn't run water while brushing my teeth, turned off lights in rooms I wasn't using, didn't pollute (and cleaned up discarded waste sometimes), but that might be about it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Back then I've got the education from my parents and teachers, we didn't need the media's propaganda to do so.

I remember we used to be able to recycle plastic and glass bottles for extra money. Also cans. They were good pocket money. Funny how nowadays those centers are long gone.

Also the biggest environmental nonsense is "saving water". Saving water for what? If any of those geniouses would had the basic knowledge about the circuit of water in nature, they wouldn't advocate for this nonsense. Water will not dissaper from the nature miraculously if you let it run 5 mins more for you bath...

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Our English textbook on the latter part of our junior year was devoted to environmental issues. Most of the essays where we studied certain grammar points and difficult vocabularies were related to ecology and nature. It was great being educated in the 90s.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No! When I was a teenager, no one gave a damn about the environment. I don't think even the environmentalists were around at that time! Nor any politician ever mentioned the environment!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I learned about things like pollution, saving water, recycling and the like as a kid back in the 80s - and they were (are) legitimate concerns. But for the most part they weren't exaggerated to the extent the climate change scare campaign is these days, nor were the proposed "solutions" nearly as punitive and unrealistic as the net-zero CO2 scam that's propagated through society nowadays.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It almost seems like our attitude to the environment was shaped in or before our youth. The ends of the continuum were sensitivity to nature and the planet or indifference (even repugnance, if you believe your body, the planet and life is a way-station on your route to heaven). But this suggests it was due to pre-existing personality types, depending on upbringing or genetic factors and certainly not rational or objective. Nonetheless, I would still say that sensitivity come from a better place in humanity than indifference. There is also love, beauty, compassion, peace, wonder. Our current world is built on indifference and alienation.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I am so old that I can remember when we had four distinct seasons. The climate discussion didn't come up till I was, well, I won't say what age, but it was much after I was a teen. Of course, now the climate has changed, recycling is almost a must (for me it's a must), and energy and water have come to worry me. So I beg off of being a teen when it all started for me, but just accept that I'm too old to have thought about it much then.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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