Generations divide on environmental and social values

Justin Langer’s column in The Weekend West on the importance of shared values in the forging of corporate sports partnerships was right on the money.

And I wonder if there is a divide on environmental and social values between our Generation Z sporting heroes, and the often much older sports administrators and corporate decision makers.

Take the issue of climate change, for example.

Like all people of their age, Gen-Z sporting stars have a lot to lose, as our planet heats up.  The older you are, the more theoretical the likely impacts might seem.  For our younger sporting stars and their contemporaries, increasingly catastrophic weather events, mass migration, ecological collapse and food scarcity are in-their-lifetime threats.

Z’s see baby boomers as having caused climate change, with Generation X and millennials not having done enough to counter it.  Being told that they should be seen and not heard on climate by their elders, simply reinforces this view.

As the effects of climate change become even more apparent, and as it becomes increasingly likely the world will miss its decarbonisation goals, expect the demands for climate action from Generation Z and the coming Generation Alpha to only get louder.  And for their higher standards and expectations to extend to the world’s other environmental and social challenges.

It will be a good test of values for the rest of us, in how we respond.

This column also appeared in The West Australian newspaper.


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