“‘Care about climate change?’ [Bruni] seems to ask, ‘Then surely you must care about entitlement reform! The two are basically the same!’ Excuse me if I don’t rate ‘fixing a potential budget shortfall decades down the road’ on the same level as ‘the coming sixth extinction.’ But at least Bruni acknowledges that climate change is, at its core, an intergenerational issue. That’s a hugely important admission from the “paper of record’s” often problematic opinion page.
“And yet, while Bruni’s light style was great for restaurant reviews, it comes off as monumentally tone-deaf and smug when attempting to handle a topic as deadly serious as climate change:
“For decades they’ll be saddled with our effluvium: a monstrous debt, an epidemic of obesity, Adam Sandler movies. In their lifetimes the Atlantic will possibly swallow Miami Beach (I foresee a “Golden Girls” sequel with dinghies and life preservers) and the footwear for Anchorage in February may be flip-flops. At least everyone will be saving on heating bills.
“Pardon me if I take some small measure of offense at conflating the ‘effluvium’ of Adam Sandler movies with the total destruction of the city of Miami. But I guess if you’re a middle-aged, affluent writer for the New York Times, catastrophic climate change is just a punch line, a fun excuse to make a ‘Golden Girls’ joke. For those of us who see projections about the global climate in the year 2050 and immediately start doing the math to deduce out our own ages, it’s hard to find the humor. (I’ll be 65 if I make it to 2050 — no spring chicken, but young enough that I’d rather not bear witness to the widespread drought, famine and subsequent global destabilization that follows.) For those people with young children – primarily millennials, of course — the stakes are even higher.
“There are other measures of “generational equity” that Bruni fails to account for as well. By never mentioning the student loan debt crisis, the automation of jobs, or the long-term unemployment crisis, Bruni is able to frame his entire argument around the perceived ‘intergenerational wealth transfer’ caused by expanding social welfare programs.”
Read the rest at Salon. “New York Times’ clueless, humiliating prescription for millennials”