Introducing Professor Mick Smyer, PhD
I have a real treat for you guys today, for all sorts of reasons, not the least of which is that at the end of this interview, I am going to drop a bomb. But first, let me introduce my next guest, who I discovered while perusing a copy of USA Today while waiting to catch a plane from Brazil to Mexico. I was traveling to record videos for my new Go!Mobile Youtube channel, which is for people who want to travel in an environmentally sensitive way, sometimes referred to as eco-tourism.
What caught my eye in this issue of the newspaper was an op/ed entitled, “Kids, it’s time to give your parents ‘the talk.’ Not that one, the one on climate change.”
“Wow!” I thought. This op/ed contains two issues I am really passionate about: intergenerational communication, and the environment. The author, and my guest today, advocated opening channels of communication between generations on the controversial topic of climate change by keeping the discussion short, social, and positive, and I like that approach. Unfortunately the resulting comments to the op/ed were anything but positive, in fact, they were downright harsh.
I wanted to understand the issue better, so I gave the author a call and invited him on the show, so today I am delighted to introduce you to Mick Smyer, PhD, a professor of psychology at Bucknell University, and the founder The Graying Green Project, which brings together climate communicators, scientists, community and business leaders to make older people more visible, valued and effective on climate action.
A national expert, Dr. Smyer has written and lectured extensively on aging. He has also consulted with Fortune 500 companies, state and national legislative leaders and higher education organizations on the impacts of aging. Mick cares deeply about the environment, and you can really feel that in this interview, in which he gives me a polite but appropriate schooling on how to be appreciative of the prior generation. I like that.
Finally, and perhaps most impressive, are Dr. Smyer’s prodigious skills as a washboard player with Pennsylvania’s own Rustical Quality String Band. I’ll give you a taste of that sound at the end of the show, but first, let’s hear from Dr. Mick Smyer, PhD, founder of the Graying Green project.
Subjects Mick Smyer and I talked about
- The Graying Green Project
- Go!Mobile Videos
- “Old People Don’t Care About Climate Change” video
- Kids It’s Time to Give Your Parents “The Talk” op/ed
- Avoidance vs. Denial
- At any level, from the individual to the collective, people act out when in transitions
- Union of Concerned Scientists
- Co2 levels have accelerated at never-seen-before levels since 1950
- Humans are not wired to think strategically at the eon or 10xeon frame
- Every generation grades itself on the curve
- What do we collectively do now? It’s not the time to rest on our laurels. What’s the next challenge?
- Yale program on climate change shows older people care. 70% know it’s happening; 50% believe it’s human caused
- 50% of the Boomers are in the “worried middle” — they know, but they don’t know where & how to act
- We need all hands on deck
- Success has many parents, and failure is an orphan
- “I am concerned about you and your future, and I want to leave the planet as good as I can find”
- Depending on how your locale’s electricity is generated, it could be greener to drive a hybrid than a pure electric vehicle
- Is your assisted living place buying green energy?
- It’s not about direction…it’s about pace!
Brant’s Op/Ed on The Green New Deal
For another perspective on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and a decidedly less flattering one, read my op/ed on how she completely dissed her senior colleague in the guise of “activism” and “urgency.” Not cool. Where is the sacred tolerance for diversity and people of color? Apparently it does not extend to the color grey.
Questions I prepared for Dr. Mick Smyer
Sea level rise
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Presto and grazie!