10 Apr 2014
EARTH Month 2014: Restorative Eldership
Restoring Eldership to families and communities is at the heart of the sustainability movement. Elders traditionally take the long view on the culture and the world, offering perspective honed by experience when the community faces critical emerging challenges. In conversation with the innovative spark of youngers, we elders are called to hold the long view bridging past to present and future. And in this conversation across generations lies the energy and wisdom for a vibrant future. So it is that a restorative eldership is part of the cultural resilience at the heart of sustainability.
“Sustainability is about stabilizing
the currently disruptive relationship
between earth’s two most complex systems—
human culture and the living world.”
—Paul Hawken in Blessed Unrest
The Long View: Call to Climate Action 1-2-3
Our long view calls us to action. Our responses keep us accountable and fuel our commitments. Inspired by those who came before us whose acts of courage have made our lives bountiful and prosperous, we take up the current call to action on behalf of those whose young lives we cherish and those yet to be born for the next seven generations.
Please join our Gray Is Green Climate Action 1-2-3 Plan this EARTH Month:
1. Congratulate yourself for one or more actions at which you excel!
2. Add two or more actions from the EPA tips for acting on climate.
3. Encourage three or more people to join you in this plan.
For understanding climate changes present and future, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) presents What We Know featuring scientists clarifying the state of the science on climate change.
With climate disruption at the heart of our policy challenges, we rely on updates from the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): The March 31, 2014 IPCC Summary for Policy Makers is timely and accessible.
Since climate disruptions are underway and destined to be with us for the foreseeable future, we must adapt strategically. A new report, Climate Change and Elderly Americans: Examining Adaptability in an Aging Population is informative in this regard.
And this report on Age Friendly Cities from the World Health Organization offers an international perspective on adaptation among ageing populations.
Sustainable Shelter and Sociability
In the midst of adapting to climate changes, meeting the needs of daily living while staying connected with friends and family can be challenging for people of any age or life circumstance. The twin processes of ageing and passing into elderhood create opportunities to ask focal questions about how to live: what is the optimal housing design, where shall that home be located, and what transportation options are optimal. Living in smaller spaces, sourcing local foods, and sharing transportation can add up to enhanced opportunities for sociability while lowering per capita carbon footprint—a true win-win-win!
The Co-Housing Movement is part of an emerging response to the question of how millions of Boomers will acclimate to aging, economics, and climate. See our post on Shelter and Sociability for an overview of the excellent resources available for investigating these opportunities. We will also feature this topic in our upcoming Curriculum for Gray-Green Living and Advocacy.
Gray Is Green on the Road
This April we are celebrating our Gray Is Green outreach nationally and internationally.
I recently returned from a founding workshop, Vision for a New American Elderhood, in Burlingame, CA, with leaders of grassroots organizations from around the country. Our collective commitment to elder leadership on climate change is broad and deep—and growing.
Board President Rick Moody is in Galway, Ireland, delivering a keynote address on cultural gerontology Gray Is Green: Elders and the Care of the Earth, at the European Gerontology Conference. Today, as you read this, he is sharing our vision across the Atlantic. The vitality of our movement is international.
Watch for more on all of the outreach opportunities with Gray Is Green…
This will make you smile! For a conversation starter, nothing beats this engineering feat that makes an unexpected splash. Pardon the pun as you see this surprise innovation: never thought a billboard could be used this way!