New rules of engagement for older people and climate change

Aug 26, 2010

A new study by researchers at the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) at the University of York calls for better engagement of older people on climate change issues.

The report, prepared in partnership with the Community Service Volunteers' Retired and Senior Volunteer Programme (RSVP), urges the scrapping of stereotypes which suggest that older people are incapable of engagement, passive or disinterested in .

Instead, the research team recommends new approaches to engage older people, which promote direct interaction and the use of trusted agents that are sensitive to the personal circumstances older people face. The report sets out a ten-point plan to engage older people more effectively on climate change issues and greener living.

The report claims that a combination of climate change and an ageing population will have wide ranging socio-economic and environmental impacts. It acknowledges that older people may be physically, financially and emotionally less able to cope with the effects of climate-related .

Lead author Dr Gary Haq, a human ecologist at SEI, said:

"The engagement and participation of older people in climate change issues are important as older people can be seen as potential contributors to, and casualties of, climate change as well as potential campaigners to tackle the problem."

'Baby boomers' (aged 50-64) currently have the highest in the UK compared with other age groups. They represent the first generation of the consumer society entering old age. As they will move to older groups they will replace low carbon footprint habits and values with relatively high consumption.

Dr Haq said: "Recent evidence from the older age sector highlight the inadequacies of current methods of information provision and community engagement on climate change. It is critical to implementing policies to tackle climate change and to address the needs of an ageing population."

Dave Brown, co-author and member of RSVP, said: "While older people are concerned about climate change, they do not feel they will be directly affected. Nor do they feel they can personally take action to stop it. The older generation represent a missing voice and a missed opportunity."

Explore further: Rising anger as Nicaragua canal to break ground

Provided by University of York

1 /5 (3 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

EPA releases report on climate change and health

Jul 17, 2008

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released a report that discusses the potential impacts of climate change on human health, human welfare, and communities in the U.S. The report, entitled "Analyses of the Effects ...

Predicting the quality of life for older adults

May 29, 2007

As a growing number of baby boomers retire, our society will have more older adults than ever before, so it is crucial to determine what predicts quality of life in older age. A joint study from the University of Alberta ...

Recommended for you

Rising anger as Nicaragua canal to break ground

11 hours ago

As a conscripted soldier during the Contra War of the 1980s, Esteban Ruiz used to flee from battles because he didn't want to have to kill anyone. But now, as the 47-year-old farmer prepares to fight for ...

Hopes, fears, doubts surround Cuba's oil future

Dec 20, 2014

One of the most prolific oil and gas basins on the planet sits just off Cuba's northwest coast, and the thaw in relations with the United States is giving rise to hopes that Cuba can now get in on the action.

New challenges for ocean acidification research

Dec 19, 2014

Over the past decade, ocean acidification has received growing recognition not only in the scientific area. Decision-makers, stakeholders, and the general public are becoming increasingly aware of "the other carbon dioxide ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

TegiriNenashi
1 / 5 (1) Aug 26, 2010
Well, why don't we hear tiresome "good old times" story from old farts, in the climate context? The only explanation is that the climate didn't change a tiny bit.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.