Letters to the Editor: Baby boomers, we have time to save the planet that our children don’t

Young siblings watch flames from the Bobcat fire burn in the mountains near Monrovia on Sept. 15, 2020.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: The op-ed article by Akaya Windwood and Bill McKibben on the need for baby boomers to advocate for action on voting rights, climate change and economic inequality resonated with me as I contemplate my life and the world around me.

I barely make it into the boomer category, but I am proud it was my generation that began to question traditional values and rebel against authority. As such, I often have found myself disappointed and at odds with the silent generation as well as some younger ones.

Unfortunately, the idealism of some of the flower children faded as they faced marriage, childbearing and demanding careers. But a few of my boomer friends kept the passion of the 1960s in their souls and are using their time to get involved in today’s important issues.


Many of us now have the time and resources to renew and refresh our sense of responsibility to the world around us.

Lynn Lorenz, Newport Beach


To the editor: I’m rooting for Windwood and McKibben’s vision of the older, richer, more powerful boomer cohort to use its authority, experience and time to rebalance American life.

They were onto something early in their collective lives with civil rights and the fight for equity and access. Then they seemed to abandon ship in the 1980s, and we’re still living with the consequences.

I can sympathize. It’s hard to be politically active during parenting years.

I’m part of Generation X and have a tween and a teen. Because of the way our world is set up, my wife and I spend all our time working and cobbling together a supportive home life — and we have it “good.” We have neither the time nor economic space to fight for progress toward the better, sustainable life we want for our kids and need for humanity.

Action and sustained effort are desperately needed to turn us around. Boomers, we need you, OK?

Nick Gilhool, Echo Park


To the editor: The authors state that the younger generation has taken the lead in making the world a better place. Are they forgetting Bernie Sanders? Elizabeth Warren? John Lewis?

As for “doing more,” there’s a point in life where it becomes more insular. We become less concerned with the outside world and more aware of our own mortality and, consequently, our spirituality. If we choose to be out in the streets, it’s probably because over time we’ve developed a perspective that makes activism a more spiritual part of our life journey.

This is the result of time allowing us to accumulate wisdom, something that anyone who uses the slur “boomer” (and it is a slur, used primarily when we accuse the older generation of being out of touch or clueless) has likely not done.

Life becomes quieter and more observed as we age, and we accept that the world will never be perfect. Someday, even Greta Thunberg will slow down and realize that her activism, however she may choose to manifest it as she ages, comes from inside and there will always be opposing forces.

Cathryn Roos, La Habra