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Why isn’t our parents’ generation paying for us?


10:05 am - May 2nd 2010

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contribution by Neil Boorman

If a discussion on Broken Britain goes on long enough, the probability of someone mentioning selfish individualism approaches 1.

It’s the social cancer that gestated during the consumer boom of the 60’s and spread to the heart of every generation thereafter.

There are hundreds of advertising manuals devoted to Baby Boomers, the generation that currently dominates the British political landscape, but they all point to one character trait: the selfish individual.

“Boomers want special treatment,” according to 50 Things Every Marketer Needs to Know About Boomers Over 50, “and feel entitled to it. They want your special treatment because they think they deserve it, or have earned it.”

We’d be mad to infuse the political system with the gloss and instant gratification of the high street.

But it would benefit enormously from the core values of service economy. Popular brands resonate with consumers because they anticipate and meet the needs of their target market.

The political system, on the other hand, has short changed its customers as a matter of routine, and its all taken place under the counter.

Young adults are the most obvious example. From the moment that they become conscious of their place in life (around about the time they compare their first pay packet with the enormous student debt they owe) its clear that they’ve been ripped off.

Almost every privilege that their parents grew up with, and continue to benefit from, has been downsized or discontinued, from free education to social welfare to affordable housing to long-term work. The phone lines, TV stations, gas, airports, airways, steel, water and electricity have been sold off.

There’s no money saved for the upcoming spike in pensions and elderly care. And the clean-up bill for both the credit crunch and the ruined environment can only be picked up by the young. For young adults, normal life as was – a house, two kids, a holiday and savings – is an aspiration that only city traders can realistically expect to attain.

Registration among first time voters might be up and the Clegg Effect is a shot in the arm for British politics. But considering how badly they’ve been stitched up, young adults aren’t engaging on their own terms.

Generational inequality should be a core issue at the election.

Wealthy Boomer graduates should be paying retrospective tuition fees. The Bank Of Mum and Dad should be paying a Tobin tax to pay for child trust funds.

Stamp duty on second homes should be subsidising affordable homes. Unpaid internships for young workers should be assisted with income support. And retirement, for the swollen ranks of Baby Boomers, should be postponed.

But the best thing that young people can do, to save their own skins, is to behave less like marginalised subjects and more like the consumers they were apparently born to be.

Westminster is a service. As full paying customers, young adults can expect their wants and needs to be satisfied. If it fails to meet their demands, they should take it back and exchange it for something else.

According to the law of advertising, Generations X and Y generally respond to propositions with the principle of WIIFM (what’s in it for me?). The current answer, in terms of politics, is ‘not very much at all’. In future, by way of necessity, the answer has got to be ‘everything I deserve’.

————–
Neil Boorman is the author of It’s All Their Fault: A Manifesto

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“But it would benefit enormously from the core values of service economy. Popular brands resonate with consumers because they anticipate and meet the needs of their target market.

The political system, on the other hand, has short changed its customers as a matter of routine, and its all taken place under the counter. ”

Well, yes, quite.

To which the solution is more markets, more anticipating and meeting the needs of people and less politics.

Tim Rand

“To which the solution is more markets, more anticipating and meeting the needs of people and less politics.”

Oh yes more free markets and less regulation just like this……from the WSJ

“The oil well spewing crude into the Gulf of Mexico didn’t have a remote-control shut-off switch used in two other major oil-producing nations as last-resort protection against underwater spills.
The lack of the device, called an acoustic switch, could amplify concerns over the environmental impact of offshore drilling after the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon rig last week.
…U.S. regulators don’t mandate use of the remote-control device on offshore rigs, and the Deepwater Horizon, hired by oil giant BP PLC, didn’t have one. With the remote control, a crew can attempt to trigger an underwater valve that shuts down the well even if the oil rig itself is damaged or evacuated.
…The U.S. considered requiring a remote-controlled shut-off mechanism several years ago, but drilling companies questioned its cost and effectiveness, according to the agency overseeing offshore drilling. The agency, the Interior Department’s Minerals Management Service, says it decided the remote device wasn’t needed because rigs had other back-up plans to cut off a well.
…An acoustic trigger costs about $500,000, industry officials said. The Deepwater Horizon had a replacement cost of about $560 million, and BP says it is spending $6 million a day to battle the oil spill. On Wednesday, crews set fire to part of the oil spill in an attempt to limit environmental damage.
Some major oil companies, including Royal Dutch Shell PLC and France’s Total SA, sometimes use the device even where regulators don’t call for it.

Finally, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that BP argued against stricter safety regulations for the oil industry in letters to the Minerals Management Service last year. BP joined with several other oil producers to say that current voluntary safety rules are sufficient. BP’s Vice President for Gulf of Mexico Production wrote:

“We believe the industry’s current safety and environmental statistics demonstrate that the voluntary programs..have been and continue to be very successful.”

3. Matt Munro

I agree with everything (I hate boomers) you say but would take issue with this

” From the moment that they become conscious of their place in life (around about the time they compare their first pay packet with the enormous student debt they owe) its clear that they’ve been ripped off.”

When boomers went to UNi they had to be among the academic elite (top 20%). Gen Y all wanted “the right” to higher education, so you can hardly complain that the someone had to pay the price (and why not the people who benefiit ?) and that the degree has been devalued to the point of being almost worthless.

More generally, the most depressing things about generation Y is the way they have taken the worst aspects of Gen X – the thatcherite aquisitive dynamic, and the worst aspects of the boomers – the ostentatious hollow gesture, the self-obsessed sense of entitlement and the desire for endless “change”, and fused them into a neurotic, puritanical, whiney, risk averse control freakery. FFS they are the first generation since medieval times to actually be scared of the weather. Just look at how crap the 00s (the decade when gen Y came of age) were, compared to virtually any decade since WW2.

@1 Tim Worstall

“To which the solution is more markets, more anticipating and meeting the needs of people and less politics.”

Because these have proven to be such a huge success thus far? Untrammelled markets which are not regulated (or regulated with a light touch a la Pa Broon’s approach to banks) have played a starring role in the economic debacle the crypto-Tories currently in power have helped bring about. They aren’t a panacea, and never were.

“Less politics” and “more anticipating and meeting needs” are such mothership and apple pie statements that few would disagree with them…. but what do they actually mean? Given your politics Tim, we probably have a fair idea, but I doubt many people in sympathy with left-liberal leanings would find your definitions palateable, or even sane.

If young adults feel so hard done by, time to put up or shut up. True, the older generations may have been a huge let down, but let’s not forget it will be thanks to many of them that we wake up next Friday with the prospect of a different system. We are all in this together – ageism isn’t going to be any more helpful than other “isms” in helping dig us out of the hole.

“Untrammelled markets which are not regulated (or regulated with a light touch a la Pa Broon’s approach to banks) have played a starring role in the economic debacle the crypto-Tories currently in power have helped bring about. They aren’t a panacea, and never were. ”

1) There’s no such thing as an “untrammelled” or “not regulated” market. The question is who does the regulating and how? It can be the law, the politicians, the bureaucrats, the participants in the market, the customers, the suppliers……

Different markets will work better or worse under each of those possibilities. The trick is in working out a) what we mean by better and b) which is which.

2) Yes, the banking system is one of those markets which does need regulation by law.

Don’t ever make the lazy assumption about my views that because I’m against some (or even much) current regulation that I am therefore in favour of none. Some things very definitely need government/State intervention. Climate change needs either carbon taxes or cap and trade permits….we couldn’t even have a market in intellecual property unless the State invented property rights for there to be intellectual property.

The argument is never, from my point of view anyway, over whether there should be regulation. It’s over what regulations there are going to be and who is going to be the person doing the regulating.

Matt @3

“FFS [Gen Y] are the first generation since medieval times to actually be scared of the weather.”

e.g.?

@ 5 Tim

“Don’t ever make the lazy assumption about my views that because I’m against some (or even much) current regulation that I am therefore in favour of none.”

Then don’t make lazy statements like ” the solution is more markets, more anticipating and meeting the needs of people and less politics.”

Eh? I shouldn’t quote the post I’m commenting on?

@8

Oh FFS, are you being deliberately obtuse, or is it just that the caffeine hasn’t kicked in yet?

If you take such exception to people making, as you called it “lazy assumptions” about your views, try not posting glib throw away responses like “the solution is more markets, more anticipating and meeting the needs of people and less politics”, which explains nothing.

Galen10 – it’s not ‘ageism,’ you might want to read this for a bit more analysis:

http://pennyred.blogspot.com/2010/04/dispatches-from-same-old-staggers-on.html

@ 10 KJB

Yeah, it really is. All it really amounts to is a prolonged whinge that: “From the moment that they become conscious of their place in life (around about the time they compare their first pay packet with the enormous student debt they owe) its clear that they’ve been ripped off.”

Blaming “the others” is as much as a cop out when the target is some monolithic chimaera of over 50’s Baby Boomers who never had it so good, as it is when it’s directed at some other random group. It’s simplistic, it’s not particularly illuminating, and it really just doesn’t feel “right”.

I don’t really qualify as a boomer under that definition, being under 50…. but I’m sure there are plenty in my generation who share the responsibility for the state of the nation. Similarly, I’m sure lots of boomers would complain about the legacy of what came before them… and what of all those young whipper snappers who feel so strongly about the issues they couldn’t be bothered to vote?

Up to a point I actually agree that “young adults can expect their wants and needs to be satisfied. If it fails to meet their demands, they should take it back and exchange it for something else.”…. perhaps not ALL their wants, but hey they’re young right? The thing is the blame game and laying total responsibility at the door of baby boomers isn’t going to get any of us where we want to go in a hurry.

12. Matt Munro

@ 6 – Er that thing called “climate change” that everyone under 35 was obsessed with until 6 months ago ?

Matt @ 12

I didn’t know that global warming was simply a weather issue. Phew!

Do you have any references for that?

14. Matt Munro

@ 11 Galen – what exectly do boomers have to complain about what went before ?

They are

The first (and probably the only) generation to enjoy a completely free welfare state from cradle to grave

The first (and last) generation who benefited the most from their parents inheritances – now happily living to 100 and frittering away their kids inheritances away under the guise of “redefining old age”

The generation who enjoyed at least 2 and for some 3, housing booms

The generation who have never known widespread unemployment

The generation who turned on, tuned in, dropped out and then er put on a suit, dusted down their LSE degrees, joined Golman Sachs and voted Thatcher and Blair in

The generation responsible for the worst crime against fashion in human history – the male pony tail.

In short he generation that used up all the oil, spent all the money, took all the jobs and now expect us to pay for their 40 year long party.

Villification is too good for them

15. Matt Munro

@ Don’t tell me – it’s a “climate” issue – based on long term trends, like er the last 150 years out of the millions that the planet has been in existence ?

Matt @ 15

I’m actually interested in what you have to back up your claim.

17. Matt Munro

@16 Which particular claim ? That the under 35s are more concerned with climate change than the over 35s ?

14
I feel your loathing, however, with a couple of exceptions, your hate list has more to do with the middle-class. And as for the oil, a good part of that revenue was spent by Thatcher to destroy thousands of working-class jobs.
Btw Matt, the welfare state has never been free.

Matt @ 17

I’m just curious as to how you managed to claim climate change is a synonym for weather.

I’m also interested as to how people’s concerns over climate change can be labelled as being “scared of the weather.”

Do you have any references for these claims?

Tim Rand “Don’t ever make the lazy assumption about my views that because I’m against some (or even much) current regulation that I am therefore in favour of none. Some things very definitely need government/State intervention. ”

T I M B E R………….

Another fake libertarian hits the ground, as he clarifies his views.

“Another fake libertarian hits the ground, as he clarifies his views.”

You obviously don’t bother reading what I actually write. I’ve made this distinction a number of times here already. Two distinctions in fact.

1) I’m not a libertarian, I’m a classical liberal.

2) As such the argument is always over what is to be regulated, by whom and how. To take clearly and obviously extreme examples. Should the price Facebook wants to charge its customers be regulated by the State? Whether that price be nothing, the requirement that there be advertising on the page or that you must pay a fee to join?

I think almost all of us would agree that’s something that can be safely left to the customers of Facebook to regulate. If they don’t like the model they bugger off and this regulates it.

At the other extreme no we don’t want the criminal law to become a market place in which those who offer the “best deal” with those with the money to pay for it paying for the deal they desire.

My arguments are only and ever about what we do with that vast part of life inbetween those two extremes. And if you’re incapable of understanding that then you’re even more stupid than I thought you were.

22. Matt Munro

@ 19. Climate change is based on the idea that if current trends continue, i.e long term it gets hotter, then extreme weather events will become more frequent and widespread, sea levels will rise etc etc is it not ? And the means of mesuring these trends is by monitoring the weather, is it not. It’s not therefore a huge leap of logic to characterise climate change zealotry as fear of the weather as in “It’s getter hotter/colder/wetter/drier – it must be climate change”

This is a blog by the way, not an undergraduate tutorial, you are allowed to post opinions without references

23. Charlieman

@3 Matt Munro: “When boomers went to UNi they had to be among the academic elite (top 20%).”

The US definition of the baby boom ends it in 1964. For the sake of argument, assume that the UK baby boom covered the same period, and that those who benefitted from a university education would have attended between 1961 and 1982; the Robbins Report increased UK university admissions from 1964.

By the mid 1980s, university attendance was up to 12% of the overall population. So perhaps 20% of baby boomers attended university. But those who attended were not the “academic elite”, because the attendees were padded out by the middle class “adequate but not brilliant”.

Lots of working or lower middle class young people chose to work at 18 or to study part time. That option ended for many with the 1980s rise in unemployment which removed the ability to have a secure job that provided access to life long learning. The Open University flourished, of course, but it was a pretty middle class phenomenon.

“The generation who have never known widespread unemployment” May I pick a date range about which we won’t quibble? The UK has experienced bubbles of widespread unemployment continually since 1980; the bubbles in the early/mid 1980s and early 1990s had a particular impact on people who had worked throughout their adult lives and aspired to work again.

“The generation responsible for the worst crime against fashion in human history – the male pony tail.” Wrong again. Crocs were invented by a post boomer.

Matt @ 22

You say “you are allowed to post opinions without references”

That’s the first time I’ve come across anyone on a blog/message-board/website actually refusing to provide anything to back up their position.

Opinions have to have some factual basis. Given that you refuse to link to any article showing that climate change = a medieval fear of weather, there is no real option but to dismiss your claim.

For the record, you should read this http://www.skepticalscience.com/weather-forecasts-vs-climate-models-predictions.htm and Skeptical Science’s general list of arguments http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

25. Matt Munro

@ 24 I hate to burst your bubble but I won’t lose any sleep over you “dismising my claim” .
If can genuinely see no paralells between medievil supersitions – some of them based on the weather, and some of the more alarmist (some might say hysterical) reactions to perfectly nornal weather patters (e.g floods, cold winters) then you should perhaps widen your intellectual horizons a little. Some of us can think for ourselves, rather than getting our “opinions” from google.

As for “Opinions have to have some factual basis”. Define “factual”

“I hate to burst your bubble but I won’t lose any sleep over you “dismising my claim”.”

No worries.

“Some of us can think for ourselves, rather than getting our “opinions” from google.”

I’d be very grateful if you would at least provide something, instead of basically saying “I’m right but I won’t show how”. You may be correct in what you say, however, the fact that you’re unwilling to provide something in support doesn’t lend much in the way of credibility towards your claim.

“Factual” – scientific evidence would be a good place to start, whether a science journal, science website, or even some guy’s blog which cites other places, not simply a bare assertion.

PS. My link wasn’t just something I found on Google, but a website I read every day which deals with global warming/climate change issues.

Matt I’d read those skeptical science links if I were you, lots of good information there for anyone interested in climate change.

28. A new generation?

There seems to be a lot of talk about generational politics at the moment. Jonathan Potell has an article in The Independent, talking about Nick Clegg and David Cameron as part of previously undiscovered “Generation Jones”.

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/jonathan-pontell-cleggs-rise-is-the-sound-of-generation-jones-clearing-its-throat-1961191.html

Having come of age after the ideological battles of the 1960s they are suposedly more pragmatic than Boomers, but came just before the stereotypically cynical Generation X.

Perhaps most importantly, it seems like we’re likely to have a GenJoneser dominated Parliament after Thursday.

Any thoughts on whether Generation Jones is likely to be better than the Boomers Neil et al?

@D-notice: I think Matt is correct in saying that the majority of people will actually associate extreme weather with climate change. Reason: this is what media reporting implies and people don’t generally read the science literature to appreciate the difference. I am a working academic scientist and understand why you want references etc but you actually “cite” a website. That’s what 1st year undergrads do! Not confidence inspiring.

NR

The website I linked to has full references on each article – it’s reasonable to link to such a site, in a non-academic situation such as this.

If it was a science journal we were writing in, then, yeah, I agree, it wouldn’t be sufficient to link to it.

I absolutely agree. I have been ranting on about this for years…

To consider one example: all my grandparents retired and took their state pensions at 60 (the women) or 65 (men), or earlier (two out of four). They also have occupational pensions (some state funded, some private) to make an actuary wince.

My parents will retire at 60 on very close to a median working income (each), indexed, with better health benefits, privileged taxation and a home fully paid for.

My partner and I can expect to collect our basic state pension at 68 at the earliest (I reckon 70; or more likely, not at all), pay extra for health benefits (and everything else) and pay a huge percentage of our salary – directly or indirectly – for the rest of our lives, funding and bailing out the lifestyles of our immediate forebears.

The government’s tax take on the two of us – income tax, NI, council tax, VAT, booze, fags, flights, fuel (probably close to 50% all-in) – would not fund the overall benefit package afforded to my parents as baby boomers.

So I would like to see income tax at 70%+ for pensioners on higher incomes, IHT at 100% and a capital assets tax on the wealthy – particularly the economically unproductive.

Unfortunately, this will target the constituency which the mainstream parties have only sought to appease, so will never happen.

Life’s a bitch and then (if you’re a baby boomer) you collect your pension.

@A New Generation

Yeah people have been talking about this for a while. Niel Stockley had a great piece about it a few months ago. Apparently the move to GenJones leaders is taking over is happening all over the World.

http://neilstockley.blogspot.com/search/label/Generation%20Jones

33. Susan Warri

Neil Boorman you are talking rubbish. If the young can’t afford a house then its because house building stopped and council houses were sold off thus creating a serious housing shortage which caused house prices to escalate making them out of reach of the young. Our higher education was paid for because in the past people paid more tax – especially the rich who were taxed at a much higher rate than they are now. Policitians wanting to help their rich friends, not the baby boomers, soon put a stop to that. Politicians, beginning with Thatcher, have gradually sold off some of our most precious assets and businesses to foreign companies just to make a quick buck. Now nationalisation is coming back – not by the British Government but by German and French and Russian governments who now make profits at our expense. Look at your history Neil Boorman before slagging off the baby boomers – many of whom voted against all these selfish changes and who constantly hark back to a fifty and sixties society which had a sense of hope for the future because it had a much stronger sense of fairness hence the establishment of the NHS and the welfare state. Subsequent generations – not the baby boomers have begun to dismantle all the good that was done in the fifties and sixties through privatisation and a creeping unfair tax system which now favours the rich and focuses the emphasis on the individual few making quick profits at the expense of the majority.

33
Your post is almost exactly what I would have written had I read @31 sooner. I would also add that it was that generation who paid for the inception of the welfare state, the first massive round of social housing and the industrialization of certain industries. People of a certain age might remember the song ‘Taxman’ on the Beatles ‘Revolver’ album, about the massive taxes they paid – ‘There’s one for me nineteen for you’

@33 and @34 – who voted Thatcher in?

I wasn’t even fucking born when she was first elected.

Yes, the baby boomers built the welfare state – but they will live long enough to see it die an inglorious death, whilst squeezing the life out of the new working class who fund it, yet barely benefit from it.

Obviously there are those amongst the baby boomer generation who voted against this disaster, just as there are those amongst the “feckless poor” who are not, in fact, feckless; or “feral kids” who are actually quite the reverse.

The fact remains: if Thatcher, Major, Blair and Brown fucked the country over, they did it with the support of the largest constituency in politics – the baby boomers.

35
By the time Thatcher’s reign was over, the family silver had gone, You also need to read some history about the welfare state, it wasn’t quite as altruistic as is normally thought.
I never voted for Thatcher, and though I don’t have the figures to hand, the conservatives were voted-in on a fairly small percentage of the electorate.I certainly agree with you about the working-class putting more into the welfare state than they get out.
One unintended consequence of the welfare-state was the fairly large increase in life-expectency, at the time Beveridge calculated the pensionabe age to be 65 years for men, this was the average male life-span compared to about 80 years currently. This is why pensionable age is to be increased and the aging population is now creating political concern.

36
The increase in life-expectancy isn’t only attributable to the welfare state, although I’d accept that it is a big contribution. Presumably such increases can be seen in other countries which don’t have such a system?

Your point about the low % of the popular vote which propelled Thatcherism or Blairism to their huge majorities is valid, and only goes to reinforce the view that, whatever David Cameron thinks, it isn’t Britain that’s broken, but the clapped out system.

If you agree with the sentiments of Johan Harri’s recent Independent piece that compassionate Conservatism is not only an oxymoron, but not actually taking place in one of the “show case” London boroughs trialling it, and if you can’t stomach 5 more years of New Labour, the choice on Thursday is clear.

The “blame game” about whether baby boomers caused the sky to fall down is a distraction. There is plenty of mud to throw around in the hope some of it will stick to the particular group you may hold responsible – but I’m not sure a reliance on people behaving “more like consumers” is the answer. Trying to address the “Generational inequality” in the OP is just a sub-set of addressing the much more general issues facing society as a whole. I’m not saying it isn’t important, but it’s only part of the picture.

38. Susan Warri

If you’re so angry then you should go into politics and try to make a difference. Become an activist – do something instead of just complaining about it! Young people should be organising themselves and actively participating in politics – the voices of the young in masses have always been listened to because they are the future. But a lone voice is useless – you’ve got to protest as a mass through demonstrations – not just the internet. If you weren’t born until after Thatcher was elected then you won’t know how in the sixties the youth/student voice was very strong and politically aware and actively campaigned against long established views and unfairness and did change things for the better. Now, young people have become completely switched off by politics – not just by the politicians – they haven’t changed – but by a host of other modern distractions. But becoming politicised and active is the only way to change things. Society is better now than it was, say, 300 years ago and each generation has subsequently built on all the good things that previous generations have done or invented – without the past we wouldn’t be where we are now. I was a child of the sixties – a baby boomer – and we believed our generation could make a better world – better than the one created by previous generations. The difference now it seems is that Thatcher’s children believe its up to the previous generation – to make things better for them. Of course it troubles me that my grandchildren can’t afford to buy their own houses, will have massive student debt, are finding it difficult to find jobs and won’t be able to retire until they are much older. But it also troubles me that they and their generation would rather go out clubbing, watch Friends and listen to their ipods at the expense of taking part in any policital discussion or reading an influential novel or pamphlet about how to change things and create a fairer society. And before my generation actually dies off I would like to see this young generation put into place a much fairer voting system because with our present ‘first past the post’ system only a minority of voters actually supported all those disastrous Thatcher, Major, Blair and Brown governments. which have done so much damage to the good things done in the past.

Matt @22:

The understanding of global warming and resulting climate change has nothing to do with ‘monitoring the weather’. It is based in understanding the physical properties of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, the theory of thermodynamics, the structure of the atmosphere and so on – in other words, basic physics applied to our real atmosphere.

And it’s not opinions without references that count – it’s science that depends on many thousands of research papers. Science that’s explained in sites like Reall Climate and Skeptical Science.

40. Matt Munro

@33 “If the young can’t afford a house then its because house building stopped and council houses were sold off thus creating a serious housing shortage which caused house prices to escalate making them out of reach of the young”

No – the young can’t afford houses because the boomers all bough them for a song in the 1970s, made a packet out of them and are still living in them. This country is full of half empty 3/4 bedroom houses with 2 aeging boomers living in them, whilst young families are crammed into over priced flats or tiny houses. Boomers need to start handing them over and/or dying. But of course they won’t, they will hang on, for decades, rubbing our noses in it and pocketing our taxes in their pensions.

And council house sell offs are a red herring. Whether it’s privately/council owned it it still the same house, housing the same number of people. And, as others have pointed out it was a Thatcher (i.e boomer elected politician) policy anyway.

I wouldn’t of course expect boomers to take responsibility for anything except themselves and Sgt bloody Peppers (the most overrrated record in history, from the most overrrated (boomer) band in history).

“The understanding of global warming and resulting climate change has nothing to do with ‘monitoring the weather’. It is based in understanding the physical properties of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, the theory of thermodynamics, the structure of the atmosphere and so on – in other words, basic physics applied to our real atmosphere.”

No, actually, it isn’t. The physics of the atmosphere give us a climate sensitivity (temp rise for a doubling of CO2) of 0.7 oC. This isn’t a number really to bother anyone else.

The much larger range, of 2-6 o C comes from guesses about the chaotic series of feedbacks that follow from that temp rise. This is an area where very little is so far proven and much is asserted. We are all guessing as to what is the cumulative impact of all of these positive and negative feedbacks. Some of us are guessing from a more informed base and some from a less such to be sure but there is still large uncertainty as to the size of actual climate sensitivity and there’s even mild uncertainty as to whater the total feedbacks are even positive or negative over what ranges.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Kate B

    RT @libcon: Why isn't our parents' generation paying for us? http://bit.ly/aSXMHu >>hey, good bloody point. Mother?

  2. Sheryl Odlum

    RT @libcon: Why isn't our parents' generation paying for us? http://bit.ly/aSXMHu

  3. Dan Wright

    http://is.gd/bQOVA Genius.

  4. Kenan Malik

    There's one thing, at least, that generation Y seems to have inherited from Baby Boomers – a sense of 'me, me, me': http://bit.ly/cRKCkZ

  5. zahra

    RT @libcon: Why isn't our parents' generation paying for us? http://bit.ly/aSXMHu

  6. Justin Nelson

    Liberal Conspiracy » Why isn’t our parents’ generation paying for us? http://ht.ly/1FTOq

  7. Harriet Mawdsley

    RT @kenanmalik: There's one thing, at least, that generation Y seems to have inherited from Baby Boomers – a sense of 'me, me, me': http://bit.ly/cRKCkZ

  8. D Runner

    Liberal Conspiracy » Why isn't our parents' generation paying for us? http://bit.ly/ddGygp

  9. Liberal Conspiracy

    Why isn't our parents' generation paying for us? http://bit.ly/aSXMHu

  10. Luke Bosman

    Why isn't our parents' generation paying for us? http://bit.ly/aSXMHu /via @libcon Shouldn't be too hard on them. Mine have been quite good.

  11. Newbloke

    RT @kenanmalik: One thing that generation Y seems to have inherited from Baby Boomers – a sense of 'me, me, me': http://bit.ly/cRKCkZ

  12. What is a comfortable, convenient, safe car/SUV to have while having a baby/car seat.? | Safest Car Seat

    […] Liberal Conspiracy » Why isn’t our parents’ generation paying for us? […]

  13. Simon Proctor

    I've been reading: http://is.gd/bRYLo I find this resoantes with some of my feelings. I like the retrospective tution fees bit.

  14. Gareth Winchester

    RT @bengoldacre: Risk factors for being a gigantic waste of space http://post.ly/egot <- #1 applies on this http://is.gd/bSCx2

  15. Ryan Lambie

    RT @libcon Why isn’t our parents’ generation paying for us? http://bit.ly/aCS3rk

  16. andybarr

    http://tinyurl.com/2v4qa3k scary but true

  17. Daren

    RT @bengoldacre: I hope everyone over 50 is saving hard: or we'll have your houses, that'll do fine Sir/Madam. http://dlvr.it/lpmH

  18. onion_soup

    http://tinyurl.com/2v4qa3k
    Liberal Conspiracy » Why isn’t our parents’ generation paying for us?
    (LIBERALCONSPIRACY.ORG)

  19. IckleBlackBird

    RT @arlloyd: Finally, someone said it: RT @libcon: Why isn't our parents' generation paying for us? http://bit.ly/c0VtNW

  20. Peter Hague

    RT @bengoldacre: I hope everyone over 50 is saving hard: or we'll have your houses, that'll do fine Sir/Madam. http://dlvr.it/lpmH

  21. Jess Ross

    Generational inequality – gen x and y need to wake up and smell the coffee. & then demand a premo cup http://dlvr.it/lpmH /via @bengoldacre

  22. bree oliver-moss

    RT @bengoldacre: I hope everyone over 50 is saving hard: or we'll have your houses, that'll do fine Sir/Madam. http://dlvr.it/lpmH

  23. Tony Finch

    http://dotat.at/:/F77CK – Young adults ask, why isn't our parents' generation paying for us?

  24. Steffen Finsland

    Nice read: Our parents should be paying for us, not the other way around. What they took for granted is unobtainable. http://bit.ly/bqxHZk

  25. Kieron Bryan

    RT @libcon Why isn’t our parents’ generation paying for us? http://bit.ly/aCS3rk

  26. Jonhorsley

    RT @libcon: Why isn't our parents' generation paying for us? http://bit.ly/c0VtNW

  27. Andy Lloyd

    Finally, someone said it: RT @libcon: Why isn't our parents' generation paying for us? http://bit.ly/c0VtNW

  28. Mark Coleran

    I hope everyone over 50 is saving hard: or we'll have your houses, that'll do fine Sir/Madam. http://dlvr.it/lpmH (via @bengoldacre)

  29. Kim Warren

    RT @bengoldacre: I hope everyone over 50 is saving hard: or we'll have your houses, that'll do fine Sir/Madam. http://dlvr.it/lpmH

  30. Pamela Heywood

    Why isn’t our parents’ generation paying for us? http://twurl.nl/yf40ee

  31. The Underwhelmed Generation: Stars In Their Eyes… « Back Towards The Locus

    […] this suggests that the recent trend for blaming “selfish” Boomers and expecting a wave of militant Millenials is severely misguided: young adults […]





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