Well, I needn’t have worried about being an old fogey.
Irene and I went to two different Live Earth house parties, and we met a whole bunch of interesting Austinites, but not a soul at either party was a day under forty (except for children of the host in one case, and I believe the hostess herself in the other) . Which was odd because most of the music wasn’t pitched at us. I can report that all conversation stopped for Roger Waters’ excellent (if a bit unadventurous) performance of his classics, though!
We are brimming with practical ideas and new connections.
Also, we signed a pledge including carbon neutrality. It appears that the live earth pledge is suddenly much less demanding than I remembered.
I warned irene that pledging carbon neutrality would be expensive. Our hostess looked nonplussed. She said “well, every time I take a plane flight I plant a tree” as if that were all there were to it. I tried to explain to the hostess that Irene had the disadvantage of being married to someone who could and would do the numbers. As long as we can, though, it is neutrality for us!
I was a bit taken aback by our hostess’s conviction that there would be no inconvenience involved in carbon neutrality. I was very discouraged by the absence of any young people. The optimistic theory is that they all were so connected by AIM and myspace and such that they could pull together their own parties, but it seems more likely that American kids just don’t do politics. Apparently the idea that young people are “more liberal” than the intervening generation does not extend to actual participation in any community activities, at least in Austin.
I’d love to hear reports from other places. Did you see anyone in their teens or twenties?
Update My conclusion from the response is this. The difference is that young people saw the rockstar all-star game as the event, while older folk thought of it as the excuse for the real event. Consequently the occasion attracted less serious young people as an entertainment event and more serious older people as an organizing event. At least, that’s my working hypothesis. That still leaves a problem as to how to overcome this, but it’s not as disturbing as the initial suspicion that young people don’t care.
Update Some lively commentary ongoing since I posted a similar article on Grist. Nothing resembling a consensus emerging though, as yet.
Update: This looks quite a lot like the scene we saw, though we didn’t land a political candidate. Note the boomer demographics.
Update: Julia Hargreaves has a memorable criticism of the whole business quoted on James’ Empty Blog.