Climate change has joined racism, sexism, and related aggressions in creating a new dynamic demanding redress of America’s inequalities and defining its divisions.

But it isn’t just limited to climate change: mass impoverishment and indebtedness, combined with the dismantlement of education, employment, and shared social systems, is forcing today’s young activists to confront the intergenerational implications of “nowism.” Nowism privileges short-term, present-generation well-being at the expense of long-term environmental and societal sustainability vital to younger and future generations.

“I have a 29-year-old daughter and a 6-year-old son,” said Dune Ives, managing director of Lonely Whale, a nonprofit that works to reduce plastics use and waste that imperils the oceans. “They’re both mad.”

So are millions of their peers and older allies worldwide, climate-strike demonstrations show. Deteriorating environmental conditions and fewer resources aren’t the only challenges future generations must confront. Younger Americans, already poorer and more indebted than their forebears, are being asked to sacrifice more to subsidize more opulent current generations, who seem amenable only to token moderation of their lifestyles and privileges.

“We’re not on a good path now,” Ives said. “We’re only thinking about the here and now. We’re not thinking about the future and what it holds.”

Today’s climate and social justice activism go beyond popular clichés that young people are romanticizing the Green Agenda and Black Lives Matter. Younger generations and people of color of all ages are suffering real, imposed economic and environmental difficulties, yet are also displaying stunningly positive and future-oriented behaviors and attitudes on key indexes. They’re seeing a reduction in risks they face, while older and more established populations show sharply increased risks and have embraced backwards-looking politics.

Read the full article about the inequities of "nowism" by Mike Males at YES! Magazine.