From Margaret Everton on December 13, 1901 in General Remodel
You could say baby boomers have been through a lot. They were politically and communally active during the 1960’s. They struggled through the gas crisis in the 1970’s. They watched their pensions grow through the end of the last millennium, only to see many get stripped away as the economy falls here in the first decade of the new millennium. Baby boomers have also been party to the slow but steady rise of global warming. Needless to say, baby boomers are a very socially and environmentally conscious generation; and it shows.
According to a survey by AARP and Focalyst, 70% of baby boomers see it as their duty to make the world a better place. Typically, boomers express this overwhelming concern with their wallets. These spending habits are not limited to organic breads, laundry detergent, and other household items. Baby boomers are spending their money on larger projects like green building and solar power. According to a survey by Shea Homes, a national leader in active lifestyle communities, boomers rate solar as number one on their list of green priorities.
Why this love for solar? The answer is evident. Baby boomers have grown up as the environment has grown down, so to speak. It has primarily been their generation that has taken the reigns and led the environmental movement through its unpopular years until now, when green issues are at or near the top of nearly every politician’s agenda.
Not only that, but baby boomers have grown up with the solar industry as well. They remember the energy crisis of the 1970’s when solar power first took off as an alternative to ebbing oil supplies. And while solar power may have slipped beneath the radar for a few decades, boomers did not forget. And now, with a renewed and more permanent fuel shortage in place, solar is back, stronger than ever and baby boomers are running right back into its arms.
For retiring baby boomers, solar power just makes good sense. Many baby boomers see a failing system. Pensions, IRAs, 401k and social security are struggling to stay afloat as economic bubbles all over the world burst. In other words, security is a big issue for baby boomers. The likelihood, for baby boomers and even more so for the generations that follow, that the government or corporations are going to take care of retirees grows slimmer and slimmer. Combine this fact with rising energy costs and a sense of social responsibility and you have a good reason why baby boomers like solar so much.
Finally, I speculate that there is one reason that trumps them all: grandchildren. A common mantra for the environmental movement has been to leave a positive, healthy legacy for generations to come. Right now baby boomers are watching their kids have kids, which only strengthens their convictions for a clean environment. For many in the younger generations, their forbears’ lesson and legacy of responsibility is rubbing off rather well.