Importance of the Elderly on Climate Change

By Jazmine Smith – September 10, 2021
When it comes to discussing the issue of climate change, elderly people have single-handedly watched it happen. Older Americans are also significant contributors to climate change due to the technology and information limitations of their time. The elderly community feels as though they did not necessarily start climate change, but they play a huge role in how climate change is currently affecting the earth. However, they had little knowledge about what they were doing and how it affected the planet. Now, Leslie Wharton, an Elders Climate Action Activist, has started an organization of older people to combat climate change and fix some of the things that their generation ruined.

Older adults also suffer disproportionately from climate change. The risk of heatstroke due to excessive heat from global warming increases because older adults are generally less mobile and unable to reach cooler locations during a heatwave. They also may be socially isolated and have no way to seek help. Aside from heatwaves, climate change will bring other kinds of extreme weather and disasters that elderly people will be disproportionately affected by. For example, if blackouts were to occur, older people may not be able to power their scooters/wheelchairs, refrigerate their medications, or even seek help to evacuate.

Due to how much elderly people have contributed to and are affected by climate change, it is important for them to take a stand and advocate for the fight against climate change.

Leslie Wharton is doing a great job of educating others about the damages done and banding together with other elderly people to make a difference. She also makes it a point to emphasize climate justice because it goes hand in hand with the fight against climate change. She states that many people are affected by climate change, whether directly or indirectly, and that should make everyone want to chip in and volunteer for this amazing cause to save the planet.