Information of Interest, May 2012
1. Generational Differences in Young Adults
(www.apa.org) – “Compared to Baby Boomers (born 1946 to 1961) at the same age, Gen X’ers (born 1962 to 1981) and Millenials (born after 1982) considered goals related to extrinsic values (money, image, fame) more important and those related to intrinsic values (self-acceptance, affiliation, community) less important,” according to a study published in the American Psychological Association’s Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. In addition, “concern for others (e.g. empathy for outgroups, charity donations, the importance of having a job worthwhile to society) declined slightly. Community service rose but was also increasingly required for high-school graduation over the same time period. Civic orientations (e.g. interests in social problems, political participation, trust in government, taking action to help the environment and save energy) declined . . . Some of the largest declines appeared in taking action to help the environment. In most cases, Millennials slowed, though did not reverse, trends toward reduced community feeling begun by Gen X. The results generally support the ‘Generation Me’ view of generational differences rather than the ‘Generation We’ or no change views,” wrote researchers Elise C. Freeman and Jean M. Twenge, both from San Diego State University, and W. Keith Campbell, University of Georgia, in their article, Generational Differences in Young Adults’ Life Goals, Concern for Others and Civic Orientation,
1966 – 2009.
The researchers maintain that generational differences are cultural differences: “As cultures change, their youngest members are socialized with new and different values.” Generational trends in community feeling are important because they address social capital and group relations. Consistent with these changes, Freeman, Twenge and Campbell maintain that other studies conclude more recent students “are less likely to take the perspective of others in need and ‘less concerned with and less emotionally burdened by others’ suffering and disadvantage. Narcissistic personality traits, which correlate with less empathy and concern for others, increased over the generations among college students. . . .” The bottom line is the authors’ analyzed data suggest that “the popular view of Millennials as more caring, community-oriented and politically engaged than previous generations is largely incorrect.”
2. Drilling in Extreme Environments
(www.lloyds.com) – According to a 2011 Lloyd’s of London report on emerging risks, Drilling in Extreme Environments: Challenges and Implications for the Energy Insurance Industry, “oil and gas companies are moving into new and increasingly harsh and remote environments to meet the world’s growing demand for energy. However, exploring new frontiers carries risks and the Macondo incident in 2010 (often referred to as “Deepwater Horizon”) underlines the importance of understanding, mitigating and managing these risks as effectively as possible.” The following seven items are from the report’s executive summary.
3. Public Support for Climate and Energy Policies
(www.gmu.edu and www.yale.edu) – A May 2011 report, Climate Change in the American Mind: Public Support for Climate & Energy Policies in May 2011, was conducted by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication. It provides a comparison of responses from November 2008 to January 2010 to June 2010 to May 2011. Specific results are presented below.
4. Everglades Restoration Plan - 2010 Report to Congress
(www.saj.usace.army.mil) – In 2012, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released its Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan: Central and Southern Florida Project, 2010 Report to Congress. Within the Report Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, explains that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, “in partnership with its primary partner, the South Florida Water Management District, continues to develop an integrated strategy for implementation of the [restoration] Plan. In order for the Plan to be implemented successfully, it is imperative to maintain coordination with the Department of the Interior, as well as tribal governments and other federal and state partners, all of which have actively participated in the development of the progress of this program. In the past five years, three projects were authorized in the Water Resources Development Act of 2007: Indian River Lagoon South, Picayune Strand Restoration and Site 1 Impoundment. The authorization of these projects has allowed the agencies involved in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) to begin construction on features that provide needed momentum toward the restoration of the Everglades. In addition, funding provided through the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act allowed construction on both CERP and other south Florida Restoration projects to proceed at a quicker pace and provide jobs in south Florida.
“The Water Resources Development Act of 2000 conveyed expectation that adaptive management principles would be applied during CERP implementation. The CERP Monitoring and Assessment Plan, a scientifically rigorous system-wide/regional monitoring approach, has laid the foundation by generating information to support understanding of ecosystem responses to CERP implementation. Extensive new data has been collected throughout the last five years from applied research, field monitoring and computer analysis that informs the understanding of the complex Everglades environment. The value of new scientific information is its ability to improve decision-making within CERP, thereby improving restoration success.”
To learn more about CERP, read the May 2012 lead story, “The Florida Everglades: Rescuing an Endangered Ecosystem.”Issue No. 20, 2012
Receive livebetter eMagazine; it’s free. One Earth. One Family. Live Better. Be Part of It.