Our Opinion: Millennials take the lead

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The ravages of climate change — more severe storms, beach erosion, rising seas, longer droughts, and so on — are of greatest concern to those who will have to confront their increasing impact — the young. Many of them are making their presence felt on this issue in government.

"Millennials for 100 percent Renewable Energy" lobby day was held on Beacon Hill Monday with young legislators making the case for bills calling for Massachusetts to get all of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2035 and fully transition to a renewable energy economy by 2045. More than 100 lawmakers have signed on as co-sponsors.

"Our statement as millennials is climate change is real, the threat to our planet is real, and the only way we're going to be able to deal with it is if we come together and move toward a greener economy," said Rep. Sean Garballey, a 34-year-old Arlingon Democrat. (In its latest update, the Pew Research Center defines millennials as being between 22 and 37 years of age.)

Both bills stalled in committee last session for the dreaded reason of "further study." If there are legitimate concerns about the practicality or timeframe of the legislation, let's hear them, but bills should not be buried by party elders.

"You guys are going to solve our problems, right?" asked 40-year-old Rep. Tommy Vitolo, a Brookline Democrat and renewable energy advocate, of the millennial legislators.

The millennials can certainly take the lead, as has 29-year-old Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has offered an environmental plan to Congress. The plan is flawed, but nevertheless she "has offered more leadership in one day or one week than President Trump has in his lifetime on this subject," in the words of former Secretary of State John Kerry (See editorial above.) She has invited the "adults" to join in a fight to save the planet that all generations must join.

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