“There are, it seems to me, three ways to react to that heartbreak.

“One is to pretend it doesn’t exist, which is easy to do if you watch Fox News, the go-to network for older Americans (its median viewer is sixty-eight years old, which means half of them are above that). According to Fox, and to its Facebook friends, you don’t need to worry much about younger generations because they’re snowflakes who eat avocado toast while burning down most American cities and canceling everything that makes life worth living, such as Mr. Potato Head.

“Another option is to take care of your own family and friends, and to volunteer in the community you live in to take care of some other people. All of which is fine and good, but it’s sort of what got us in this mess. It’s good as far as it goes, but as far as it goes isn’t good enough — the wealth gap and the carbon gap keep growing.

“And the third is to actually rise to the political moment and play some role in turning the clock back, or forward. Which isn’t entirely far-fetched.”