Neil Howe was heavily quoted in this Newsweek article on the meaning of 9-11 to Millennial (born 1982-2004) who were 10 at the time of the attacks. The video is below, but the article is also worth a read.
He does seem to confuse the attitude of Boomer (born 1943-1960) with Generation X (born 1961-1981), since Boomers were the ones protesting for peace for so many years. Gen X didn’t protest for (or against) anything.
But there is another aspect to the green attitude of Millennial (born 1982-2004) which is their tendency towards group think. Millennials are excellent at teamwork and collectivism, but they are also subject to over-simplifying problems. In this way they are very similar to the G.I. (born 1901-1924) who overcame the Axis in WWII. That generation also had a severe case of group think which became more obvious after the war when they put together the shallow “American Dream” which their Boomer kids later rebelled against.
I believe “green” will be held by the Millennials (aka Gen Y) in the same way as the American Dream was held by the GI’s: as a shallow ideal that their kids will eventually rebel against. For example, I can see that 30 years from now everyone will have a “carbon counter” on their phone, house, whatever, and they will measure their status by the number on that device. But, as their kids will probably point out, they won’t be any more connected to mother nature. And so the cycle continues.
This recent article about a Volvo experiment with “CO2 pedometers” is a forerunner to this concept. I picture CO2 emission counters being used in daily life, either on a cell phone or attached to your house/car/children. Your CO2 count will be a measure of your social conscience just like a well-manicured lawn was back in the 1950’s. But, just like those 50’s ideals, it will be a thin veneer that will eventually be challenged by the next Prophet generation (the kids of the Millennials). I can hear them saying, “Okay, Mom, your carbon count is tiny but where is your connection to Mother Earth? When is the last time you actually rolled in the dirt?”). The more things change…