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I hear you asking, “What’s a ‘proven’ boomer?”

You know what a ‘made man’ is in the Mafia?

They’ve taken an assignment from the boss and done good with it.

Usually the assignment that makes you a Made Man also makes you a Button Man.

You push the button, pull the trigger, you’re a made man.

Sounds simple? So what’s a Proven Boomer?

Since the baby boomer generation covers births from 1946 to 1964, with some adjustments from new population studies, a proven boomer could be many things.

Oldest boomers are 70, the youngest are 52. What sort of super glue holds these people together as a group?

A proven boomer, regardless of age, listened to the earth as a young person.


In 1970, the year of our first Earth Day, the movement gave voice to an emerging consciousness, channeling human energy toward environmental issues. Forty-six years later, we continue to lead with groundbreaking ideas and by the power of our example.

And so it begins. Today. Right here and right now. Earth Day is more than just a single day — April 22, 2016. It’s bigger than attending a rally and taking a stand.

This Earth Day and beyond, let’s make big stuff happen. Let’s plant 7.8 billion trees for the Earth. Let’s divest from fossil fuels and make cities 100% renewable. Let’s take the momentum from the Paris Climate Summit and build on it.

Boomers moved out of the dorms, off campus, and into lives with jobs and families.

Earth Day turned into another day to remember like birthdays and anniversaries and Easter and Thanksgiving.

They pile up fast.

Some Earthies (new word made up on BoomerPdx for Earth Day people, not ladies’ shoes) follow good practices for life.

From the get go they reduced, recycled, and reused.

proven boomers


They didn’t wait for global warming, melting ice caps, or holes in the atmosphere, to change their ways.

With wives and kids and houses and school, boomers needed to be content with their own small effort when they learned the company they work for planned on sending manufacturing jobs to China.

Heavy industry might pollute China worse than it did America, but it’s China.

In the words of a sports talking head describing Nike’s stake in China, “It is what it is.”

Proven boomers leave a small footprint, keep their yard pesticide free, and in general are better people than most.
You’ve probably heard them talking somewhere. They sound like earth angels.

A Proven Boomer knows protest.

They gathered to protest the Vietnam War, to protest segregation, to protest for women’s rights.

Young boomers gathered to mix it up, to see and be seen, to make a difference.

They burned draft cards, burned bras, and laid down their safety for their fellow man.

Over the years memories changed, places changed, and people changed.

The draft dodger who moved to Canada comes back a military historian with a flare for military fashion. In other words they like to dress up in the roles they were too frightened to play in real life.

And rightfully so. Part of the rules of engagement in Vietnam was acting to return fire once fired upon.

When you see pics of the fellas wading across open water rice paddies, they are drawing fire so they can respond, or call in air support.

Not all the soldiers were decoys set out find a bullet, but enough were.

The draft dodging/war protesting boomers are the same people thanking troops today for their service. They moved from anti-military to pro-military as soon as the fire passed them by.

Some of them make up elaborate stories of their years in combat. Google stolen valor, or hit this link.

War protest is a healthy response to a bad war, but good or bad, war is for warriors.

You can’t say the same about the male protester for women’s rights who turns into a wife beater, abortion clinic bomber, or delinquent dad.

That sensitive young man so tuned into the needs of women that he even creeps them out turns into a bully.

That protester for better living conditions and opportunities in the south, with a focus on the black community, turns into tool for voter suppression as an adult?

People change, and once they see the effects of what they’ve done, they change again.

Proven boomer, many changes.

The best thing you can say about boomers is they know better. Or they ought to know better.

You can’t dump old motor oil down your toilet, dump old prescriptions down the toilet, or anything else the toilet isn’t made to take. You do enough for the job it was built for.

Big companies can’t put everyone else at risk for their profits. Oil train crashes, fracking, and coal powered electricity all get a hard look.


The researchers found that hydraulic fracturing – a technique for releasing natural gas from below-ground rock formations – emits pollutants known as PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), including some that are linked with increased risk of cancer and respiratory ailments.

“Air pollution from fracking operations may pose an under-recognized health hazard to people living near them,” said the study’s coauthor Kim Anderson, an environmental chemist with OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

The study, which appears in the journal Environmental Science & Technology’s online edition, is part of a larger project co-led by the University of Cincinnati’s Erin Haynes, OSU’s Anderson, her graduate student Blair Paulik and Laurel Kincl, director of OSU’s Environmental Health Science Center.

Based on experience, baby boomers can’t claim innocence.

“Love Canal? I had no idea,” doesn’t cut it.

“Three Mile Island? I didn’t know,” is not believable in boomer land.

“Agent Orange? What is that,” is not acceptable.

Our fellow citizens can lay the blame on boomers, from The Greatest Generation who aged into the most sympathetic group the world has ever seen, to Millennials hacking their way toward thirty.

To The Greats, boomers (their kids) are a big disappointment. They beat back Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and the Italian forces of Benito Mussolini. Their kids couldn’t mop up the mess in Vietnam, and worse, complained when forced to.

Millennials see their heroes with feet of clay. Their boomer parents made promises. Some of them will never come true, so they harbor grudges.

For best results with a Proven Boomer, don’t dig too deep. They’ve changed their mind so often over the decades any explanation will sound like an acid flashback.

Ain’t no one got time for that.

About David Gillaspie
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