From pipelines to tarsands, green economics to global warming, crazy weather to melting ice caps. the environment has remained on everyone's mind despite global financial melt-downs and growing anti-science politics.
They care about the future.
And they care about the world their children - and their children's children - will live in.
The current generations are living with a huge responsibility. Some aspects of our environment are teetering on the edge of.
That's where the complexity of environmental issues kick in: on the edge of what?
And on which edge are we teetering? In the 1990s the world recognized and addressed the breakdown of the planet's life-sustaining ozone layer. The problem was clarified, and more importantly, direct and immediate solutions were identified.
The ozone layer isn't in the kind of shape we'd like it to be. but through a concerted effort of humanity - albeit a humanity that created the problem in the first place - it has survived.
General deterioration of the environment is a far more complex - perhaps even ambiguous - problem.
This week, the Ridge Meadows Recycling Society, working in concert with The TIMES, has identified 40 young people who are making a difference: young people who have recognized that, even if no one of them can stop the world from turning towards environmental disaster, they can each help put on the brakes, each with their own little bit of force, each in their own way.
They - and others like them - richly deserve the honours bestowed on them.
And we dearly hope that they will succeed where the previous generations have failed.