Proposed nearly a century agao to honor the “strength and selflessness” of fathers, the underlying premise of the holiday is that fathers selflessly work hard to ensure their children have a better future than they did. Interestingly, “the holiday was not officially recognized until 1972.”
Certainly it made sense to honor the fathers who came from the Greatest Generation, with their grit and determination to win WWII. But on our current path, for the first time in US history, we know with high confidence that thanks to our actions (and our inactions) our children will not face a better future, quite the reverse (see “Is 450 ppm politically possible? Part 0: The alternative is humanity’s self-destruction.”)
No books will be written labeling the Baby Boom generation, the “Greatest Generation” or even the “Second Greatest Generation.” Right now, we’re not even in the top 10.
Selflessness? Try selfishness. We appear unwilling to shift even 1.1% of our fabulous wealth toward the clean energy investments needed to avert catastrophe (see “Must read IEA report, Part 1: Act now with clean energy or face 6°C warming. Cost is NOT high — media blows the story“). Conservative politicians rail against any price whatsoever for carbon dioxide. The supposedly climate-wise candidate of the GOP opposes any subsidies for clean energy, even existing ones, as does most of his party. Politician after politician calls for a Manhattan project or an Apollo program to develop breakthrough technologies, which is the same thing as saying, let someone else deal with the catastrophic problem we created (see “Is 450 ppm (or less) politically possible? Part 3: The breakthrough technology illusion“).
In a few decades, we might see a best-selling book about the baby boomers titled, “The Greediest Generation,” though. Once it becomes clear to all that the Baby Boom is a Bust, that our self-absorbed myopia has doomed the next 50 generations to centuries of sea level rise, widespread desertification, the loss of the inland glaciers, hundreds of millions of environmental refugees, massive species loss and so on, people will wonder what exactly we are celebrating with holidays like Father’s Day.
By mid-century, I’m not sure they’ll be very many holidays at all, other than, of course, Triage Day. Enjoy the new tie while you can, Boomer Dads. The party is almost over.