A Father’s Day essay on the world we’re leaving our children
On the one hand, should I be blogging on Father’s Day? On the other hand, what more important day is there to blog on climate change than Father’s Day? So as a compromise, I’m doing some cross-posts and reposts.
Last year, Salon published my Father’s Day essay. It was a sequel of sorts to “Is the global economy a Ponzi scheme?“ Sadly, it needs to be updated since, of course, we didn’t pass a climate bill and thus took a quantum leap closer to leaving our children a ruined climate.
As parents, we constantly admonish our children to share with others. The joke is that as adults, we hardly like to share anything at all. Who likes to lend out their car? Or their tools or books? We’re so worried they won’t come back in the same condition — or won’t be returned at all.
But the truth is that the people we like to share the least with are our own children. “We do not inherit the Earth from our parents, we borrow it from our children,” the saying goes. Right now, though, we’ve borrowed the entire Earth, trashed much of it, and don’t plan to give back the rest of it.
We are plundering the world’s “renewable resources” — arable land and tropical forests and fisheries and fresh water. And we are using an ever-greater fraction of nonrenewable energy resources, especially hydrocarbons, with devastating consequences.