Sunday, July 25, 2010

Have They No Grandchildren?

I make no apology for posting again this picture of my three grandchildren... Emily 4, Aidan 2, and Owen 0 (well actually 1 month and 2 days.) It's a scary thought that, unlike most of my generation, they should all live to see the second half of the 21st century, and given future advances in medical care they probably have a fighting chance to celebrate the turn of the 22nd century.


Yes scary, because of the current predictions of what the world's climate will be like when they are in their 40's... never mind their 90's. There's an excellent article on the NY Times website today by Thomas Friedman We're Gonna Be Sorry in which he castigates Democrats and Republicans alike for, once again, failing to take any action "to pass an energy/climate bill that would begin to cap greenhouse gases that cause global warming and promote renewable energy that could diminish our addiction to oil."

As he says, "We’ve basically decided to keep pumping greenhouse gases into Mother Nature’s operating system and take our chances that the results will be benign — even though a vast majority of scientists warn that this will not be so."

He follows up his criticism with some related news items about what is happening in China and Russia, comments from a utility CEO and a general, and ends with a quote from the contrarian hedge fund manager Jeremy Grantham.

Conspiracy theorists claim to believe that global warming is a carefully constructed hoax driven by scientists desperate for ... what? Being needled by nonscientific newspaper reports, by blogs and by right-wing politicians and think tanks?

I have a much simpler but plausible ‘conspiracy theory’: the fossil energy companies, driven by the need to protect hundreds of billions of dollars of profits, encourage obfuscation of the inconvenient scientific results. I, for one, admire them for their P.R. skills, while wondering, as always:

"Have they no grandchildren?"


Baydog said...

Biology, chemistry and physics. Three subjects in which I never did remarkably well. And yes, as the Chiffon margarine commercial said in the 70's, "It's not nice to fool Mother Nature!". As Tom Friedman said, Mother Nature bats a thousand. You don't fool her.

I look at my daughters and worry about the world in which they are growing up. I can't even begin to think what their kids are going to be up against. Healthcare will hopefully be better, and life expectancy will no doubt be a little longer, but at what cost?
Holy mackerel. The planet is being beaten to a pulp, and it's inhabitants are suffering the consequences. As much as our kids have going for them, I wish they could have experienced skimming the cream off the top of the milk bottle, which was delivered at 5 a.m., or putting a dime into the payphone to call their friend.

I'm a sap, that's okay.
But this world worries me every day.

Carol Anne said...

Yes, we do need to do as much as we can to cut global warming, and compel corporate interests to do so, too.

I'm afraid, however, that so much damage has already been set in motion that even if we were suddenly to stop all greenhouse gas emissions, we would still face major climate change. That's the scary part.

Fortunately, there are folks like this organization that are working on that. I notice one of their major projects is in Rhode Island.

JP said...

It is more than a little worrying what the next few decades might bring.

Peak oil, global warming, environmental degradation, loss of habitat, food security, collapse of fish stocks combined with massive national debts is not a good combination to pass on to the next generation.

All we can do is do our bit one step at a time. One good idea is to create large wildlife reserves such as these people do:

One big plus is all the kids of friends and relatives are great and looks like your lot are too.

Fred said...

Hmm, I am not too worried for little Emilia, my nearly 2 years old daughter. I was very worried about getting kids in the early 70th and had the same thoughts as you are talking about, like them not having a chance to get old. This was mostly about "cold war" and the nuclear danger in power production and weapon format. It is not gone, it is lurking in the backyard but at 10sec to twelve the human race seems to get the message and being able to avoid the total crash.

We need more people with less ego and better social behaviour. Save our Oceans!

Joe said...

I suggest reading a great book from the late 80s written by John Seymour, "Blueprint For A Green Planet - Your Practical Guide To Restoring The World's Environment."

Post a Comment