We’re Failing Our Grandchildren on Stopping Climate Breakdown

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Our grandchildren will hate us for our informed inaction on climate change. I refuse to bear this.

I’m watching a National Geographic documentary on climate breakdown right now on the Knowledge Network. Saharan dust storms are madly increasing the rates of asthma and decreasing the health of sea fans on the reefs…in the Caribbean!

The increase in effects of GHGs in the last 30 years has increased the Saharan dust flying to kids’ lungs in the Caribbean. We KNOW this. Pleading ignorance is an offense to my children’s children.

US satellites are documenting
more and more decline in ice. Are we acting yet? Only in a greenwashing way. Click on the photos to read about what is happening while we embrace mostly inaction.

New polling indicates real inconsistencies. Strong majorities of citizens in some countries are demanding more action, while similar sizes in other countries are dancing with complacency. Two of the latter countries are China and the USA. Together, those countries can eradicate efforts by the rest of the world.

We have to massively reduce our energy consumption in how we live, work and consume. We must force our leaders to lead in this.

I know I’m going to answer to my grandchildren. I already blame my parents’ generation for somewhat ignorantly contributing to many of our current problems, not the least of which are massive materialism and consumerism. How much more will we be judged by our descendants for ruining their world, knowing that we know better. The answer? To a degree I refuse to accept passively.

Alarmism and reactionary pleas seem to be increasing, policies seem to be improving somewhat, but we’re squandering our handful of years left to make the massive changes necessary to avoid breakdown. Now, shake your head and read this. And let’s get busy.

Think about how you will look your grandchildren in the eye. I’m not looking forward to that conversation.

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Stephen Elliott-Buckley

Post-partisan eco-socialist. at Politics, Re-Spun
Stephen Elliott-Buckley is a husband, father, professor, speaker, consultant, former suburban Vancouver high school English and Social Studies teacher who changed careers because the BC Liberal Party has been working hard to ruin public education. He has various English and Political Science degrees and has been writing political, social and economic editorials since November 2002. Stephen is in Twitter, Miro and iTunes, and the email thing, and at his website, dgiVista.org.

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2 thoughts on “We’re Failing Our Grandchildren on Stopping Climate Breakdown”

  1. It’s not just your grandchildren who will feel the lash of what’s coming. Your kids will get their fair share too.

    Understand this. A thousand people a day are already dying of global warming related climate change. A thousand and we’re only getting started.

    Your Canadian children and Canadian grandchildren are going to be positively blessed compared to the children and grandchildren of others in just about every other part of the planet. They’re the kids who’ll really take it in the neck. Even with the existing emission levels, even if we could decarbonize our economies and our societies today, they’re in for it.

    Most Western militaries have already figured this one out. They’re not counting on our politicians finding the courage to tackle global warming and, once you factor political solutions out, it becomes a fascinating military problem. The Pentagon is already war-gaming global warming! That’s right, they’re war-gaming it. Imagine a world where easily half the nations are transformed into failed states and most of the remaining half are teetering. The Pentagon’s upcoming quadrennial defence review is going to be a real eye-opener.

    Here in Canada we have the Three Scourges – Harper, Ignatieff and Layton. All three of them have lined up against the only solution – carbon taxes. Layton doesn’t want to tax the working man’s ride. Harper and Ignatieff know it would spell the end to Athabasca. They truly are a despicable lot.


  2. yeah, the military. they’ve got it figured out. we can always count on it to be the most pragmatic, realpolitik actor out there.

    i first got a sense of their sense of the crisis early in the decade when the pentagon got W to sign off on retooling all the hulls they were currently building in the navy to become ice-breakers. all this while W was scuttling Kyoto.

    in the end, the realpolitik in Canada, scarily enough, may have already concluded that our military, in conjunction with the USA, and our isolation from those most at risk of climate breakdown, means we may be able to dodge the worst of it.

    that’s not a bet i’m willing to make, beyond the immorality of it all!

    so i’m glad the CCPA is running the new Climate Justice Project to examine how to not screw further those already disempowered:


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