A lot of people get caught up in the now. That’s fair. Now is where we live. But sometimes it is also important for us to look to the future.
I don’t know if you have kids or not, but I have a son and a granddaughter. I want very much for them to grow up in a better world.
So, let’s talk about our responsibility to the future.
The US has a lot of natural parks. These are very important. They are places where nature can still thrive, where our children and their children can go and enjoy the plants and animals that used to fill North America.
It’s important to maintain our biodiversity. That’s not just for future generation, but also to keep animals from going extinct.
My friend Lee is from England and he talks about all the animals they don’t have.
“Bears?” he’ll say, “No we don’t have bears. No loins and tigers either. I doubt if we could manage a lynx or something.”
The truth is the England is currently fighting to save the hedgehog; one of the few animals left there. Most of the animals and plants that once covered the island are gone.
This is a scene that plays out all over the world. South Korea has nothing left but some birds, and this weird kind of deer that has fangs. But the Moon Bears and other great animals that used to inhabit the peninsula are long gone.
We are nearly unique. Only a few countries have managed to hold on to a significant amount of biodiversity in spite of industrialization, and we need to maintain that moving forward.
We need to leave the new generations more; not less.
Countries like Norway have managed their money well, and have things like the Sovereign Wealth Fund, which invests the government’s excess money for future generations.
As an American, you might be confused right here. You might think:
“But what about their national debt?”
Well, it may shock you to know that not all countries have a National Debt. Or rather, they as a nation may have debts, but the assets of the country outweigh the debts.
A lot of US economists will tell you that all the matters is investor confidence. A country can have lots of resources and virtually no debt, but do poorly in the international market because they have a lot level of investor confidence.
This is a short view; not a long view.
The problem is that it actually does matter if your country has investments or if it has only debts. The US has the largest national debt in the world, (which we will be leaving to our children and their children) and it’s not backed up by assets.
At the moment, we are using our military dominance to force countries to continue to trade in our currency and do things by our standards. However, that can’t last. It’s an unsustainable business model.
Also, it makes us enemies.
Take Libya. The former leader of Libya, Muammar Gadafi, wanted to unite African countries by having them trade in gold instead of US dollars. This is fine for Africa, because they have a lot of gold. However, the US has very little gold. We had to stop Gadafi from enacting his plan because it would have devastated the US dollar. So, we attacked Libya. We had no military targets since it was a financial war, but we claimed to be “bombing terrorists” and let loose on the country.
(Please note: Even if this had actually been about terrorism instead of financial move, bombing creates terrorists; it does not stop them.)
No surprise, the new leader agreed to trade in US dollars instead of gold.
However, this made us enemies in all of Africa. No one likes to be bullied, and those people will teach their children not to trust the US or make deals with them. Our children will have to deal with that.
So we are leaving them few resources, and a huge amount of debt, as well as an unsustainable model of financial dominance which relies on having a huge military to intimidate other countries into trading in our currency and doing what we want in the world markets.
Climate change is a real thing, and we need to stop denying it and start doing something about it.
I have no idea why some Americans feel the need to deny that global climate change is occurring.
There are many actual effects of climate change that we can see right now. Island nations and places with cities near oceans like The Netherlands and Italy are seeing rising sea levels eat away at their land. Biologists lament that we are in the middle of one of the biggest mass extinctions in the history of the planet. Marine biologists try desperately to warn people that the ocean’s health is in danger, which is something we can see when we look at coral bleaching, and also at the huge loss of biodiversity in our oceans.
The truth is, it is actually so bad that scientists can’t even measure how bad it actually is. They can’t study every atoll on Earth and every coral reef, but they can look at the loss of coral on the Great Barrier Reef as a representative sample, and then tremble in dear. (And they are.)
In South Korea, the most noticeable example of climate change is Yellow Dust Season. I was horrified when I woke up to see a haze settled over the sky. Not rain or clouds, but something else. I went outside and everyone was wearing masks. That’s when someone told me about Yellow Dust Season. See, the Chinese tore down a huge forest. Without the forest there to stop it, the sand from the Gobi desert started blowing away. Every year when the wind is right, it blows all the way across the west sea, and covers everything in Korea.
See, it’s not like Global Climate Change is one thing. It is all of these things. It’s the Yellow Dust and the Coral Bleaching and the rising sea levels.
So instead of denying that it is happening, we need to do something about it.
Jill Stein has a plan like FDR’s New Deal, but with green energy jobs instead of jobs building highways. I have had friends tell me “Oh, that will never work. Those technologies aren’t viable.”
Well, in spite of the hit pieces in the corporate media in the US, I promise you that green energies are viable and already taking off in many countries.
It’s up to us to jump on board and start taking climate change seriously, because our children and their children will inherit the world we leave them, and we need to take that awesome responsibility more seriously.