Friday, August 24, 2012

An Apology to my Children's Generation

This is an open letter to my kids and to all others in their generation, and indeed to all creatures and plants of Earth.

I’m sorry. My generation and too many generations before us didn’t appreciate what a special place our planet is, how precious the cargo it carries and how fragile are the environments that support this living cargo.  We stripped the planet of the resources it needs to be healthy.  We altered the genetic mix of plants, preventing the nourishment of the soil and to compensate for this we dumped tons of fertilizers and pesticides. We now measure in hundreds of square miles the size of the “dead zones” at the mouths of major rivers as they carry these poisons into the oceans.

We stopped heating a healthy diet and to support the demand for our unhealthy eating habits, we concentrated the animals needed to make those foods, causing a concentration of wastes the further that depleted the land and water’s ability to clean itself, and that flows into the rivers and aquifers that we ourselves need to survive.  We pumped these animals full of hormones and antibiotics, so they would grow faster but at a cost of the worsening health of the human population and the very real threat of super bacteria that may well be the death knell of the human race.

We built bigger and faster vehicles for personal transportation and the byproducts of the fuel needed to power them is warming our planet, destroying entire ecosystems and threatening all life forms on Earth.  And when we ran out of the fuel, instead of creating better vehicles, we went to war to obtain the fuel from other countries.

We enslave children to create the products they we buy, not because they are superior to other products, but to be “cool,” so we can, for a while at least, imagine that we are like some other human artificially inflated in status because they can run faster or jump higher or throw harder than others.

We have so mechanized all the apparatus that make all these foods and products that people have flocked to the cities at rates that our construction and infrastructure and services can’t support.  We are crowding ourselves together so tightly that our species, not having evolved for this type stress, is creating individuals who vent the pressure of their sorry lives by killing dozens of others.

I apologize to all of your generation, Josh, Rhiannon, Ethan and Azuranna.  My generation, and those before mine, screwed up our world. The heritage we leave you is a sad one.   

I only hope that you can learn from our mistakes and, before it’s too late, fix the mess we’ve made.