Over the holidays, our family gathered for only the second time this year – two octogenarian grandparents, three children in their 50s and two grandchildren in their 20s.
Among the things we talked about was what the future was going to be like for the young ones. All things considered, the grandchildren should still be around by the year 2100. We truly hope so, but then there will have to be some drastic changes made in society today, and very soon.
At the risk of the pot calling the kettle black, I’m going to suggest some of the changes will have to occur to avoid overheating the world we will be leaving to our children and grandchildren.
1. Couples will have to accept the idea of having only one child. If additional children are desirable and affordable, parents should consider adoption.
2. Reducing your consumption of red meat as well as fish, until proven reestablishment of fish stocks.
3. Making a move towards a vegetarian diet will be well advised.
4. A change towards small energy-efficient cars and electric passenger trains.
5. Land changes from their present usage – pastures, hay fields, vineyards – to grain and vegetable farms. We can no longer afford to have usable agriculture land in non-food production.
6. Reduction in overall electricity and gas use for heating.
7. All air and ocean travel to be curtailed with out-of-country familial visits limited to perhaps once a year.
8. Become more reliant on wind and solar energy.
9. Zoom and Skype can be used for face-to-face long distance communication. Video conferences can reduce travel, and the use of virtual reality simulators to experience personal travel experiences are already here.
There are hundreds of other ideas that we must consider as necessary to reduce our climate footprint.
It just depends on whether we wish to contribute to our children’s well-being or deny them a decent life – or a life at all.
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