We shouldn’t expect the next generation to clean up our mess

Iturned 75 in March. That means I probably won’t be around to see the worst impacts of climate change or any other looming environmental disasters — or the much brighter future that may emerge if we get off our butts to address the problems.

But I’m also a father and grandfather, and I care about my children and grandchildren and all the world’s children.

Climate change is already having noticeable impacts around the world, including food shortages, increasing extreme weather events, shrinking glaciers and ice caps, and rising sea levels. We’ve already upset the atmospheric carbon balance, so the more we ignore the problem, the worse it will get.

It’s unconscionable that we would condemn our children and grandchildren to an increasingly bleak future, especially when readily available solutions would help to resolve many other global problems.

It shouldn’t be up to young people to clean up the messes we have made. After all, we don’t even allow them to vote — to choose who will make decisions on their behalf. And they will be most affected by the decisions made today. But because so many adults have abdicated their responsibility to the world and its children, youth are taking matters into their own hands.

One young person in the U.S., 16-year-old Alec Loorz, is even taking his government to court over its inaction on climate change.

He and others have launched actions against state and federal governments in an attempt to have the atmosphere declared a “public trust” that must be protected, a concept that has been used to clean up polluted rivers and coastlines.

“We will let the world know that climate change is not about money, it’s not about power, it’s not about convenience,” Loorz says. “It’s about our future. It’s about the survival of this and every generation to come.”

We owe it to our children and grandchildren to help clean up the messes we’ve made. Parents must become eco-warriors on behalf of their children, because their future should be as important to us as it is to them.

Learn more at www.davidsuzuki.org.

 

Just Posted

Victoria landmarks to glow red in honour of World Tuberculosis Day

1,600 new cases of active TB reported in Canada every year

Victoria bowler strikes gold at World Special Olympics Games

Hours of training at Langford Lanes paved the way to gold for Patrick Reid

Colwood discusses parcel tax to help pay for sewer repair and replacement

Report submitted to committee recommends parcel tax for all residents

UPDATE: Missing 12-year-old girl found

Victora police say missing youth has been found and is safe

The blind lead the blind at the Pacific Training Centre

Centre specializes in teaching visually impaired people everyday skills to live an independent life

Protective human chain forms around Victoria mosque for Friday prayer

Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

Wildlife activists slam B.C. business, clubs for ‘wolf-whacking’ contests

Chilcotin Guns, Creston Valley Rod and Gun Club and West Kootenay Outdoorsmen Club under fire

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Most Read