Don’t be my daughter’s villain
My grandfather passed away in 2018, at nearly 98 years old. As a veteran of the Second World War, he came from a generation of people who saw a threat, unified as a society toward one goal, and sacrificed so much to ensure that the future was preserved for generations to come. He didn’t make those sacrifices for financial compensation, he made them for the children he hadn’t even conceived of yet, and their children after them. And if he were alive today to witness the dialogue surrounding the coming election, he would be absolutely appalled at the behaviour and opinions of the Baby Boom generation that he unwittingly helped to create.
I keep coming across local citizens, in this paper and elsewhere, who seem to be concerned only with preserving their own comfortable retirement. Denying good science. Vilifying “the Left”. Mocking politically engaged children; when I was young, it was all our parents could do to get us to put down the video game controller and think about the world. Now that the kids of today are doing just that, and it’s inconvenient for your next seniors’ Alaska cruise or gas guzzling RV trip to Reno, you want them to get back in the classroom and stay quiet because it challenges your faulty world view.
My grandfather was a painter, a sculptor, a wetland advocate, a cross-country skier, an alpinist. He did things that made him think about the world and his impact on it. He lived comfortably but without extravagance. When he died, he left no problems for his descendants to deal with — his affairs were in order. It’s time for the next generation to get their affairs in order, this time on a global scale. And while I understand that some members of this demographic understand science and the existential threat we need to solve, it’s time for you to speak up.
My daughter is one year old. It breaks my heart to think that she will grow up knowing that her grandparents’ generation knew they could have done something about climate change decades ago and yet chose to act on their greed instead. It isn’t too late. My grandfather was my hero. Don’t be her villain.