Youth should thank those who came before; lead by example
I am pleased to see young people take an interest in our planet and the climate that surrounds it.
However, I would encourage them to go back to school, and along with their parents and teachers read a book by Czech-Canadian scientist Vaclav Smil, called Energy and Civilization which, at least in Bill Gates’s estimation, may be the best book written on energy. After reading and absorbing that book I would ask that they reflect on the sacrifices made by their great, great grandparents, their great grand parents, and their parents to get them to a place where they can prosper and enjoy their current lives.
Then I would ask them lead by example by greatly curbing their personal consumption. Purchase less clothes and unnecessary items, limit their use of phones and other electronic gadgets, purchase fewer cars, shoes and personal items. Walk to school, tell their parents to limit their own consumption.
Lastly, I would encourage them to stop blaming others. I will be lucky to live more than 15 years; they are likely to live many decades longer. Any solutions, any change in lifestyle is going to have an impact on them, not me. These youngsters are lucky to have benefited from the world they have inherited. I’d ask that you thank those that have come before you for the gifts you’ve been given, and make a sincere commitment to move it forward from here. All resources are limited, so correct analysis of the problems are essential and the solutions must be effective.
Mark Twain said “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”