Intergenerational Lip

From “Dad, seriously, WTF” … Adults won’t say it, but kids can’t afford to leave it unsaid.

Dear Dad,

We are writing to inform you that you are in breach of the intergenerational contract.

Here’s the deal as we understand it:  You’re a grownup.  We’re the kids.  When really big, scary stuff happens – stuff that, like, directly threatens our well-being and our future prospects – you are supposed to get off your big old butt and deal with it.  And not just in a polite, careful, professional adult kind of way.  If it’s really a big threat, you need to jump all over it with both feet.  It’s pretty basic, and it should be genetically wired:  when a big saber-toothed tiger lunges out of the jungle at your kids, you have to throw your body in front of it.  This is the first provision of the father-child contract.

So Dad, dude, what is UP with the adults and global warmingDid you HEAR how bad it is?  Are you thinking “well, if it were really that bad, the adults would be dealing with it?”  And if you’re thinking that, what are we supposed to think?

As evidence in this proceeding, we submit the testimony of Jim Hansen – America’s pre-eminent climate scientist – before Congress in June of 1988.  Hansen confirmed that global warming was under way; is caused in significant part by humans; and immediate action was necessary.

Daaad, before we were born, the smartest guy around on this stuff said, “Deal with it.”   Since then, the empirical effects of climate disruption – polar ice melt, more frequent intense storms and floods, more devastating forest fires – have come on much more quickly than Hansen predicted.  We’re in college now, and we still have no meaningful national climate policy.  Dad, are you there?  Are you picking your nose or what?

Here’s some more incriminating evidence – the crazy stuff you listen to on the news.  All day long, it’s politicians blaming each other for high gas prices.  They point their fingers in different directions, but they all want to drill more, even the ones who don’t deny global warming.

Ooo, Dad!  You say our music is rough, but that stuff is nasty.  Hasn’t every modern president warned that we’re addicted to oil ?  And that’s a bad thing, right?  Doesn’t oil dependence cause wars, economic decay, and climate devastation?  Gosh dad, you get all worked up when we smoke a little pot, and that just gives you the munchies.

Seriously Dad, our leaders in both parties think increasing oil supply and reducing oil price is the right thing to do?  “Let’s see, this addiction really sucks, so… I’ve got it!  Let’s make the drugs cheaper and see if we can find some more dealers!”

Y’all are droppin’ the ball here, and maybe it would be ok if it were just you but Yo! – kids to adults, kids to adultsyou’re dropping it right on our heads!  Who do you think is going to pay for this mess when your sorry asses are gone… which, by the way, is soon?  Uh-huh, that’d be us, and every day you delay makes solutions more expensive.

Now, this breach in the implied contract between kids and adults is a blanket indictment of your whole generation.  But for YOU in particular, there really is no excuse.  This is not just your generational obligation.  It is your JOB.  It’s what they pay you to do when you go to work at Climate Solutions in the morning.  Do you, in fact, go to work in the morning?  Or do you go play golf?

‘Nuf talk.  We’ll see you in intergenerational court, Pops.  Please be prepared to testify in the matter of Future V. Present.  Be advised that the court will not look favorably on any suggestion that the state of the economy justifies delay on your part.  The economy and the climate suffer from the same disease:  late-stage fossil fuel addiction.  And they need the same treatment:  a clean energy revolution.

Dayad, you should also know that the court takes a very dim view of your self-imposed constraints on what is “politically possible.”  Ignorance of your own power to change the world is no excuse.

With love despite your lameness,

Your kids

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Dear Kids,

Bring it on!  Since you first started whining about this about 4 years ago, some kids are starting to get real.  Check out their awesome Children’s Trust litigation.

C’mon, you snot-nosed brats!  Lawyer up like the big kids and let’s do this!

With love despite your insolence,

Dad

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