Monday, April 2, 2012

Big questions

Big questions about big problems will likely require big answers. Often mankind has a tendency to shift the problem down the road, or shift the time frame a problem has to be dealt with by applying a "band-aid" type solution. As a consequence, a generation ends up dealing with the problems generated by the previous ones. Often issues are compounded by time, so the overall cost is much greater once the issue becomes so glaring it cannot be over looked any longer.

The big question today about global climate change in some circles is "Is it real". This is nothing more than an evasive maneuver by the generation in twilight to foist off their problems onto us. Furthermore, once my generation takes power, the consequences of this pathetic excuse to avoid responsibility will be compounded into ramifications involving our food supply, water supply and a host of economic and social hardships. Much of which could be lessened if dramatic changes could be made now.

I predict history will view the policy makers from 1970-today as two separate bodies. Those who fought for positive environmental change, and obstructionists selfishly clinging to antiquated ideals. We got lucky, really lucky to have advances in climate science and technology in order to see the problem when we did. But for reasons like greed and avarice the choice to implement the changes necessary systemically is not being made.

Now the problems I see in my future are much more dramatic than they would have been. Just as a sample, the majority of the worlds staple crops come from three regions: one in China, one in Russia and the central plains states of the USA. Two of these bread basket regions are already practicing non-renewable ground water mining to sustain agriculture. Further compound this with the petroleum dependably endemic in modern agricultural systems, and you have a recipe for war, possibly between nuclear super powers within my lifetime. Global climate change adds a further compounding factor by shifting the zones of arable land faster than mother nature can build the ecosystem that creates top soil allowing the bread basket to shift with it.

The problem of ground water mining could be acceptably dealt with by my generation, but the magnitude of the crisis compounded exponentially by adding global climate change makes it untenable to support the worlds population. So when my kids are asking why a loaf of bread costs $100 you can bet your ass my reply will be "Because your grandfather's generation and great-grandfather's generation were idiots" (no offense dad). I propose we rename the baby boomers "The selfish Generation".

I understand I face a future with out oil, personal transportation, international trade of consumer goods, war and famine. I get that we need to prepare for world war three. (The water war.) I just wish we didn't have to wait for all the old people to die before we enact all the austerity measures required to have any chance at success as a nation. Why should the selfish generation be so privileged to enjoy their twilight years in a lush standard of living while disregarding the very survival of future generations? The resources they are consuming as monstrous rates would go a long way toward sustainable developments in many of the problem areas.

Oil should be outlawed for personal use, economy be damned, we need to use every last drop we have currently to retrofit our cities to non-petroleum dependent models, and convert our fleet of agricultural equipment over to electrical. We need to invest exclusively in sustainable models now, before the cost outstrips our capacities. Either that, or the only survivors of the future will exist in pockets scattered in small self sustaining communities.

So selfish generation, how do you want america to look in the future, a hand full of scattered hippies hiding in remote communes in an otherwise desolate landscape of collapsed empire? Or so you want your grandchildren to have a fighting chance at reasonable existence? Since you have chosen to empower only the short sighted and profit motivated. I guess I had better start growing out my dreadlocks now.

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