(This letter was published in the Chapel Hill News, 6 January 2008.)
The leaders in my generation apparently wish to live without having to accept limits to growth of seemingly endless economic globalization, increasing per capita consumption of scarce resources and skyrocketing human population numbers worldwide; their desires are evidently insatiable; they choose to believe anything that meet the ’standards’ for political convenience and economic expediency; and they act accordingly. But, despite all their widely shared and consensually validated specious ideas and soon to be unsustainable production, consumption and propagation activities, Earth exists in space-time, is relatively small and bounded, and has limited resources upon which the survival of life as we know it depends. Whatsoever is is, is it not?
What worries me is this: the elder guarantors of a good enough future for the children appear to be leading our kids down a “primrose path” along which the children could unexpectedly be confronted with sudden, potentially colossal threats to human and environmental health that are directly derived from human-driven, converging global challenges such as pernicious impacts of global warming and climate change, pollution of the air, water and land from microscopic particulates and solid waste, and the reckless dissipation of scarce natural resources. All the while, the leading elders remain in denial of the fulminating ecological degradation by willfully declining to acknowledge, much less begin to address, humanity’s emerging, human-induced predicament. One day, perhaps sooner rather than later, our children could have extraordinary difficulties responding ably to that with which they could soon come face to face; that is to say, because their elders have so adamantly refused to recognize God’s great gift of good science, our kids will not even know what “hit” them, much less why it is happening.
Steven Earl Salmony