I am a 78 year old father and grandfather. Actuarially, and much to my chagrin, I have perhaps 10 to 11 years left in my life. And yet, my unborn great granddaughters have 80 or 90 or perhaps even more years to live. My great-great and great-great-great grandchildren even more. If you are anything like me, my progeny have meaning to me. They are of my blood and my soul and I care about the world they will live in as I do of my six grandchildren.
I have read about the "7th generation principle taught by
Native Americans which says that in every
decision, be it personal, governmental or corporate, we must consider how it will affect our descendents
seven generations into the future." So that the pristine sky, field and mountains in this photo
will still be here for them to enjoy.
The article I saw here goes on to say that "A generation is generally considered to be 25 years, so that's 175 years. It is clearly not embraced by most governments and corporations in the world today. I mean, when was the last time any of us thought about who's coming along seven generations from now?"
What do you want your legacy to be for your progeny in the year 2190? I won't get into too much depth on any of these points because you can look up anything you want to know by searching with Google where most of the following is copied from. I will touch on areas of our planet that I would like to have left for my progeny.
The following are issues I would love you to think about before you go into the voting booth. If these issues are as important to you as they are to me, I suggest you ask the people who are seeking your votes for public office where they stand on these points. If they support your views, vote for them. If not, don't vote for them but find someone who supports your views in the main. I recognize there are other issues on which to base your voting decisions, but these are some key ones I care about because they define the world I would like to leave as my legacy. And, talk to your children and grandchildren about these issues.
Clean Air to breathe -- According to Wikipedia, "Air pollution is the introduction into the atmosphere of chemicals, particulates, or biological materials that cause discomfort, disease, or death to humans, damage other living organisms such as food crops, or damage the natural environment or built environment". "Everyone on earth knows that air pollution is hazardous to health. The effects of air pollution can have devastating effects on your health and the environment." At a website I viewed it stated as factual that "Inhaling air pollution takes away at least 1-2 years of a typical human life." It also said, "The number of people who die in America every year due to air pollution is above 50,000" and "65% of the deaths in Asia and 25% deaths in India are due to air pollution." It would seem to me that polluted air is polluted air and will eventually affect us all, i.e., Asian air doesn't stay in Asia.
Most of this air pollution we cause results from the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, natural gas, and gasoline to produce electricity and power our vehicles. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a good indicator of how much fossil fuel is burned and how much of other pollutants are emitted as a result. Did you know that 52% of the United States electricity is generated using coal as fuel?
Note that in the NY Times article on November 2, 2015 entitled, "More Than Half of Entire Species of Saigas Gone in Mysterious Die-Off, it said, "Scientists now estimate that at least 211,000 endangered saiga antelopes -- 88 percent of the Betpak-dala population in Kazakhstan and more than half of the species -- died in May. Dr. Kock and his colleagues reported that they had narrowed down the possible culprits. Climate change and stormy spring weather, they said, may have transformed harmless bacteria carried by the antelopes, called saigas, into lethal pathogens. Are your great grandchildren the next saigas?
Clean, fresh water to drink -- "Wherever they are, people need water to survive. Not only is the human body 60 percent water, the resource is also essential for producing food, clothing, and computers, moving our waste stream, and keeping us and the environment healthy."
"Unfortunately, humans have proved to be inefficient water users. (The average hamburger takes 2,400 liters, or 630 gallons, of water to produce, and many water-intensive crops, such as cotton, are grown in arid regions.)"
"According to the United Nations, water use has grown at more than twice the rate of population increase in the last century. By 2025, an estimated 1.8 billion people will live in areas plagued by water scarcity, with two-thirds of the world's population living in water-stressed regions as a result of use, growth, and climate change." Do you wonder if they will be migrating to places that have water?
In another article it says, "Earth's population could grow by three billion in the next 50 to 75 years. More thirsty people means even greater demand on already-scarce resources and, paradoxically, a greater chance that existing water sources will become polluted. Many of the world's major aquifers are being over-pumped, and in some river basins governments have allocated more water than is actually available."
"Freshwater resources are also feeling the squeeze from Mother Nature. There is high seasonal and annual variability of rainfall and snowmelt, and the resulting streamflow, in many regions. Climate change could spell the end of some critical--but nonrenewable--water sources like snowmelt. Coastal dwellers may see their groundwater tainted by brackish flows as sea levels rise."
How will this affect your progeny?
Consistent climate -- Global climate change has already had observable effects on the environment. Glaciers have shrunk, ice on rivers and lakes is breaking up earlier, plant and animal ranges have shifted and trees are flowering sooner.