“An open letter to the next generation we have let down so badly.”
If you are reading this, then that must indicate the internet is still up and running and the biggest energy crisis predicted by many including myself has not yet occurred.I write this letter to you in the year you were born 2012.
This is the year which has shown the true extent of problems which face us all. The real problems and utter suffering caused to the average person in the street brought upon by the 2008 financial failure is only just beginning to bite. Unbelievably, still no one has been called to account or faced justice for this yet.
2012 has also; again unbelievably shown the world the real problems we face with regards to global heating. I call it global heating because global warming doesn’t bestow the real danger of the problem. With real changes in weather patterns, we are only this year beginning to realize that global heating can and will take away humanity’s ability to feed its self.
Ironically, the industrial-scale farming practices, which destroyed much, of the planet’s rainforests and allowed 7 billion people to thrive, through what I have always called “the golden age of mankind”, has now become the problem. I believe that we humans reached a tipping point (the amount true, native forests we could cut down before affecting the climate) were probably around the early 1940-50’s.
One straightforward message for you is “every action has a reaction” and despite the warnings which even Margaret Thatcher and President Ronald Reagan knew about in the 1980’s, our governments have and still do, to this very day, ignored the science and chosen to prioritise economic growth and greed.
I am not a religious man, but it is rather like what Jesus said at his crucifixion, “father, they know not what they do”, but I am ashamed to say, in the case of our generation, they knew, and sill chose to ignore it. Some fatherly guidelines on religion, please do not heed to the religious dogma.
Jesus was a real person with real good intentions, but his story has been manipulated throughout history. Beginning from Roman Emperor Constantine to the popes and bishops of today, Jesus’ story has been manipulated to obtain money and power over the common man.
One of the fruits of all this greed is the advancement of human knowledge. What we now know about the cosmos and our place in it, has indeed been a gift. Treasure that gift, because you are within a small window of humanity which poses what would have been called “knowledge of the gods”. Eons of human lives before us and after us will never know how truly beautiful the marble Earth looks from above.
Bewilderment then, at how we have gotten it so wrong, for we have had this information for over half a century and we as a species can see the limited space we inhabit, yet still our leaders talk about growth. Educated people who people trust to do the right thing, still talk about growth in the year we see global heating’s real consequences. The altered weather patterns will continue to cause industrial scale agriculture failure causing industrial scale famine.
This is the year that we see our politicians rejoice, because we built more high polluting, Land Rover vehicles, and this is the year that crop failure occurred in half of America and many other countries too. The price of food is going the same way as energy costs. Up, up and away, but still they do nothing.
The point I am making here, son, and the reasons why your life is so much harder than ours, boils down to one single word, Greed! I and your mother lived through the golden age of humanity, and before the financial failure of 2008, and nobody even appreciated it!
I would even go so far as to say democracy is to blame. When politicians are only interested in getting re-elected in 4 years time, none of the tough decisions and changes can be implemented.
I myself woke up from what I call the “sleep walking” when I heard the North Sea oil outputs were down turning. I remember Margaret Thatcher promising 50 years of cheap energy for all, and the realisation that had been untrue awoke me.
In the same year, I began my website; Heat my Home, which aimed to get people to think about the future costs of energy and how that will affect their ability to provide one of our basic needs. I have spent most of the last few years, promoting solar panels to help people, reduce their reliance on already sky high energy bills. Unfortunately, fuel poverty, is a real problem for millions of people, and it will affect many millions of people more as you begin to grow up.
By the way, son, you are currently sat on my knee at the moment watching me intently type this letter to the future you.
Never trust a politician son. For years before the economic crisis hit, there was always excuses why they could not make schools better etc, but after the financial crash, our government has been pumping 100’s billions of pounds into banks. That is a bit like a friend telling he cannot lend you any money to help you buy school books, then turns up a week later in a brand new Ferrari.
This scenario is currently being played out throughout the world, with governments throwing trillions of pounds worth of currencies to stabilise a broken system. The world is still awash with surplus money, which is only being hoarded away by the few.
Even when the facts of humanity’s problems were on the table our world leaders and most of the general population chose to ignore them.
The three greatest challenges facing modern humans:
Finite oil supplies + increased consumption = earlier energy crisis.
Finite planet + economic growth + deforestation = climate problems and mass extinction of biodiversity.
Unrestrained wealth + growing population = social unrest.
They do know what they do
I write this letter because I want you to know I was not a “Sleep walker” like the others.
I knew the magnitude of the problems facing not only the human world, but the natural world too. I have attempted to make positive changes to the world, and tried to wake the world up from its sleep walking slumber before it walks too close to the edge of the proverbial cliff edge.
When you see parents dropping their children off at school in their large engine 4 x 4 vehicles, a sense of despair comes over me, when you know the gigantism of the situation on so many levels. Even parents knowingly destroy their children’s future world in the name of fashion.
“They know not what they do” only applies to some of the population, most do, but do not care and even the religious types who you would think would want to protect “his garden of Eden and his creatures” do not even make the most basic of lifestyle changes.
The current and past world leaders who are supposed to protect us and who are paid well, to steer us all away from the cliff edge, do nothing!
The banks bailouts proved, there is enough money in the world to make an effort to tackle the burning of fossil fuels, ultimately the problem of all these problems.
In the same way that people could not be excused for “only following orders”, the powerful corporations and leaders can no longer say “we did not know”. They do know, the science is established, and most of it is basic, common sense.
Throughout history, human beings have been remarkably adept at coming together and fighting a common enemy, but this time, the political and social will, is just not there, which makes me sad.
Without action, we will all succumb to year on year crop failures, unaffordable energy or the social upheaval that those problems would create.
I just wanted you to know, the who, the why is and the when has, of this self-inflicted situation mankind now finds itself. This is the legacy my generation is leaving for yours. Apologies!
Nobody truly knows what the future holds, but one thing I do know with absolute certainty…
…I love you, now and forever.
"Feel the pride."
Solar Stu on
Founder of Heat My Home.