Friday, November 5, 2021

The Seventh Generation

Decisions mankind makes today are going to have long term effects.  Carbon pollution in the atmosphere takes an average of 120 years to dissipate (the scientific term is 'half life' meaning that half of it will be gone and half still remaining).  That works out to about five or six generations.  What we do today matters to descendants in a world that we can hardly imagine, and yet the Great Law of the Iroquois (The Haudenosaunee Confederacy) states that our plans should consider the seventh generation of our descendants.

How will these distant future heirs to our planet view our actions today?  What can we do to assure that their world is as safe and comfortable as it can be?  I explore some ideas on that in this video, taken as I stroll a favorite part of the Appalachian Trail.

Right now, as this is posted, Government leaders and politicians are gathered in Glasgow Scotland to discuss policies regarding reducing Carbon pollution that will have enormous consequences to our descendants.

Will we do what is right and good for them?  Or will our selfish greed prevail?  Sadly, even if all the governments agree on strong measures to reduce Carbon emission, that underlying greed cannot be fully suppressed.  Experience shows that corporations and individuals can find ways to get around even the strictest regulation.  Ultimately there could be a black market in carbon, and control of its distribution could begin to be monopolized by organized crime.  What do we do about that?  This is an issue that is barely being discussed, and yet 'when push comes to shove', it is probably the most important issue in achieving a successful reduction in global carbon emissions.

Otherwise, there's another way.  One day all the fossil carbon will be used up.  I wrote a sort of 'doomsday' poem about that possibility once, so maybe it's time to share it again:

I can only hope that our great Mother, good old Earth, chooses to be kind to us, and that we, in turn, can find our connection with Her and with the safe and sustainable great streaming current that four billion years of life has established for us.  If only we pay attention to it.

No comments:

Post a Comment