Global Warming: “Our Kids are Going to be So Angry with Us”

January 10th, 2009

It’s been five months since I read those words from Thomas L. Friedman, and yet they’ve stayed with me. They hit my gut as a warning that each of us will be held accountable for what we did – or didn’t – do to stop the disasterous affects of climate change. It surprised me that Friedman, a three-time Pulitzer prize winner and New York Times columnist with all the resources in the world at his disposal, chose to frame the battle against climate change in the context of a generational reckoning with our kids.

Here’s an excerpt from his August 5th New York Times column:
“ trip with Denmark’s minister of climate and energy, Connie Hedegaard, to see the effects of climate change on Greenland’s ice sheet leaves me with a very strong opinion: Our kids are going to be so angry with us one day.

We’ve charged their future on our Visa cards. We’ve added so many greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, for our generation’s growth, that our kids are likely going to spend a good part of their adulthood, maybe all of it, just dealing with the climate implications of our profligacy…”

Much has changed since those words were published five months ago. We’ve elected Barack Obama, someone whom we can count on to take action against global warming.

That’s great news, but we can’t leave it all to him.

As a mother who doesn’t want to face that angry reckoning with my own kids, I’m concerned. (Of course, I’ve already had angry exchanges with them about the need to fight global warming – like this one).

I see too many parents relaxing just a bit. “Oh, the new energy bill will take are of things,” they say. “We’ll finally have an EPA with some teeth,” they remark.

We can only count on Washington for so much. At the end of the day, the fight against global warming will be waged by Mothers who choose to stuff their kids into Priuses and the like instead of Chevy Suburbans, and who tell their kids that no, they’re not going to drive them to the corner store, they’ll need to walk. It will be waged by husbands who realize that an 8,000 square foot “green” house is not really green, no matter how many fuel efficient systems are crammed into the new construction.

Many of my “Green Mom” friends are joining in to raise awareness of the need to continue the fight against climate change. Their posts will be featured at the January Green Moms Carnival over at Not Quite Crunchy Parent.

Please check the posts out, and leave your thoughts below.

God knows we don’t need angry kids, right?

— Lynn

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