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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, October 01, 2019 1:00 am

Maybe our kids have a point with environmental concerns

Francis Frellick

Francis Frellick is a Fort Wayne resident.

This world in which we live will soon be inherited by our children and their children. So why should we trouble ourselves to make any changes? They'll be facing the same problems that kept striking us out. Maybe they'll come up with some answers.

The trouble, friends, is that those problems we've been leaving for our children to deal with are already here with us, and they're growing. They're already impinging on the lives of our children.

We've failed miserably in our responsibilities to keep our planet habitable and safe. “That's for the scientists to figure out, and they haven't done so yet, or at least I haven't heard about it.” That's just not true.

You may have long since avoided the real news on your TV because it's so discouraging or painful to hear and see, but it's been there, and one way or another, we've ignored it. Things are seriously bad and they're going to get worse if we continue to ignore the facts.

Surely you know our polar ice caps are melting (faster than anybody expected!) and our glaciers, too. Around the world, hurricanes, tsunamis and tornadoes are destroying entire communities of people. Much of the Amazon's forest in Brazil is being intentionally burned, diminishing the quality of the air we breathe here up north.

And until lately, we've barely noticed many of these calamities since they've not seemed to affect our intentionally isolated daily lives. Hundreds of thousands of refugees from domineering governments in South America and the continent of Africa are streaming northward to find safe places that might afford them a chance at survival, safety and a means to build a new life.

Meanwhile, most of us are busy, striving for a lifestyle of relative extravagance. And things tend to stay this way ... until these increasing problems impinge on our comfortable lives.

It's when “our beautiful place at the shore” is labeled as “soon to be submerged” by constantly rising tides that we become upset. It's when the real estate agent, trying to sell us on that dream retreat on the mountainside in Colorado, sadly tells us of the six-year drought in the area and the absence of any significant firefighting service options. It begins when we decide it's better to buy the water our kids drink at home because we aren't sure about what's coming through our kitchen faucet. It's when the costs of our consumption of fossil fuels jump, and we're told the burning of those very fuels is contributing significantly to the pollution of the air our children are breathing.

Things like that can sure suck the wind out of a fella's sail.

Maybe we ought to listen to what our kids are telling us about this “climate charge” stuff – or is it climate change? Maybe some of those scientists are for real. Maybe we should listen to our kids. Junior says we oughta work with these scientists and the kids. He says he and his friends and this young leader from Sweden just won't back off. They want us to support what they know has to be changed – or at least to stay out of their way.

When you think about it, maybe they're onto something. The things they're talking about could probably get pretty grim if we don't do something, and pretty soon.

What's in your wallet? What have we done so far? How much do we really care?