Existential threat and the generational divide.
While the world as we know it collapses around us the politicians and pundits are in a tailspin. Words like “emergency, unprecedented, panic, collapse, economic meltdown and existential threat” are being tossed around like confetti. Raging firestorms, hail-stones the size of cricket balls, unseasonal floods, locust plagues, and now the Covid 19 pandemic. This is our world in 2020.
This pandemic is frightening, but in truth, it is far more frightening for some of us than for others. The young are largely unaffected, with relatively few deaths and a reasonably non-threatening prognosis. However, for those in their late 50’s or beyond the threat is immediate and palpable. They could die, and they could die reasonably soon.
Without casting criticism on global governments’ measures to stem the spread of Covid 19, one cannot deny the stark contrast between our response to the pandemic, and our response to the very real existential threat that is climate change. So now, all of a sudden we believe the scientists?
If the great toilet paper panic of 2020 has taught us anything, it is that many of us are shamelessly self-interested to the point of utter irrationality. So consider this, is it a coincidence that an existential threat that is beating down the door of the “power rich” demographic gets such unprecedented action; Whereas the looming disaster of climate change, that will impact heavily on the currently “power poor” younger generations is largely ignored?
The French have a saying, “Apres moi le deluge.” Which translates as “After me the flood.”
This pithy little epithet pretty well sums up the attitude of those who hold power.
Corona Virus has made a mockery of the economic excuses. When the bell tolls for the powerful no level of economic sacrifice is too great, but when it comes to economic realignment to stem climate change, our children and grandchildren can quite literally burn in hell.
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