I must admit being perplexed. Days ago, although many of us have long known it to be true, climate scientists announced unequivocal evidence that human activity is responsible for global warming. I have perhaps been naive in my supposition that the “full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes” approach of some fundamentalist groups that welcome anything that speeds along the apocalypse, has played a major role. Maybe it was because so many politicians openly sided with such groups that that I supposed the two concepts to be connected. I suspect, however, that it may be something much more insidious. How can any intelligent person refuse to admit the facts when the consequences are nothing shy of catastrophic? How can elected officials turn a blind eye to the desolation of their own planet? It must be more than simple ignorance. But what?
Those in my generation—however we are currently classed—have been declared to be those attempting to make up for the excesses of the “me generation.” I’m not sure who the “me generation” is, but I know when I see individuals who allow their personal gain to endanger everything that has come along since the Sumerians invented the wheel, I feel a little queasy. What could the Zeitgeist have been that infected so many minds with such a godlike sense of entitlement? We call the younger demographic the “entitlement generation,” but when I taught them in college, they were much more environmentally conscious than many elected officials. They at least could see beyond their own wallets. They take pride in recycling.
It would seem to me that even if (and it doesn’t) the Bible suggested that the world itself would end to bring about a better one, we assume too much divine prerogative when we proactively destroy the only ground upon which we stand. Has any religion ever been so truly shortsighted? And that’s asking quite a lot, if you think about it. Or is religious faith just an excuse to gather wealth at the expense of others? Does God want you to be rich? If so, it would seem, God would also want you to act responsibly. According to a report in The Guardian, there is no longer any question that the climate blame lies with us. Perhaps now that the smoking gun is on the table we will do the right thing. But then again, I admit to being perplexed. Maybe it’s just my generation. Or maybe I’m just hopelessly naive. I’m entitled.