Stephen Fahey: The almost end of the world

Am I the only one getting worried about these new superhot summers? All of a sudden, from the North to the South Pole, folks are wilting like underpants in a furnace and no one is talking about how messed up this is! We didn’t listen when we were warned about global warming and now we’re paying the price. My generation did manage to tighten the hole in the ozone by cutting CFCs. But we then went right ahead and produced hundreds of billions of more automobiles and factories and TV sets and plastic bottles. Then, just for good measure, we made a billion extra humans beings in order to perpetuate the barbaric cycle of pollute/pollute-some-more without any interruption to service. You couldn’t make this up. More and more we’re all asking ourselves “Is the human race on the drugs or are we trying to do ourselves in?”

In fact, it’s neither. It’s just our own stupidity and laziness (which is really just the same thing) that lead us to this sweltering impasse. We’re stuffing the oceans with plastics, chocking the atmosphere with noxious gases, forcing species into extinction on a daily basis, drilling and mining the ground for shiny pebbles, and all at a horrific human cost, which somehow only leads to an increased want for more plastics, more gases, more furs and yet more shiny pebbles.

This is such a big problem that we won’t fix it within our lifetimes, and the sooner we accept that the better. We are guilty of shouldering our progeny with our errors, and we have to own that fact, otherwise we’ll just keep dancing in circles, blocking the way of our kids cleaning up our mess. Our parents did that to us too, but the only difference with us is that our errors are the worst in all of human history, because they might actually wipe is all out. But our children and grandchildren will fix this problem. They already are, even the little ones. Environmental conscientiousness is a priority to the youth of today. Care for animals that we fought for (in the form of banning cosmetics companies from stabbing bunny rabbits in their eyeballs with syringes filled with perfume) has trickled down to the next generation and bled into their care for themselves and each other, and for Earth herself.

Kids these days have no tolerance for the old discriminations against religions, nationalities, genders and sexualities that polluted our generation’s minds and those of so many generations before them. I know, I know, it looks like the world is legitimately going to hell. And if the constantly rising summer temperatures are anything to go by, it is. But the truth is that we are actually improving. Violent crime and misuse of alcohol and other substances is down, and more people per capita now have access to medical care, electricity and education than ever before. Yes, we have a long way to go. But the next generation is already doing a better job than we ever did.

We fear for our collective children, because we know the dangers of life, but they’re strong enough now to overcome them, as we did, only better. They are more connected, more aware, more intelligent, more caring, healthier in body and in mind, less inclined towards self-destruction, happier, safer, more tolerant of one another, less violent, less ignorant, less destructive, far more handsome and pretty and fashionable and just all round better people than we are.

When we’re gone, we will be leaving the world to better stock than ourselves. We aren’t all bad. We did give the world the great Liverpudlian quartet, the internet, computers, bio fuels, fibre optics, the microchip, and you, and me and everyone else alive today. We have done great things with our time here. Some horrible, brutal and shocking things also, but we must not discount our goodness. If nothing more, we created the next generation, so bright and bold and loving. We have cursed them with our mistakes, but we have also helped them become so much more than we could ever have been. So, fear not, for you need not, the kids on the case.

Stephen Fahey

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