Support the Arctic Sea Ice Forum and Blog

Author Topic: A “BABY BOOMER’S” Apology to Future Generations  (Read 4644 times)

OldLeatherneck

  • ASIF Middle Class
  • Posts: 554
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
A “BABY BOOMER’S” Apology to Future Generations
« on: August 12, 2015, 12:54:48 AM »
Having been born in 1946, I’m one of the original “Baby Boomers” born in the immediate aftermath of WWII.  What an exciting time it was to grow up and begin the learning process.  The future seemed limitless, with promises of technological developments that would solve most, if not all of the world’s problems.  Medical technology had developed a vaccine for polio.  Nuclear technology had been harnessed to provide electrical power.  Electronic technology had developed the transistor. Drilling and mining technology had enabled the exploitation of natural resources.   It seemed that almost anything was possible.  Advancement continued for decades, with massive infrastructure development.  It wasn’t long until the world was connected, via satellite communications and extended transportation networks.

All of these “wonderful” advances have allowed the world’s population to grow exponentially, which has placed a burden on not just the world’s ecosystems, but on the world’s infrastructure, economic systems and governing bodies.  In our race to develop the world, we forgot to plan for a sustainable future.  In large part, this may be attributed to lack of awareness about how fragile the ecosystem was or how limited the finite resources were.  However, we can’t absolve the world’s leaders for allowing greed and corruption to dominate their agendas.

I’m sorry that the world my generation is passing on to those of you who are much younger, is not as healthy as the one we inherited.  We are giving you a fragile worldwide economic system, dysfunctional governmental systems and a biosphere about to be destroyed by rapid climate change.
 
It is my hope, in my waning years, that those of you who are a part of changing the future will make wise decisions and select wise leaders to implement the changes that are needed.  The only thing that gives me some glimmer of hope is that there is a growing sense of awareness, globally, of the severity of the multiple imminent threats that mankind is facing, be it overpopulation, climate change, critical resource depletion or income inequality.  Not only that, many of you are aware that these threats are interconnected and must be addressed as such. By definition the world you pass on to future generations will not be the same world my generation has created for you.  The climate will be more hostile, there will be insufficient natural resources to provide infrastructure, food and shelter for the current global population, let alone a growing population. The decisions your generation is facing will not be popular, nor will they be easily implemented. My life’s experiences have taught me that major global transitions are never accomplished bloodlessly. Yet you must keep in mind that every life lost, in every conflict, causes a ripple effect locally and regionally that lasts for generations, if not centuries and often leads to future conflicts.

Again, please accept an apology from a member of a “Failed Generation”.
"Share Your Knowledge.  It's a Way to Achieve Immortality."  ......the Dalai Lama

ivica

  • ASIF Middle Class
  • Posts: 893
  • Kelele
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 13
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: A “BABY BOOMER’S” Apology to Future Generations
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2015, 01:09:06 AM »
OLN, with all respect,
"we forgot to plan for a sustainable future"
I'm not counted in 'we' above!

OldLeatherneck

  • ASIF Middle Class
  • Posts: 554
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: A “BABY BOOMER’S” Apology to Future Generations
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2015, 01:14:58 AM »
OLN, with all respect,
"we forgot to plan for a sustainable future"
I'm not counted in 'we' above!

Ivica,

I didn't mean to imply that there were NO people doing their very best to live their lives in a manner that would foster sustainability.  However, for too many years, the vast majority of people were exploiting resources and over-consuming.

Thank you for what you have done and continue  to do to set an example for future generations.
"Share Your Knowledge.  It's a Way to Achieve Immortality."  ......the Dalai Lama

ivica

  • ASIF Middle Class
  • Posts: 893
  • Kelele
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 13
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: A “BABY BOOMER’S” Apology to Future Generations
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2015, 01:34:28 AM »
OldLeatherneck, thank you for reply.
When a local 'moral verticals' steal millions media will talk about a man who stole bread, broadcasting message "You Are Not Better Than Us".

People like you give me the strength to continue.

OldLeatherneck

  • ASIF Middle Class
  • Posts: 554
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: A “BABY BOOMER’S” Apology to Future Generations
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2015, 03:11:18 AM »
OldLeatherneck, thank you for reply.
When a local 'moral verticals' steal millions media will talk about a man who stole bread, broadcasting message "You Are Not Better Than Us".

People like you give me the strength to continue.

Ivica,

Thank You for the very kind compliment.

 I wish I had the wisdom and fortitude to give more people the strength to continue.  When I first posted this, I did not take into consideration the many members of this Forum who are already making sacrifices to help make the world more sustainable.  Among the most notable is our host Neven, who not only bears the financial burden of maintaining this Forum, but has built an eco-friendly home for his family, and they live a lifestyle consistent with a strive for sustainability.
"Share Your Knowledge.  It's a Way to Achieve Immortality."  ......the Dalai Lama

Neven

  • Administrator
  • ASIF Royalty
  • *****
  • Posts: 6611
    • View Profile
    • Arctic Sea Ice Blog
  • Liked: 356
  • Likes Given: 243
Re: A “BABY BOOMER’S” Apology to Future Generations
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2015, 10:54:11 AM »
Well, it's not perfect, but we're in the process, making improvements when and where we can. As far as financing goes, I get plenty of donations now to cover some of my time and efforts.

Either way, thanks for the apology, OLN. I wish our parents would do the same (my dad was born the same year as you), but they're too busy following and spreading their conditioning. I wish we could prevent the next generation from being failed, but when I look at how kids are made sick, both physically and mentally, my heart sinks. I'm saying sorry to my 10-year old daughter almost every week for this mess and this blind inability to do things the right way.

But the work must continue nonetheless, and miracles do happen sometimes. Maybe all is as it should be...
Il faut comparer, comparer, comparer, et cultiver notre jardin

ritter

  • ASIF Middle Class
  • Posts: 538
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 3
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: A “BABY BOOMER’S” Apology to Future Generations
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2015, 06:32:48 PM »
I'm saying sorry to my 10-year old daughter almost every week for this mess and this blind inability to do things the right way.

Mine is 11 (almost 12) and I have the same issue. It's heartbreaking but inspires me to do better at the same time. Without her, I'd have found a cave to crawl into to watch it all unfold. With her, I've realigned my efforts at building community adaptation so she might have a future. She's my strength and Achilles Heel all in one!

@OLN: Thanks for sharing.

silkman

  • ASIF Citizen
  • Posts: 295
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 15
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: A “BABY BOOMER’S” Apology to Future Generations
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2015, 10:07:50 PM »
OLN

I too was born in 1946 on the other side of the Atlantic and would like to second your eloquent apology.

We really were the luckiest generation of all time. In almost 70 years I've never had to carry a weapon or fight a war. There have been some bumps in the road along the way - Suez, Cuba, Vietnam, 9/11 but I was a teenager in the 60's, a scientist in the 70's and 80's and financially secure thereafter.  What's not to like?

I've been constantly amazed to watch science and technology change society and will admit I was into my retirement before the challenges facing the world I helped to create became increasingly apparent.

Just why the fallacy of sustainable exponential growth took so long to impact my thinking I can't explain. All I can say is that I really do fear for the future and can only try, belatedly, to play my part in spreading the word.

My three children have grown into likeable adults and I have five beautiful grandchildren. The youngest is just two and will be my age in 2083. I do hope that he finds a way to live a fulfilling life and that his generation will rise to the challenge of solving the problems that we Baby Boomers will leave behind.

Finally, thanks to Neven for providing an outlet for the hopes and fears of many like minded folk across the world and the generations. It's about the ice - the canary in the mine - but it's about so much more!
« Last Edit: August 13, 2015, 08:55:11 AM by silkman »

Neven

  • Administrator
  • ASIF Royalty
  • *****
  • Posts: 6611
    • View Profile
    • Arctic Sea Ice Blog
  • Liked: 356
  • Likes Given: 243
Re: A “BABY BOOMER’S” Apology to Future Generations
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2015, 10:39:13 PM »
Thanks for using the outlet, silkman.  :)
Il faut comparer, comparer, comparer, et cultiver notre jardin

ccgwebmaster

  • ASIF Upper Class
  • Posts: 1085
  • Civilisation collapse - what are you doing?
    • View Profile
    • CCG Website
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: A “BABY BOOMER’S” Apology to Future Generations
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2015, 04:50:58 AM »
I’m sorry that the world my generation is passing on to those of you who are much younger, is not as healthy as the one we inherited.  We are giving you a fragile worldwide economic system, dysfunctional governmental systems and a biosphere about to be destroyed by rapid climate change.

Speaking as someone younger (in the grey area between what people seem to call Gen X and Y), I greatly appreciate your post, it being so incredibly rare to encounter simple acknowledgement from older generations, let alone any expression of apology or anything resembling it (the most I recall generally seeing is expressed gratitude of expecting not to see the coming times unfold). So for that, I salute you.

My generation is however little better, mostly preferring to live for today, and give up on the future as a lost cause. We are superficially powerless - we do not hold the numbers to vote, the money to wield influence nor the time to transform the system from within. We lack initiative and bravery, preferring to apathetically surrender to the darkness rolling towards us. So who are we to criticise, most of us younger generations in western nations enjoying tainted soft living as we bury our heads in the sands of apathy and hedonism?

I personally intend to fight to the edge of extinction, through whatever means are necessary - or until I die, whichever comes first. I started this part of my life journey nearly 8 years ago now and fully expect it to consume the rest of my life (and it's already led me into some rather strange places at times).

I may still have to simultaneously somewhat exist within the modern world, which hasn't realised it's dead yet, but for me collapse represents not just a logical place to prepare to fight my personal battle, but also theoretically an opportunity. With the old edifices destroyed, something apparently beyond the power or will of any today to transform - we have an opportunity to forge something new from the ashes. Those of us in the right time and place, at least (not so much those going out drinking and partying every weekend because the future is F*cked and life is to be enjoyed while it lasts).

No matter how bad the unfolding future for billions alive today, the rest of the history of human history is to play for.

Let's not enchain ourselves in soft western affluence and limit our reach and vision. There's plenty left to fight for, and I can only hope ultimately at least some few prepared to truly do so.

OldLeatherneck

  • ASIF Middle Class
  • Posts: 554
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: A “BABY BOOMER’S” Apology to Future Generations
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2015, 05:06:03 PM »
I've been overwhelmed by the responses and comments I've gotten on this topic.  Thank each and every one of you for sharing your experiences and personal concerns. 

No matter where each of us our are on our journey through life, we still have an obligation to future generations.  Individual efforts may seem insignificant, however, collectively they will have some impact.   The magnitude of these impacts depend entirely upon the time and effort we put into shaping the future.
"Share Your Knowledge.  It's a Way to Achieve Immortality."  ......the Dalai Lama

TerryM

  • ASIF Governor
  • Posts: 4268
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 60
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: A “BABY BOOMER’S” Apology to Future Generations
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2015, 04:54:10 PM »
OLN
With regard to your apology:
While our ages are the same, my mother was born in 1903, so I kind of skipped a generation. My parents lived through 2 world wars & survived the "Great Depression". I, like most of our generation was nurtured by parents that had learned the hard way to stay away from battles, and to hoard resources.
This hoarding/saving mindset, coupled with the fact that we'd bombed our European competition back at least a few generations, left our North American manufacturers in the perfect position to flourish for a few crucial decades. The consumers were flush, the competition non-existent, the world was our oyster - and we sucked it dry.
Some of the lessons we learned on our parent's knee were valuable, some, not so much.
I grew up to fear and loath the same Nazi-types that my parents had hated. I also learned that owning a small business was better than managing a large one, owning property was preferable to owning cash, and rental income was far more valuable than earned income.
These simple lessons allowed me to retire very early and suck sustenance from the trough for a very long time.
Climate awareness of came very late in life for me. I smoked a cigarette outdoors on New Years Eve in 2011 & found the weather comfortable clad only in a tee shirt, in Canada. I recognised that something was very wrong & within a few weeks had discovered Neven's Site.
I can't apologize for mistakes made before I had been aware that a problem existed, and frankly, other than raising the alarm Ive done little to alleviate the situation. For that I do apologize.
Our generation was raised by those devastated by war and by depression (the fiscal variety). Most of us learned the lessons they taught & acted accordingly. Some twisted the message & found strength under strong leaders, found their happiness in sangfroid, and fulfilment in amassing the greatest numbers of toys.
I won't apologize for those as I was never part of that group. What I fear is that the generations further from the one that raised us have lost or diluted those memes that were beneficial, while building their own world based on little more than endless consumerism, narcissism, and distancing themselves from those that they consider to be less well off.
In retrospect, our generation hasn't left much for the next, but their greatest deficit may be that we never passed on the survival skills bequeathed to us.
Terry