Friday, October 3, 2014

Greater Expectations

Despite the recent economic recession and general global malaise and uncertainty about the future, I think my generation’s expectation for what our futures lives as Americans will be is still the highest of any generations of human beings ever. Even a slight decline, or failure to meet expectations will result in an enormous amount of anger and frustration with the global system that our parents left us with. 

When these disappointments come, there will be masses of people looking for someone to blame, and someone to lead them out of the morass. The idea that our parents’ generation, for example can burn coal, which provides cheap energy, (in the case of electricity which is immediately used up and escapes the grid as heat and light) which in turn releases pollutants and greenhouse gases which will remain in the atmosphere for a long time, will seem grossly unfair because they took advantage of a cheap energy source and simply passed the payment (polluted air) on to us. While the energy produced from coal lasts only seconds, the legacy of that coal will remain in the air and in our lungs for a long time. The short term, incremental savings from polluting air and water will have ecological consequences for decades to come. Future generations will have to pay the price for the negligence of those long dead.

This gross inequity, I hope, will be enough for a generally spoiled generation of kids, which expects only benefits from their parents, to be truly angered, especially since not only will these benefits cease, but the costs which for so long had been kicked down the road, will increase and become more obvious as ecological systems come crashing down upon us. I hope this force will be enough to trounce not only the status quo of institutions, but of current political thought itself. Inevitably, most traditional ideologies will be abandoned, not only because they helped caused these problems, but because they offer absolutely no solutions for the unprecedented complexity of the 21st century world.

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