Thursday, October 30, 2008
My Apologies to the Future Inhabitants of Earth
To: People of Earth circa 2108
From: An Average Joe Earth Dweller 2008
Dear future resident of Earth,
let me start of by saying I apologize. I did not take responsibility over my actions during my lifetime, so all I can do now is share my experiences as a precautionary tale in hopes you do not repeat my mistake or those of my peers.
I don't know if it was ignorance or naivety, but my actions led to the decline of your home, your environment, and likely, your very health as you breathe air that is unfit for a living organism to respire on. It is no excuse, but I want to share with you the circumstances and collective psyche that I believe led the population of my corner of the world to contribute to problems you had no hand in but have the unsavory task of repairing.
1. We didn't really know in 2008, but we placed the Earth at 4.5 to 6 billion years old. We estimated the human race at 1 million years old, and yet despite the fact that we were around for 1/5000th of the time our home was, we only started to consider the concept of our actions affecting our home in the last few decades. We of course had a few brave visionaries who told us we were damaging the Earth and it would come back to haunt us, but we didn't see the trouble right in front of our face so we called these people "tree-huggers" or "hippies". We ignored their warnings and their proposed solutions.
2. We enjoyed the highest affluence of possibly any population before us, but instead of investing for the future in our economy for you and your grandchildren to enjoy, we greedily and frivolously spent more than we earned so that the well collectively ran dry.
3. We came from hundreds of generations of farmers, and then within 4 - 5 generations of what we called the "industrial revolution" we pretty much exploited the soil natural food had been produced in for hundreds of years. The cells in your body are less healthy than mine were despite so many medical advancements because we tried to outsmart nature and created food instead of protecting and harvesting what nature/God/evolution had created for us over thousands of careful years. I sure hope we reversed the obesity epidemic that was raging as I wrote this letter, or else your clogged arteries, back pain, chest pain, and poor health is in part my fault too.
In summary I am sharing with you what has unfortunately become the legacy of my people at the turn of the millennium. I do this because there are actually a number of great people alive in my time who are trying to buck these trends. Unfortunately, there are too many people alive today who think the planet and all it's resources exist to service them, and they have no responsibility contingent upon their consumption.
It is my hope that you can share this letter with as many people in your generation so that my fate does not become your fate. You could actually be the catalyst in having your generation's legacy being saving earth and perpetuating the human race instead of condemning it to death for a number of reasons.
It is also my hope that by the time you receive this letter, hundreds of people would have written similar letters and given them to hundreds of people so that the entitled-misinformed-ravagers of Earth and all it's resources become the minority, and the solutions-providers like you become the majority.
One great thing about the generation I am coming from... I don't have to print this letter a million times and cut down that many trees- you can simply forward it via the internet. The world of today is full of so many brilliant people- we just had our brilliance misguided by some poor leadership in our developed nations, as well as a number of poor personal choices multiplied by millions of inhabitants.
Hopefully you can harness the brainpower of your time (as I'm sure it is plentiful) towards more productive means that will turn the trend from consumption to sustenance.
an apologetic old fossil by the time you read this