THE FUTURIAN #1
To my dearest Grandson,
I am sorry. I and many of my friends, colleagues and acquaintances — we all tried. We wrote articles, we appeared on media programs, we supported political parties, we became scientists of note, we even rose to positions of prominence in the business and entertainment worlds. But we failed. And you, and your children are bearing the cost.
Yes, there is hope for your children — but I feel that I must first express my remorse.
We could fly on a plane to travel over the Antarctic to see the glaciers, but for you it exists only in movies and documentaries. We could enjoy holidays that included riding in Venetian gondolas, but you are limited to me telling you stories of what it was like. The Great Barrier Reef, Victoria Falls, The French Alps and even the temples of Angkor Wat — people of my vintage all used to be able to freely travel to these places on holidays. Now they aren’t there. It is such a great pity.
Yes, the politicians and the statisticians say that economies around the world are now doing OK. And it’s true — the service sector is booming, green-rated construction activity is in rude health, and manufacturing is doing just fine. But, compared to what is available to you in the supermarket and from greengrocers — we enjoyed a greater range of varieties of the same fruit when I was your age. And we could get the fruit year round! Our vegetables were even grown in the ground and tasted far richer than what is on offer today. I am sorry that you are missing out.
And whilst I’m on the subject of fruit and veg — water. Yes, the powers that be never fail to promote the wonders of the desalination plants and the storm water catchment and recycling systems — but in my day it was different. Regular rain and regular snow to fill the reservoirs and to keep rivers and creeks alive. It really is a pity that your children will not experience lazy Sunday afternoons floating down a creek somewhere, or hunting for tadpoles and insects on the banks of streams
You well know that life is different — in many places there have been water wars, and in many places there have been significant dislocations of people. I never thought I’d see masses of people leaving countries across the Middle East and…