Monday, 22 June 2009

Parental Responsibility

My eldest child is 10 years old and already keen to “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”. Currently, I am trying to teach her what little I know about foraging for food and wild medicine. This is because I think she will need these skills later on in her life.

Sadly, I think that society "as we know it" will alter radically in the course of her lifetime – perhaps in as little as 10 or 20 years – as peak oil and climate change impact our food security, pharmaceutical industry, health service and all aspects of our modern lifestyle.

We have a responsibility to our children and grandchildren. The decisions that we make now (and there is no escaping the decision, as doing nothing is itself a decision) will affect the world that they inhabit. The lifespan of carbon in the atmosphere, loss of biodiversity, ocean acidification and loss of cropland, among others, will have a huge and lasting impact.

In each of our actions we must consider the world which we will be leaving to our children, and we must teach them the skills to survive and prosper in that world.

I am not talking about a survivalist "I alone will survive" type of mentality. I think that community-based co-operation and sharing of skills is the only realistic way. But we must take our heads out of the sand and face the stark reality of the situation we have created for our children. Only then can we adapt. Only if we consider our children's future will we be motivated to act as we must.

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