I cringe at the thought of being cursed by future generations for not doing enough to stem the environmental degradation of our planet. My hope is they’ll just call me stupid and refrain from searing a big X—a token of eternal shame—upon any trace of my existence.
My instinct is to defend myself, saying “I cared, I worried, I recycled, and over the past nine years I’ve driven my 2010 four-cylinder Toyota Rav4 just 4,500 miles a year, only a third of the national average.”
What would my descendants, inheritors of the wreckage of 80 or 800 years hence, likely say about this sort of defense? “It’s pathetic,” I imagine them decreeing. “Your defense is all about you! You’re trying to look innocent in your own eyes. Your feelings for us are superficial. You don’t understand that our suffering is your fate, too. We’re all in this together—your death will not save you. Our relationship transcends time and place, past and future. Your eternity passes through our pain.”
Well, damn, did I just channel those words? Here I am writing this down, spooked at the thought it’s true. Will my spirit be obliged to hang around for millennia to observe and feel what my descendants are enduring? Please sweep this thought away in a Texas tornado!
Should I just plead ignorance? I’m no expert on spiritual matters, and my alleged fellowship with future beings and this notion of being sandblasted alongside them in a Florida mega-storm seems like one of those mystical puzzlers. [Read more…]