In response to the question:
Heavens. Where to start?
I’ll limit my answer to 3 unavoidable facts:
- The children you have right now (2015), and any yet to be born, are going to have to deal with the collapse of the biosphere. That’s not hyperbole: that’s the consensus of roughly 14,000 climate scientists, worldwide. They will grow up and try to thrive in a world where the norm will be mass migrations, food and water shortages, spread of deadly disease (malaria and West Nile virus, to name but two), and endless, endless wildfires, way too many to keep under control. They will live with storms that have the power to level cities. And it will be hotter, much hotter.
- They will also have to deal with a world where there will be many, many applicants for fewer and fewer jobs. We only need so many people to grow our food, build and repair our highways, sell us our Starbucks, even trade our stocks for us. We put 250,000 new people on the planet (over and above the death rate) Every. Single. Day. Even if only half make it to adulthood, that’s still about 46 Million people that will need jobs in about 15 years. And then 46 million newer, new people the year after that. And the year after that.
- Unless you are a Tiger Mom (or Dad), or can afford a good private school ($11,000/yr), your children are going to grow up — no way to say this but to say it — very dumb indeed.
The US ranks 28th in the world, just above tiny Portugal, in the education of its populace (Singapore ranks #1).
Horrid for a country that still likes to think of itself as a ‘superpower.’
In sum: You are raising children
who will live in air-conditioning maybe 8 hours a day, before the power grids have their mandatory daily brownouts;
who will probably work part-time at a poorly-paid franchise operation, and
who will be unfamiliar with basic history, geography, or mathematics.
Further, engrossing, accurate reading:
A Special Moment in History (Bill McKibben)