Tuesday, October 16, 2007

To the Leaders of the World

This letter is written by a father on behalf of his daughter and all the children of the world.

Dear Leaders of the World,

I am a third grade student in elementary school. Thanks to your leadership, I am living in an era of relative peace and prosperity. Like most children in your country, I am able to eat well, dress warmly and receive a good education. I know that it is not an easy task to satisfy the needs of so many people. The burden on your shoulders must be enormous. On behalf of all the children of the world, I thank you for what you have done. Without the hard working adults of this world, we would not have nearly the quality of life that we are enjoying today.

Time goes by quickly. In ten years, I will say goodbye to my youth and became an adult. By then, the young adults of my generation will start to take over some of the burdens from your shoulders. Gradually, we will be responsible for taking care of our parents and our children, just as you are doing right now. With the good education you have made available to us, I am confident that we will be able to handle this duty well; however we will face one tremendous obstacle.

To support the needs of a huge population, people need tremendous amounts of natural resources such as clean air, clean water, arable land, energy, minerals, and most importantly, a favorable climate. However, according to what I have seen and learned, all of those precious natural resources are diminishing fast. I see the smog in the air. I see the trees that are being cut down so that buildings can be built. I also have learned that the energy reserves and minerals underground are running low quickly. Recently, the scientific community has predicted that, due to human activities, a substantial climate change is very likely to happen in our life time. All of these issues worry me. How can we support a growing population with diminished natural resources in a much more hostile environment?

I understand that we will be left with a lot of buildings, roads, cars, and belongings. However, most of those man made objects are not able to produce the vital resources we need to feed people. What we need are what our great-grandparents had when they inherited the world, birds flying in the crystal clean sky, fish swimming in blue ocean and clear lakes, deer running in the woods, rabbits hopping in the meadow, and abundant energy resources hidden underneath the ground for emergency use. I am not sure if that is what we are going to inherit when we grow up. Certainly, I hope we can give these things to our children, grandchildren, and their progeny. After all, only those natural resources really matter to them.

The world is very complicated. You have a lot of things to consider when you formulate policy. However, I do hope that you keep our future needs in mind when you make your difficult decisions. In the end, our ability to take care of our parents and our children is largely in your hands.

Thank you.


Daisy Chen



Egoist said...

The resources of the planet earth, or rather, the lack of resources, is greatly exaggerated. True, resources are running out, but we will have enough for at least the next forty years.

I am interested, however, in how the previous generation was able to create world peace. How were the current resources utilized to navigate peace and education for all? Not that they actually were successful at this, but if you thought and brainstormed how such an event might be accomplished, that would be a great help.

I am intrigued by your ideas, and wonder how you would respond to biodegradable synthetics, materials that have properties of organic substances, but that possess their own unique substances.


Steven Chen said...

Hi egoist,

Forty years is too short. My daughter is still eight years old. It would be sad if she has to carry a gun when she is forty-eight years old to fight for resources.

In the past, people solely depend on what the Earth could provide at the time. If there was a problem with the weather system, war is ensured.

Our current relative peace was maintained solely because we figured out a way to use the hidden resources, such as fossil fuels and etc. However, that will not last long, forty years, maybe. When the hidden resources dry out, war is ensure. Remember, we would have a much bigger population to support. Using fossil fuels also cause deterioration of the environment, which includes the climate change.

The only way out is to reduce our consumption of natural resources and protect the Earth as much as we could.


Jim's Words Music and Science said...

Steven: You are right that we have to cut consumption of resources while finding alternative and less-polluting ways of running the various societies on the planet.

Unfortunately, in America, people seem to be increasing in their sense of entitlement to the world's resources while paradoxically worrying more about the environment. We want to have our cake and eat it too.

We need to break out of this mindset as a group, and that starts with individuals, so thanks for the letter. I wish I could trust our politicians to do something, but I really don't (even the Democrats I support).

So, we need to vote with our checkbooks (chequebooks), and only support cars etc. that are moving in the right direction.

Best wishes,

Jim (Chemrat)

Steven Chen said...

Hi Jim,

I recognize the problems you have mentioned here.

As a father of two young children, I believe that most parents do care about the future of their children. They might be willing to vote for the right policy and right politician if they understand that their own children are at stake. That is my hope.