“Bill! We’re on defense!”
“Whoa ho ho! I don’t play defense.”
Michael Jordan and Bill Murray in “Space Jam”
It was one of those little moments that ring on long after the actual exchange. A comment from someone about leaving your children the same resources you had yourself. And me thinking — no, fuck it, I do not want to leave my children the same resources I had, I want to leave them more.
And that, frankly, I think is a problem with today’s movement about climate chance and the like.
Granted, it was pretty much derailed by the recent corona virus epidemic. Yeah, using public transportation might be better for the environment, but I rather stay alive, so car it is.
But the issue remains, once that outbreak has gone — with lots of people we love dearly — what do you want to leave your children?
I think the approach of leaving them what you had yourself is pretty striking, in a Freudian way. It shows an utter lack of confidence that we can increase resources. And in a way, that’s understandable. After all, your resources are limited. We use coal, oil, metals, heck, even rare earth elements. And it’s easy to think once we use them they are gone. And yeah, when we use energy, that’s true for some cases. But overall, we have more resources than just … well, elemental storage units of energy.
There is knowledge, for example. We do not burn wood to produce heating — well, most of the time we do not. We use different energy sources. And yeah, no caveman did use nuclear power. And, whether in 10, 50, 100, or 500 or even 1000 years, if we still survive with our level of technology, we might even use fusion power.
Thing is, we do more than use the energy and resources stored in a piece of rock during millions of years. Yes, we also do that, and it cannot go on forever, but there is more to the human race than exploiting their planet.
And I think we miss this, sometimes, when we talk about our future. And it leads to the wrong mindset. Instead of trying to preserve as much as we have, we should try to expand our horizons, become better, more knowledgeable about the world. Think differently, and — one day — spread across the galaxy. Heck, even other galaxies.
And we should never, ever, strive to leave our children what we had — but leave them more opportunities.
Because, in a nutshell, for humanity, stagnation is death.