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Why OPA?

I was contemplating recently why I do what I do. Why do I, personally, feel the need to take action on climate change? I wanted to put into words what’s behind my thinking.

I try to live well and take care of my health. Medicine is advancing very rapidly. So, I don’t see any reason that I can’t still be alive a hundred years from now, and have my great-great-great-grandchild come to me with a question. And when they do, I want to have a bloody good answer.


When the little one comes to me a hundred years from now and says, “Opa, is it true? Our teacher at school today told us that when you were a boy, the world was a very different place. They said that people used to burn oil to make their cars go and they made things from it instead of using the oil from hemp plants. That their houses were cold in the winter and hot in the summer, unless they burned coal to make them more comfortable. She said that the skies used to be brown over the cities because of all the burning stuff and sometimes people found it hard to breathe… but I don’t think any of that is true, because that would be silly.”


I will say, “It was silly, but we got together and stopped them, because we wanted to make the world wonderful for wonderful children like you.“


Or, there is another possible future that could come about. Where my great-great-great-grandchild comes to me and says, ”Opa, our teacher told us today that back at the beginning of the 21st century -back before Miami, Hong Kong and Singapore had to be abandoned, back before the storms that destroyed homes, back before the Water Wars started- people knew everything they needed to know about how to prevent climate change, but they didn’t because of greed and laziness and short-term thinking. But Opa, that wasn’t you was it? You did everything that you could to stop it from happening didn’t you?”


And I am going to want to have a bloody good answer.


What about you?