When I walk up the hill to the Metro each morning, I see that a parent has put up a small sign near the street. It says Drive Like Your Children Lived Here. Nice. If only.

This concern for children is sweet, but if they were thinking beyond the lttle block they live on and beyond the time their kids are toddlers, It would say something more along the lines of Live Like Your Children Will Be Adults on Earth.


Why do I keep harping on this subject? Why do the rest of us keep ignoring it? Is the worst-case scenario a ‘scare story’? What is the proper response when people aren’t anywhere near scared enough? The worst won’t happen? How bad is bad enough, would you say? A hundred or two hundred species going extinct every day? Would that be an attention-getter, to anyone who was paying attention?

But we don’t want to INCONVENIENCE ourselves, to protect species, or climate, or ecosystems, or arable land, or coastlines, or anything. If people were really driving as though their kids lived here, they’d get out of the car and walk up the hill and take the Metro. But we consider convenience, after all, vastly more important than prudence. That’s the lesson we’re teaching by example, and you can explain it all to your kids someday, when it’s too late for them.