There's been an interesting discussion on Andrew Revkin's blog at the N.Y. Times. it was inspired by this letter:
Hello, Mr. Revkin — I very much appreciate your terrific reporting on global climate change issues. And I was curious: Knowing what you know about the pace of change — and how what we’ve already dumped in our atmosphere is going to have an irreversible impact for decades to come — what is your personal belief on the issue of what sort of lives we in the first world should live in the here and now?
What I mean is: I get so sad for the state of our planet and the environmental damage we’ve done to it, and I’m actively doing what I can to minimize my “footprint” on the Earth. But then sometimes I think: NOTHING that I do for the remaining decades of my life is going to have even the most infinitesimal impact on reducing the greenhouse effect in my lifetime.
So why bother? I don’t have any children of my own, and never will. In your opinion, does it really just boil down to doing it for the sake of other people’s children and their children? Thank you for your time!
What do you all think?
(Posted November 9, 2007 on DotEarth, in case the link expires.)