Children, Children's Children: 'Stop Worrying About Us'
February 18, 2008 Issue 44•08
WASHINGTON—In a statement channeled back across generations to the present day, the nation's children and the nation's children's children called for an end to decades of passionate oratory over their well-being.
The future youth addressed all those who reference them regularly, including presidential candidates, Iraq War protesters, celebrities recording public service announcements, and anyone about to inaugurate a new community center.
"Treat yourself to some short-term gratification for once, and leave the future to us," Future child Samantha Jacobson read from the prepared statement.
"Put those silly fears aside," the not- yet-conceived children and their offspring wrote, stressing that, while they appreciated concerns over whether they would have access to clean water or ever see a majestic bald eagle, they'd prefer for those currently living to focus on their own lives in the here and now.
"We'll be fine," Samantha Jacobson, a representative from an uncertain tomorrow, read from the letter at a press conference Tuesday. "It's nice how you're always wondering if your actions will deprive us of a glorious heritage of peace and liberty to look back upon, smiling proudly, but, please, let us worry about that. You've sacrificed more than enough for the future—our future—already."
"Really," Jacobson added. "If the ecosystem gets destroyed or the world is plunged into perpetual war, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it."
Signed by 150 influential members of the two forthcoming coming generations, the statement included requests to discontinue all debate over the potential future of such intangible resources as health, earth's natural beauty, and the ability to sit together at the table of brotherhood. The children's children furthermore asked their soon-to-be ancestors to desist all plans to plant trees or write letters to Congress on their behalf.
"There's been a lot of talk about what kind of world you'll be sentencing us to live in, but, come what may, we children of tomorrow are pretty sure we'll make do," the letter read. "How much damage can you realistically do in one lifetime anyway? In 20 or 30 years any major problems will have blown right over. At the very least, take comfort in telling yourselves that technology will develop a new and ingenious method for counteracting whatever negative impact you do have on our ability to breathe the air, watch the stars, or otherwise live in a world free from fear. Right?"
"Besides," it continued, "we'd never be able to enjoy our precious future lives knowing you had wasted every waking hour recycling beer bottles on our behalf."
The note ended by insisting that, whatever happens, the children's children will harbor no hard feelings toward those living today who simply choose to live their lives without fretting about environmental holocaust.
"You work hard, you pay your taxes—go ahead and use as much Styrofoam as you need," the statement concluded. "Who's to say we won't need big piles of Styrofoam in the future? We might. So go ahead and get that Range Rover, because it shouldn't be the privilege of future generations to limit your right to spacious leg room and all-wheel drive."
The letter has caused a stir among commencement speakers, mayors with plans to christen pediatric-hospital wings, and countless others who have spoken tirelessly for the benefit of their children's children from behind podiums. Some staunch supporters, such as Fitchburg, MA resident Nicholas Charters, claimed the letter only bolsters the case for protecting our nation's future.
"We must protect our right to defend our children's children," said Charters, who is contemplating a run for a city council opening. "If not for ourselves, then for our parents, and our parents' parents, who established a great tradition of worrying about the future that stretches back nearly 300 years."
Nevertheless, a majority of those interviewed were relieved to hear their hypothetical offspring are finally taking some initiative.
"It's a load off my mind," said Martin Paller, the 32-year-old inventor of disposable, single-use bath towels. "It will be nice to take some time and focus on myself for a change."
Greenspan: Americans Make Too Much Money, Need to Be Replaced With Immigrants
"Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said the U.S. is on the edge of recession. The mortgage crisis and high energy prices are weighing on the economy. And if Congress caps carbon dioxide emissions, that could make things worse. 'I think we're clearly on the edge,' Mr. Greenspan said at the Cambridge Energy Research Associates annual conference. The chance of a recession is '50 percent or better.' One thing the country could do to improve things is to allow more immigration of skilled workers," the Dallas Morning News reported. "'Significantly opening up immigration to skilled workers solves two problems,' he said. The companies could hire the educated workers they need. And those workers would compete with high-income people, driving more income equality, he said."