A friend sent my wife and me a poem on the occasion of our first grandchild – many years ago. One verse read:
“Grandmothers don’t have to do anything except be there:
They’re old so they shouldn’t play hard or run.
If they take us for walks they slow down past things like
pretty leaves or caterpillars. They never say “Hurry up!”
After the hectic years of careers and child-raising the grandparent image of that time had its appeal.
It just hasn’t worked out that way – thanks to climate change!
Grandparents have come to recognize that this easy-going attitude is letting the one thing that we can leave for our grandchildren, a healthy planet, slip from their grasp.
So grandparents travel to protest, accept arrest as the consequence of civil disobedience, give up the idea of golfing under sunny skies, and soberly assess whether what we have done for the planet is enough.
Occasionally we read on the Web a wonderful summary of why we worry. Here, in the words of Drew Monkman, is a favourite.
“Two years ago, I became a grandfather for the first time when my daughter, Julia, gave birth to a baby girl. And what a wonderful experience it is proving to be. However, I know that I am not alone in my anxiety about the kind of world our children and grandchildren will soon be inheriting. Although some of us may still be in denial, there is every reason to believe that climate change will seriously disrupt life on this planet to a degree that few of us would have ever thought possible.”
We are not alone in our concern. Very recent developments give us reason to hope. More grandparents are organizing – in the United States, in Great Britain, in Belgium and in Switzerland – and striving to protect the earth environment that our grandchildren will inherit.