Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. New posts: Mondays & Wednesdays.
Affordable, reliable energy – a big reason most children now make it to adulthood.
Back in 1990, green activist David Suzuki had this to say about human beings:
there are too many of us; we consume too much; we pollute too much…
Similarly, the head of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, declared recently that we can’t continue to
consume our way to prosperity.
For these dark souls, humans are a plague on the planet. A pack of coyotes killing a horse – by lunging at its throat, according to a recent story in my local newspaper – is perfectly natural. But human consumption is apparently greedy and stupid.
Well on this lovely morning in June I’d like to suggest an alternative way of looking at things. A gent in the UK named Ralph Tittley has produced a fabulous one-minute video titled Work. Rest. Play. It’s an entry in a contest, the details of which are intriguing in themselves and may be seen here.
I wish every child who has, in recent years, been subjected to multiple viewings of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth had also been shown this video. Because, for the vast majority of every 24 hours, we humans are not greedy and stupid. We are dedicated, smart, and creative. We build schools and hospitals. We write plays and music and poetry.
We have striven, for decades and centuries, to liberate ourselves – and our children – from drudgery. That journey would not have been possible without ready access to reliable energy. It runs the factories that manufacture affordable housing, clothing, and medicine. It is essential to growing and transporting adequate amounts of food.
This world, lest we forget, is a perilous place. Click here to jump to a listing on Amazon.com for Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Emile, which appeared in 1762. Type “die before their eighth year” into the search box, including the quotes, and you’ll be taken to a passage that reads:
One half of the children who are born die before their eighth year…This is nature’s law; why contradict it?
The reason this so-called natural law no longer applies is because affordable energy now rocks our world. Children born today have a better chance than ever of living a rewarding, fulfilling life – of becoming surgeons or scientists or musicians.
That is something to celebrate.