On this Father’s Day, here in the US, I think it’s particularly appropriate to think of the proper role of parenting in dealing with the climate change mess and, more generally, sustainability mess we’ve created. As I’ve said countless times online, you can slice and dice this interlocked complex of issues until your eyes bleed, but you can’t escape the core conclusion that it’s ultimately about intergenerational responsibility. That begins with the recognition that the children of the world, including those yet unborn, are all ours, whether or not they carry our DNA. Once you see that reality and internalize it, you can’t look at the disaster we’ve set in motion the same way and still be considered a reasonable adult.
Which brings me to one of the few examples I’ve seen of someone bringing an appropriate amount of urgency to the discussion. This is from chapter 26 of a book of essays, Hope Beneath Our Feet: Restoring Our Place in the Natural World, and the author is Derek Jensen:
We need to stop this culture that is killing the planet. Nothing else matters. NOTHING else matters. The only measure by which we will be judged by the people who come after is the health of the land base, because that is what is going to support them. They’re not going to care about how hard we tried. They’re not going to care about whether we were nice people. They’re not going to care about whether we were nonviolent or violent. They’re not going to care about whether we grieved the murder of the planet. They’re not going to care about whether we were enlightened or not enlightened. They’re not going to care about what sort of excuses we have to not act (“I’m too stressed to think about it,” or, “It’s too big and scary,” or “I’m too busy,” or “But those in power will kill us if we effectively act against them,” or “If we fight back we run the risk of becoming like they are,” or any of a thousand other excuses we’ve all heard too many times). They’re not going to care how simply we lived. They’re not going to care about how pure we were in thought or action. They’re not going to care if we became the change we wished to see. They’re not going to care about whether we voted Democrat, Republican, Green, Libertarian, or not at all. They’re not going to care if we wrote really great books about it. They’re not going to care about whether we had “compassion” for the CEOs and politicians who are running this deathly economy. They are going to care about whether they can breathe the air and drink the water. They are going to care about whether the land can support them. We can fantasize all we want about some groovy eco-socialist utopia, and if the people can’t breathe the air, it doesn’t fucking matter. Nothing fucking matters but that we stop this culture from killing the planet.
 I’m guessing that the prissy people out there will feign insult and go off on a righteous indignation bender over the fact that I quoted something with a (gasp!) dirty word — and one that’s even repeated! Well, get the fuck over yourself. If that word is what you’re focused on, then I beg you to either educate yourself about just how incredibly serious our situation is and then get to work, or shut your freaking pie hole — which includes not voting — and let the rest of us get on with it.