We need a Marshall Plan for the Earth.
PUBLISHED: THE HILL: Changing America by Cyril Christo, Opinion Contributor | Originally published on October 4, 2020
“It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.” ― L.R. Knost, “Two Thousand Kisses a Day: Gentle Parenting Through the Ages and Stages”
Years ago, I read “The Little Prince” to our son, as we all have or should read to the children, transfixed by the lessons of a little boy come to our world to relate, wondrous, invisible truths to an aviator.
Who can forget the snake that swallowed an elephant whose profile looked like a hat? We had begun our crucible with our son when he learned to walk and talk in Africa. At age 4 he was introduced not only to the marvel of life and elephants but also the immense tragedy of the elephant crisis, in which tens of thousands of elephants were slaughtered for trinkets, one we thought humanity had left behind many years ago. The slaughter, I could feel it, was ripping a hole in the future of children everywhere. If adults do not learn how to finally be adults and stop the infamy, destruction, loss, and total insanity of the biological mayhem underway, we could well be facing the final generation.
It is why the children everywhere have marched and pleaded for the world to listen. The Youth Climate lawsuit Juliana versus the United States, the climate strikes initiated by Greta Thunberg from Sweden and Vanessa Nakate from Uganda and many others are existential protests for Generation Z. They say we have run out of time. We have. The main culprits for the climate crisis, the Europeans nations, the U.S., China and the rest of the world are not listening to the children. Adults are being held accountable, but they aren’t responding. Even Klaus Schwab, the founder of the World Economic Forum, in his book “COVID-19: the Great Reset,” admits that humanity needs an economic system “that is more resilient, more inclusive and more sustainable.” But how to reconfigure the unrestrained and unregulated system of capitalism that has brought us here?
Many of the younger generation are fighting against an economic system that assaults Nature. Where 16.2 million children go hungry every night in the U.S. alone. Many, it seems have also given up. Many are saying we are past the tipping point. None of the essential 20 targets for saving the earth compiled by the UN have been met. After all the cannibalization’s of the adult world upon itself and the treachery inflicted on Nature, can we not hear the lamentations of the unborn? If Greta and her generation’s cry falls on deaf ears, earthly life will become intolerable.
“How dare you!” — the words Greta used to express the unremitting folly, ignorance and willful arrogance of the adult world that has turned this planet upside down when the climate is menacing every foundation of life, from the receding ice caps, to collapsing insect populations worldwide. Her words should burn in the heart of each adult on earth who still debates climate change.
Who of us will debate the loss of more than two thirds of the world’s population of animals, without whom there is no world. Greta’s march and the others who have taken up the baton of consciousness in this momentous time have heard the message of the little prince when he met the businessman who owns all the stars. Too busy to greet his visitor properly, the businessman explains that he has collected 500,000,000 stars. What do you do with those stars asks the little prince. I own them, answers the businessman. What does it do for you to own them, asks the little prince? It makes me rich answers the businessman. And what does it do for you to be rich, asks the little prince? To buy more stars. How can one possess stars asks the little prince. To whom do they belong? asks the adult. To nobody says the little prince. Therefore they are mine, the businessman answers. But you are not useful to the stars, answers the little prince.