- A very elderly person without any family left, and with some financial resources, is probably not going to be too upset. He is going to die in less than a decade, probably; has the money to deal with the added needs of these last years, and has no responsibilities.
- The patriarch of an affluent family: well, he has to survive a decade or two, but can pass along a lot of his personal fortune to his aging rug-rats, and once he goes, it becomes their problem. We know some people in this category, don’t we?
- What about a middle-class matriarch with an enormous family, which family has come to depend on her leadership for many years? What can she do to adjust the attitudes of her more capable family members, so that they do not throw in the towel too quickly? What can she do to combat the extreme and paranoid attitudes of the dumber drones among her menfolk? (Obviously I’m drawing upon some broad stereotypes here, but we’re running out of time . . .)
- We must stop burning things.
Let me explain. Smoke screws up the air, so that’s one reason. Burning converts fuel to carbon dioxide, which--at the moment--is causing problems with keeping the planet temperature in balance. (Too much CO2 prevents the planet cooling fast enough.) Also, grilling and barbecuing heats up the air; and though we don’t want to get our kids panicked to the point where they start yelling at anyone who has an open fire going, it might not be a bad thing to get them thinking that discouraging open fires--or any sort of fires, for that matter--is something that we’re going to have to do sooner or later.
- We must stop using plastic.
There were about 10 years when it appeared as though we had the plastic pollution problem licked. But we should have known better; we only kicked the problem down the road. Our politicians are afraid of taking action on anything that does not benefit some business or other, and the plastic recycling business does not promise easy enough profits.
The US does a better job with plastic than they do in the Third World, but that does not say much. Plastics end up near the homes of the poorest in the land, who are at most at risk with rising ocean levels, and continual flooding.
- We must stop putting crap in the water,
or pouring it down the sink.
I remember a time when I did not think twice about scrubbing filthy car parts, and pouring it down the sink. I don’t do it now because I don’t do my own repairs. But dirty water becomes the problem of the Water Authority, and in many parts of the country, the budgets of these departments get cut every year. Pretty soon, just as a lot of our supposedly recycled plastic is shunted to the landfill (and not recycled at all), a lot of our water that should be filtered is simply sent into the closest big river. Only fishermen get upset. But the really, really rich do not go fishing, it appears.
- We must support clean
As we start using cleaner-running cars, the power for those cars will increasingly come from the Power Stations. This is great, because we can focus our attention into making these power stations efficient and non-polluting, which makes the clean-running autos really mean something.
- In the near future, we should get
away from personal transportation.
The faster we do that, the further we postpone the time when life becomes really difficult. Buses and trains are already available for those of us who live near the big cities to go most places conveniently. Planes, at this point, are not really efficient, as far as I know.
There are also those who work in big companies, whose productivity is measured by how much they travel. It is very difficult to change the culture of big companies, but this culture of gratuitous travel has to be tailed off.