One of my favorite concepts to teach in my science classes revolves around population growth. Looking at the exponential growth of the human population over the past two centuries always gives me pause for reflection. How can the earth support this continually growing number of people? What is its carrying capacity?
It is with this in mind that I debated having children. The impact of more people, especially with regards to the level of consumption in Western society, weighed heavily on my mind. Watching National Geographic’s special The Human Footprint a few years ago made me ponder this fact even more.
Now that I have a child, born on Tuesday night, I have the ultimate responsibility to the next generation. The oft quoted statement from The Iroquois Confederacy – “In every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations” – rings true now more than ever. Resource conservation, energy independence, and sustainable development are necessities not just buzzwords.
Here is to making a conscious decision to use resources wisely and to educate the next generation about the importance of sustainable development, as well as how to create a sustainable future.
- Eric Wilson