All We Can do is Hope By: Kristen Adamec

Photo: Paolo Monti, 1969

Allen Thompson in his article “A World They Don’t Deserve: Moral Failure and Deep Adaption,” argues succinctly that we, as a human race, have a moral obligation to combat climate change. He firmly believes that we need to step up our efforts to combat the negative effects we are having on the planet in order to provide the best possible world for future generations to thrive in. Of course, as Thompson points out, all of this hinges on the continuation of the human race. Thompson provides strong evidence for the flexibility and perseverance of the human race, but believes that the best way for the current population to apologize to–and ensure the flourishing of–the next generation is by putting in marked effort to combating climate change. 

Reading this article, I found myself agreeing with Thompson’s arguments: apologizing and providing restitution to future generations is something we should focus more on, geoengineering is a very bad idea, and we have a moral obligation to provide the best possible world for those who come next. The morality of climate change is not something I had ever considered. Though I had previously considered that we need to address climate change to save the planet and future life, I had not considered it through the lens of morality.  All humans have the obligation to look out and provide for other humans. We, as a current population, have failed to provide for those coming after us, by focusing too much on the current needs of the population. Instead of being secure in the knowledge that the human race will continue on, we must, as Thompson argues, turn to stoicism and radical hope to believe that the human race will adapt to a warmth-ravaged planet. As Thompson puts it: “Hope is dead. Long live hope” (15). The hope that we can reverse or significantly slow climate change is gone, and a new hope must be kindled: the hope that whatever the consequences of climate change are, human can survive them. 

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