DO YOU WORRY THAT your descendants will some day accuse you and your parents (ancestors) of committing crimes against humanity because you shamelessly used fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal with reckless abandon?

By descendants, I mean your children, their children and their children. I’m talking about your future family members just 25 to 40 years from now.

How will people living in the 2040s to 2060s look back on the baby-boom generation and their parents. What we now know as the next generation has began condemning fossil fuels and blaming them for climate change which many scientists warn could lead to the destruction of life as we know it.

Will our descendants have the proper perspective? What will be their filter? Will they be forgiving when it comes to hindsight? At any time in history, we don’t know what we don’t know. What is our responsibility?

Will our descendants understand that in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s fossil fuels were very cheap, plentiful and efficient, and because of that, they fueled the greatest industrial revolution mankind has ever seen, helping make America a world super power and raising our standard of living?

Honestly, what our forefathers and mothers achieved from 1770 to 1870, and from 1781 to 1900, and again from 1901 to 2000 was amazing. They did many things that seemed impossible with the tools they had.

Now today, visionaries are taking steps forward to create a future that we can’t imagine. What seemed like science fiction a generation ago is now reality.

Today, there are people who point to the past and see atrocities that occurred. You can find examples of slave labor being used to build civilizations. Is it fair to vilify past generations without keeping things in perspective?

Is it possible our descendants 40 to 50 years from now will look back and say the dependence on fossil fuels was a terrible mistake because of the damage their use did to the environment and the climate?



*  *  *

NO MATTER WHERE you go or where you live in this world, the governing bodies are at odds and at each others’ throats. When the division is about 50-50, what can you expect? The media coverage encourages showboating by politicians leading to protests, riots and civil disobedience.

The 24-hour news cycle shows us civil disobedience in Hong Kong, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, France, Israel, Chile and the Arab Gulf States, just to name a few. There is even turmoil in many of our state legislatures as they deal with budgets, revenue issues and issues afflicting our society.

The mess in Washington is not unique. Brexit is the term used to refer to the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union (EU). The EU is an economic and political union involving 28 European countries.

In June 2016, our British cousins voted 51.6% to leave the EU and formally announced a two-year process starting in March 2017. The Parliament voted against or failed to ratify the negotiated withdrawal agreements. The deadline has been extended three times and is currently set for Jan. 31, 2020.

The Independence Party supported the exit while the Conservative Party and Prime Minister David Cameron were strongly in favor of remaining with the EU. Partly in frustration, Cameron resigned. Theresa May took over, but she also resigned.

Boris Johnson took over as prime minister in July. With no compromise resolution in sight, Johnson called for an election Dec. 12 and if he wins a vote of confidence, he will have five more years to work out a deal. Chances are no deal will be embraced by all sides.

Johnson’s chief opponent is Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, which favors socialist policies. He is not likely to win, but British elections are unpredictable. As Americans have learned, winning elections has consequences.



*  *  *

CONTROLLING SOARING health-care costs is complicated by the flood of new, expensive pharmaceuticals and the goal of making every therapy available to all who need them, regardless of the costs and the patient’s ability to pay.

We are allowing people to be destructive to their physical and mental health. If there is a market for questionable products, there is no shortage of companies willing to supply them. For example, Altria Group, a tobacco company, has invested in Juul, a company blamed for a rise in teenage vaping.

The number of people sickened by vaping-related illnesses has jumped to 2,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including at least 40 deaths. The CDC is warning people not to vape any THC-containing products.

Global cannabis sales in 2019 are estimated to be $15 billion, a 36% increase over 2018 sales. Sales are projected to increase to $20 billion by 2024. Thirty-three states have legalized some form of marijuana sales; 11 states have legalized recreational marijuana use.

If people are going to be allowed to do risky behavior that can cause serious health damage, they should be required to disclose it and carry appropriate health insurance coverage. Bad choices have serious consequences and the general public should not have to pay for it.