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Africa: Our Burning Planet – Kids, About Your Inheritance…

My generation has left you a shitshow of planetary proportions. It’s going to take you a long time to get out of the muck. So sorry.

First published in the Daily Maverick 168 weekly newspaper.

As 2021 begins, let’s discuss your inheritance. Basically, you’ll be starting from scratch. The generation that has been in power since World War 2 – my generation – has used up almost everything.

For our pleasure, leisure and fragile sense of security, we dammed most of the Earth’s rivers to generate electricity for factories to make things we used a few times then threw away. Go and check the dumps if you don’t believe me.

It’s true we kept the lights on at home so you could do your homework and charge your cellphones. Wind farms and solar panels helped, and I hope that’s all you’ll be using in your future. But for too long we kept the machinery going on coal and oil, which put so much carbon dioxide into the sky your planet will be a lot hotter than ours.

I can’t offer you any advice about how to cope with this, except to say really, really sorry. Maybe by the…


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