This is the charge I’ve leveled against him on a summer day in our Pacific Northwest vision of paradise. I have asked my favorite attorney to represent a very troublesome client, the entire baby-boom generation, in what should be a slam-dunk trial—for me. On behalf of future generations, I am accusing him and all the other parasites his age of breaking the sacred bargain that every American generation will pass a better country on to its children than the one it inherited.Part of National Journal's Restoration Calls series.
Members of my father’s generation reaped the benefits of dirt-cheap fossil fuels through most of their working lives, when gasoline price increases ran well below inflation, freeing up cash for them to save or spend on things their children now cannot afford. Because gas was so cheap, they burned too much of it (my father has never owned a car that averaged better than 20 miles per gallon), filling the atmosphere with carbon dioxide to levels that scientists warn will likely warm the globe by several degrees. Climate change will cost trillions of dollars to avert or adapt to. It’s almost impossible to overstate this level of buck-passing.
It is hard for me to see how the gray-mustachioed attorney is going to get his client out of this one.
That’s my first mistake.
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