Future Forgiveness

Illustration in the iconic article in Dagens Nyheter showing pH values in precipitation 1962. Data from the European Air Chemistry Network.

How will we ever find forgiveness from future generations?

Even I argue sometimes that people of the past actually didn’t know better, so we should not expect them to think like us.

But the signs that humanity is wrecking the planet-wide ecosystem have been around for decades now. There’s a reason a hundred and twenty countries signed an act to stop using chemicals that damage the ozone layer in 1987.

One of my first university classes, back in the last century, where a Geology course that taught me that the planet should be heading into a cool-down, a new Ice Age. (Such a daunting future.) But that geologist – people who only deal in impossibly long time spans – had started to see signs that humanity affected the climate in the opposite direction.

The acid rains that hurt Scandinavian forests during my childhood where due to sulphur being released into the atmosphere elsewhere on the continent.

Nature’s wonderful, magical, chaos-theory governed totality,
is a finely tuned system in balance.
Whenever or wherever we put our hands to destroy, pollute or eradicate
we leave wave after wave of effect. Wounds and scars.

There is still time to act…

Will we give future generations sufficient cause for forgiveness? 


For Susans prompt on Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Forgiveness.

16 thoughts on “Future Forgiveness

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  1. Unfortunately our planet has been treated disrespectfully, abused and wrecked over many years. We are the present day inhabitants, who have had plenty of warnings and advice, about the demise of the eco-systems, the oceans, air quality, wildlife and human decline too. we can individually try to amend our ways and hope that future generations, can find some meaningful changes to halt this situation…

  2. The stubborn insistence that money is the only thing that matters is actually criminal, the more so since a very few benefit from the destruction caused to keep them rich. Young people right now are justifiably angry, at how long we have kept our heads in the sand. I get frustrated because I have been talking about this stuff since 1980 and we are STILL debating rather than acting. Sigh. So I resonate strongly with what you have writen here.

    1. You summarize my experience and my thoughts very well. This hiding from responsibility, in all levels of society, really makes my heart bleed, and I have a really hard time understanding HOW that is possible this long…

  3. “people of the past actually didn’t know better, so we should not expect them to think like us.”

    This is quite true and poigant to the calamity of today’s planet
    Even now that we know, there is so much and no more that can be done in a permitted time space.
    Your poem though intimates a forgiveness and that i think is wonderful


  4. A most pertinent question. But those controlling hands simply don’t care. This destructive process will go on no matter how many Greta Thunbergs cry their heart out. Such a sorry state of affairs. And I strongly believe this planet will thrive once the humans are eliminated by their own actions. Love every word here.

  5. I can remember what Britain was like when coal was king and London especially and other cities were often blanketed in Smog a combination of soot and fog that just about paralysed the roads. Sadly we don’t learn from our mistakes and will no doubt bully Greta Thunberg into silence abou the approaching change in climate.

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