How I Talked to Edith About Climate Change
“You’re lucky you got your adulthood before the planet was completely ruined by climate change.”
The worst part of her tone was that it was matter of fact. It was completely phlegmatic. Like, oh well, we don’t have time to stop for a slice of pizza, and I don’t get to grow up in a world with a functioning biosphere.
I didn’t know what to say because climate change is a hot topic (sorry—no pun intended) but there was no other choice to make. I needed to talk to her about it. Knowing fully well that I’m far from an expert, I tried my best anyhow.
I stopped the washing of my dishes at the kitchen sink. She had my full attention. Oblivious, I left the water running. “Honey, my generation failed yours and I’m sorry. But there are things we can still do to change it.” My eyes fixated on her as she ingested her granola bar du jour. She took her wrapper and wrongly threw it into the garbage bin, rather than the recycling.
“There are things we can do…?” Edith questioned.
I nodded confidently. “Absolutely, like recycling that wrapper of yours. Recycling saves energy, reduces deforestation and minimizes greenhouse gas emissions from landfills!”
With a deep pronounced sigh and the rolling of her eyes Edith walked to the garbage bin. She opened it, grabbed the wrapper and tossed it into the recycling.
“See honey, if we all do our part now you will also get your swing at adult—”
She interrupted me and she had good reason to. “And what should you be doing right now to make this world a better place, ma?”
Confused, I said nothing.
She pointed to the running faucet. In a face-palm moment I turned the water off. She sighed one last time. But this time it was different… she was relieved. She cared after all. My kid was going to be OK. If anything, she’ll be teaching her ma a thing or two.