My grandson was on spring break last week so he and I decided it would be fun to take a walk in the woods. We went to an area called the Kettle Moraine State Forest. As we climbed an observation tower and looked across the hills and the trees and then descended to the ground and began to hike the trail I asked my grandson if he knew how all these hills and kames had been formed. We talked about how back in the last ice age a glacier had moved down across the state of Wisconsin and as the climate warmed the glacier stopped moving and melted. Since it was pushing dirt and rocks ahead of it like a bulldozer it ended up creating a series of hills and ravines at the point where it stopped. We both thought this was a very unique phenomenon. This conversation then led to a conversation about climate change. My grandson asked me how much the temperature had been increasing over the last few years and I told him that every year we had been getting a little warmer. We have seen the global temperature increasing by a degree or more. As my grandson contemplated this information he began to do some math in his head and he said that by the time he got to the end of his life he thought the earth would probably be too hot for human life to exist except maybe on the south pole.
I have often worried about the world that we are passing on to our grandchildren. I have often thought that most children probably aren’t very aware of the future they face. Now my heart sank as I realized that my eleven year old grandson does see and does worry about the future of human life on this planet. As he asked me if I agreed with his vision of the future of our climate and the quality of life we would have I had to agree with him that if nothing changes we will indeed face great changes in weather and all kinds of negative consequences. The only thing that could change this scenario is if we as humans all begin to do what we can to reverse the carbon emissions that we are producing.
Two guys went out into the woods to have a fun day together. They went to see some beauty and enjoy each other’s company. They went to enjoy a good hike and have a good lunch together. What a bonus that they also came home with a renewed commitment to do their best to take better care of the planet we live on. I hope lots of other grandpas and grandmas are also taking a hike in the woods with their grandchildren and seeing what we saw in the Kettle Moraine.