The Debt Burden on Future Generations

According to,

[T]he amount of debt placed on the backs of children born today is about to explode. If nothing is done, our generation will have the sad legacy of being the first to lower the standard of living of the next generation. . . . Unless drastic actions are taken to reduce spending now and in the future, debt will dwarf growth and future generations will be less prosperous than those that preceded them.

This may or may not be true of the federal government’s financial obligations, but the words on dead-on-target for the eco-debt that we’re saddling on future generations.  Day by day, year by year, we’re adding to the eco-debt:

  • We’re drawing down groundwater in aquifers far faster than it can be replaced, squandering a resources that took millenia to build.
  • We’re wiping out thousands of species of animals and plants that took millions of years to evolve.
  • We’re dumping giga-tons of carbon in the atmosphere much faster than the ocean and plant life can remove it.

In short, we are acquiring a level of eco-debt that future generations will have to carry for decades or centuries to come.  We need to do something about our eco-deficit now, before the burden on future generations becomes intolerable.

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About Dan

Dan Farber has written and taught on environmental and constitutional law as well as about contracts, jurisprudence and legislation. Currently at Berkeley Law, he has al…

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