The birth of a baby girl (or boy for that matter) is always great news for her parents and family. It is a moment to celebrate the miracle of life and regeneration. However, for you, baby Danica May Camacho, born to Camille Dalura, slightly before midnight on Sunday in the Philippines and weighing a healthy 2.5 kilogrammes, the celebrations will come with a pinch of salt. For you see Baby Danica, you have been unveiled as the 7th billion person in the world by the eminent people at the United Nations. Your name, ‘Danica’ means ‘star’ and that is what you are as we celebrate World Population Day. How long you will be in the news is up for discussion, but for now you are a celebrity, you’ve knocked Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian temporarily off their perches and thank God for that.
You are entering a world tethering on the brink of disaster. OR, on the brink of fundamental change.
If everything goes to hell, you will probably never know the beauty of Mauritius or Fiji. Why? Well because global warming would have wrecked havoc on the ice-caps found on the North and South Pole, melting them and increasing the world’s oceans by up to six, seven or even eight meters and thereby drowning all the lovely low laying islands in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. You will never see a cotton shirt at the store with the ubiquitous tag on the back saying ‘Made in Bangladesh’, because it would have been drowned as well. Forget about Mombasa, Amsterdam and a host of other great coastal cities. If this happens, you must understand that it wasn’t a curse from any celestial being but rather a direct result of your forefathers’ refusal to cut back on fossil fuels. The rise in ocean levels will not be the only consequence of global warming; there will be more extreme weather patterns leading to drought in some places and floods in another, global food supply will take a hit and wars over things like clean water will probably become common. And we cannot forget increased global pandemics.
But, and this is a huge ‘but’, maybe mankind looked down into the chasm and stepped back. Maybe some scientist invents a type of machine that produces clean energy and coal-fired factories become a thing of the past. This brave new world will be the legacy of my generation, passed on with love to yours.
This new world will be quite unlike the one I currently live in. The world I inhabit is dominated by Europe and North America. The international currency of choice is the greenback and Caucasian, male faces run almost everything. The third world states are nothing but victims in the international system and this is taken for granted by all and sundry. This situation will change for you, I’m sure of it.
You will probably go to university and find that Chinese, Mandarin to be exact, is the language of instruction. That will be because, unlike the United States, the Chinese were be smart enough not to attempt to maintain a global empire and instead used their money to buy each and every major global corporation. And you know the saying, ‘he who controls the money, controls everything else’.
You will look at countries like Brazil, South Africa, Korea and perhaps even little Rwanda and not understand how in the world they could have ever been poor. The United Nations will have done away with the undemocratic Security Council and you will have to read about the Jewish-Palestinian conflicts in history books. The world, which you will raise your children in, will be fairer, cleaner and just simply a better place to live in.
I hope that you live in latter world and this is my promise to you. I will do all I can to make sure that you are able to sun yourself on the beaches of Vanuatu.