Raising a child in a doomed world

Fire damage seen from the air in Santa Rosa, California, last October. Anyone who pays much attention to climate change knows the outlook is grim, says the writer.
Fire damage seen from the air in Santa Rosa, California, last October. Anyone who pays much attention to climate change knows the outlook is grim, says the writer.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Century's middle, later decades - my daughter's adult life - promise global climate change catastrophe

I cried two times when my daughter was born. First for joy, when after 27 hours of labour the little feral being we'd made came yowling into the world, and the second for sorrow, holding the earth's newest human and looking out the window with her at the rows of cars in the hospital carpark, the strip mall across the street, the box stores and drive-throughs and drainage ditches and asphalt and waste fields that had once been oak groves.

A world of extinction and catastrophe, a world in which harmony with nature had long been foreclosed.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 22, 2018, with the headline 'Raising a child in a doomed world'. Print Edition | Subscribe