Envision Magazine

Seafood, Water, and Gasoline

Maybe it’s the horrendous leap in gas prices overnight.

Thirteen cents a liter, in one day? Mack can remember (dimly) (at least I think I can: maybe I dream it) when thirteen cents a liter was the whole price.

Anyway, it got me thinking.

I know I’ve lived my whole life in a bubble. When Mack was 7 I lived in the Philippines, and saw many things for the first time, like true poverty. And that was the first time Mack understood that we here in the West live in a bubble.

Likewise you realize if you have studied history at all that we live in the best time in human history. We are healthier, happier, and have it easier than we as a species have ever had it (what we call “work” would astonish people from earlier eras), live in a time of superabundance, and can take so many things for granted.

And I’ve always been really, really grateful for it. But I worry my kids won’t be able to take so many of the things for granted that I have.

Cheap gas, clearly, is going to be one.

But I think we’ll figure a way around that one. We lived without it until about a hundred years ago; we’ll figure out an alternative, maybe, I hope (Plug-in cars, baby, I’m telling ya: that’s the future: plug it in like a cellphone at night, ride around during the day; save the gas for truckers).

But for some reason my anxieties congregate around two items: water, and seafood.

What is it, now? Seven billion on the planet? How long before we hoover up everything in the oceans, including all the weird stuff– the sponges and abalones and so on– we formerly turned our noses up at. With lemon and butter, they’re probably delicious!

Well, the older two boys are vegetarian, so they won’t care. But still it’d be nice if they had the option, should they change their minds.

But water’s the big one. All our lives we’ve enjoyed almost-free, unlimited, flowing fresh water. Turn on a tap, there it is, have all you want, let the tap run all day if you feel like it. (Some probably do.) Take a nice, long, hot shower. wash your car. Water your lawn. Swim and splash.

Will my boys be able to take all these things for granted? I hope so. You don’t want your kids ever to be hungry, lonely, cold– or thirsty.

You want them to live happy and healthy, to live in the same bubble it’s been our privilege and fantastic good fortune to enjoy our entire lives.

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