my grandchildren won't know better
and neither their friends nor foes
a world that just is
not fixing this
fixing it
they can't be our reasoning

affecting those who don't yet exist
conditioning who may come to be

a duty of justice


In 2012, Professor John Broome from the University of Oxford published his thinking on the ethical implications of global warming in his book Climate Matters. One of the ethical issues concerning climate change is the “non-identity problem.” According to this perspective, humans can't harm future generations whether great sacrifices are made or not. This poem touches upon this problem and relates it to the climate crisis.