Rising concerns over the timetable for climate change highlight to extent to which humans remain shortsighted in their concern for future generations. If this topic is too politically tainted, consider the consequences of keeping the global retirement age at 65 while longevity continues to expand upward. We do not mean wrong as a species, but all our evolutionary cues point us toward short-term thinking for short-term survival. Is the kind of long-term consideration necessary to overcome today’s existential dilemmas truly beyond our grasp?
What’s the Big Idea?
If, as Edmund Burke said, society is a contract with the generations who have gone before us and generations yet to come, how do we take into account the attitudes and beliefs of individuals who do not yet exist? By giving future voters the status of trustees, and asking NGOs to represent their interests, 10% of the electorate could be composed of single constituency. This constituency could not control any major policy decisions, but still be significant enough to hold sway on issues where stewardship of the planet’s resources was a concern.