Counting on a Future

Santa Rosa resident Kate Sholl.  (Oona Risling-Sholl)

Climate change anxiety can color major life decisions. Kate Sholl is witnessing a change in perspective from within her own family.

I have four kids and three grandchildren. My two youngest, one of them for sure will not have children -- too much concern about contamination of food and water.

And my youngest is strongly considering not having any children, and feels that the world is a bad place to have a healthy child. By healthy child I believe he means a kid that can count on a world that's not poisonous.

He had plans to have a kid, and the last time I talked to him, he said to me, "I don't think I'll be doing that" -- the political climate, the climate climate. He lives near the ocean, so he could be flooded out with climate change. He's pretty depressed about all that. It's hard to watch.

I worry about my two youngest not wanting to have children because they would make wonderful parents. They're both very intelligent, they've both very loving. It makes me sad that their decision is probably not to have children.

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When I was in high school, we talked about seven generations -- to think seven generations ahead. And I don't hear that anymore. With this climate chaos, are people just too busy to think about the future?

I think people are just overwhelmed. It takes too much time to keep writing your senator, your city council. It's difficult to stay in there and fight the good fight. Although people are. But it's just hard.

I recycle more. I drive hardly at all. I don't use any pesticides in my yard, and so it's bee-friendly. I have a swarm trap in my backyard so I can get some bees. I just try and be conscious and aware that what my little bit of stewardship is, is taken care of.

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Kate Sholl lives in Santa Rosa.

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