A week ago, I had a chance to spend a delightful afternoon with my 2½-year-old granddaughter Logan. Logan was fortunate that during the Covid confinement, she had two parents working from home who could spend extra quality time with her, and as a result she’s an articulate and observant young girl. I know I sound like every other grandfather, but during those precious few hours, I wondered and worried what her world will be like in the next 20 to 30 years, and what challenges she will face.
Our current world is one big mess. The war in Ukraine is much more than a regional battle. It is a struggle between good and evil, and in any war there is always a chance that evil will prevail. We have crackpots running countries such as Russia and North Korea who have access to nuclear weapons and long-range missiles. For Logan’s sake, I hope these dying despots will refrain from trying to take the world with them.
Whether you agree or not, global warming is and will be a long-range threat to our quality of life. No sane person can ignore the continuous threats that nature poses to us. Massive forest fires, tornadoes, superstorms and flash floods are constant events here in the U.S. The current world leadership has failed miserably to deal with the root causes of global warming. I hope that Logan and her peers will be willing to do something aggressively to curb these changes, assuming it isn’t too late by then.
If you think technology is moving fast, just consider the past five years of changes and then try to imagine what our world will be like in 2040 or 2050. Most of us know little, if anything, about artificial intelligence. It will eventually dominate the way our society functions, and could eliminate millions of jobs, despite what the technology geeks say. Will there be a place for Logan in such a fast-moving environment? Women in today’s business world understand what the term glass ceiling means. How hard will it be for Logan to advance when she’s ready?
There is now an ongoing debate about how well our children are being educated to face the challenges of the future. Are we preparing them for the rapid changes that lie ahead? Will their families be able to afford the right education? Will they have a chance to be competitive when they face a new-age job market? Will the courses they take match what advanced technology will require?
Jerry Kremer was a state assemblyman for 23 years, and chaired the Assembly’s Ways and Means Committee for 12 years. He now heads Empire Government Strategies, a business development and legislative strategy firm. Comments about this column? JKremer@liherald.com.