Future Problems

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By John Hubbuch

Today almost everyone with a brain knows that the burning of fossil fuels causes the world to get warmer and warmer, and that is a bad thing. But that knowledge is relatively recently learned. No one had any idea that when coal burning steam engines and gas burning cars were revolutionizing economies and lives that there were any long term consequences. That same gap between invention and recognition of deleterious consequence existed for lots of other things-- asbestos, fast food, sugary soft drinks, smoking, easy credit--the list is a very long one. 

Today we are just recognizing at least in the popular press that the traditional family in this country is declining. The trend is clear: there are fewer and fewer living units with a married mom and dad. Divorce, gay union, childless couples, singles-- there are  lots of different living arrangements that are growing in popularity. No one seems that concerned about the trend. In fact it is often celebrated as evidence of an overdue diversity and tolerance.  

But like my admittedly imperfect global warming analogy, you have to wonder what are the long term consequences of fewer and fewer traditional families. After all the family unit has been around for a long time in a lot of cultures. Maybe a hundred years from now we may have an entirely different perspective on this matter. 

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