This idea of “Legacy” has become buzzword-y of late. I’m sure the ultra rich have had it on their mind for millennia, and this is how we end up with rich people’s names on streets and buildings. Sometimes through foundations we also end up with a few folks trying to do a bit of good in the world as their “Legacy“.
In software, Legacy is used in a pejorative sense, but it seems in business and finance it has become something even the casual investor is told they should be thinking about. Well let’s get off of that horse, and consider instead what Legacy we leave to children who grow to be adults as Climate Change really starts bucking.
Will your Legacy be drought, floods, thirst, starvation, climate migration and resource wars? And that is only from the human’s perspective!
The poorest and most affected are migrating now. It just doesn’t rate as newsworthy because it isn’t happening in the US in a way we yet comprehend at the citizen level – and because it doesn’t sell ad buys like court gossip and intrigue do.
The richest, instead of capping profits so they can invest in solutions or mitigations, far from it, are building bunkers, or planning to, in the naive assumption that this will all be somehow temporary, like a hurricane, and things will “return to normal”. This behavior is undeniable shameful, and perhaps should be considered criminal/criminally negligent. These beneficiaries of a poorly managed capitalism don’t want to help, they want to hide, and think they can wait it out.
If you are are among the extraordinarily wealthy, do us all a favor and be part of the solution. Or at least enact practices in your life and businesses to stop being part of the problem. And if you can’t, please just donate all your money to groups that want to stop or mitigate this, and wander away.
I suppose this mindset of Legacy in the sense of how your money will help your identity live on is difficult to adapt to a future that sounds so extreme. The stark and terrifying reality eludes the capacity of our imagination while one can still order takeout sushi from oceans half a world away while sitting on the couch in their underwear.
Denial is the only practical response.
Only through denial can we still sit and ponder how our 401k’s will fulfill our ‘Legacy‘ hopes for our progeny.