Future Will Turn Up Heat on Our Young; BILL HOFFMAN

Article excerpt

WAY back in 1995 as I celebrated my 40th birthday with my heavily pregnant wife at my side, this day seemed a very long way off.

Back then as I did the calculations that determined what my age would be when our son left school, I found it impossible to picture what both of us a me at 57 and Joe at nearly 17 a would be like.

On that score there has proved little to worry about.

He's a great kid and I haven't changed much.

But looking forward now past my time to when he turns 57 and will presumably have children of his own, I fear the world they may occupy.

Back in 1995 the Australian economy was still in sluggish recovery from the bursting bubbles of the late 1980s.

Today the world's finances are a mess.

We have now lived in the age of uncertainty for the past five years, a reality check for previously thought robust retirement strategies, but still a world away from the pressures that drive wave after wave of those in far more desperate circumstance to chance the last of what they own and the lives of those they love on a rickety boat in a wide sea.

What will the world hold for the Sunshine Coast Year 12 cohort of 2012 when its members hit 57 in and around 2052?

Jim Yong Kim, the World Bank president, voiced his concerns this week for that future, warning that without immediate action there was a 20% chance global temperatures would rise by up to four degrees by 2100. …