Lenore Skenazy, a writer not previously known to me, has captured my head and my heart. She understands statistics and risk, psychology, perception, and kids. She has her feet on the ground and her eyes open. Money quote from an interview in Slate (h/t Andrew Sullivan):
we’ve started to think of our kids as the most vulnerable, the most endangered, the least competent, the most, uh, dumb generation in history that needs the most supervision the most hours of the day, literally, than anybody until now.
My mental clicker went into overdrive reading this, partly because I just had a conversation about land use and urban policy with my mostly California-suburban public policy students in our wrapup session: I asked them if their aspirations for the future included a house on a half-acre with a three-car garage and swimming pool in the back yard, and then I asked them if they also hoped to be enslaved as a chauffeur for twenty years. Pointing out that I didn’t choose to be raised in Manhattan, so it wasn’t boasting, I described growing up where I could go anywhere in the city at the age of nine, like all my friends, and the forty-odd businesses within a block of my house along Third Avenue, of which at least three-quarters of the proprietors knew me by sight if not by name; “How many people at the mall knew you?”.
Living green has advantages far beyond climate stabilization, and being sensible about risk has advantages far beyond mere physical safety (Skenazy points out how much more dangerous being driven around in a car is than the terrors people think it avoids).