Leaving tomorrow's adults to solve the problem is no solution at all.
Cost-of-living pressures seem to dominate our daily lives and it is not often easy to think beyond tomorrow. But imagine a future where these pressures are exacerbated and then take the time to consider that we could have done something about them.
Climate change, if allowed to continue, will have a dramatic and lasting impact on the lives of our children and grandchildren.
There is widespread scientific consensus that doing nothing will mean this century is characterised by higher temperatures, shifting rainfall systems, severe droughts and more fires and storms.
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As a result, it is largely accepted that food and water costs will further increase, while weather-related disasters will generate financial insecurity, social dislocation and loss of livelihoods.
These climate-induced changes will affect health and well-being, especially children's. Children living today will confront even greater health risks over their lifetime, with estimates showing a 30 to 100 per cent increase in their chance of suffering from illnesses such as asthma by 2050. Mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever; food and water-borne diseases; and diseases associated with air pollution and aeroallergens are expected to become more prevalent as our climate changes.
Recent research in Australia shows that young children are prone to overheating and that hot days can also increase the likelihood of fever or gastroenteritis. For every 1 degree increase in temperature there is a 3 to 8 per cent increase in diarrhoea-related disease, which is already one of the leading killers of children.
Added to this mix is the fact children don't cope as well as adults when dealing with traumatic events such as natural disasters, which are predicted to significantly increase as climate change takes hold.
Trauma exposure in childhood can lead to marked alterations in brain function and longer-term cognitive and mental health impacts. For example, children surveyed six months after the 2003 bushfires in Canberra, which destroyed 500 homes, showed much higher rates of emotional and behavioural problems compared with Australian norms.
In addition, financial hardship, trauma and loss associated with climate-related disasters will likely affect parents' mental health, potentially increasing family conflict and eroding the close, supportive relationships that sustain a child's mental health. In the US, rates of inflicted head injury to children aged under two increased fivefold after one hurricane.
More broadly, children's well-being will be affected by economic, social and cultural impacts of climate change.
If, as forecast, climate change results in food and water scarcity, then there will likely be a rise in the number of families living in poverty.
Higher food and fuel prices will have further, compounding impacts on housing affordability and commuting times, potentially adding to stress for families with children.
Yet despite this evidence, climate change presents unique challenges that make it difficult for people to make sense of it and respond to it.
Study participants, including experts in climate change and child and youth health and wellbeing, agreed that children and young people were already being affected by climate change, and cited extreme weather, rural economic strain, and mental well-being as some of the main concerns.
But they struggled to predict the future impact, due to knowledge gaps, lack of data and effective communication.
They were also concerned about the lack of involvement of children and young people in crucial policy decisions and agreed that urgent measures needed to be taken to address this.
There was much discussion about how it is hard for adults to change what they do; it's all about the solution lying with the people who are young now - the children now who can be better educated about these issues and will grow up to solve the problems.
While it is clear that children must have a say on their future, waiting for them to fix the problem without our help might well be too late.
They could end up so overwhelmed by the impact of climate change, including even greater cost-of-living pressures, that they themselves are unable to act.
Dr Lyndall Strazdins is a fellow at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Australian National University, and co-author of Weathering the future: Climate change, children and young people, and decision making.