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Rachael Teel
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Baby Nephew,

You’re the sweetest munchkin I’ve ever met, and I’m thrilled to be your aunt. Seeing you this weekend, I had an overwhelming desire to keep you safe and make you happy. In the moment, that meant tickles, snuggles, and funny faces — but I know there are far more serious (and important) ways that I can and should be contributing to your wellbeing, particularly when it comes to climate change action.

I work in an environmental field and have a fairly small ecological footprint, taking steps like purchasing wind power, composting food scraps, and selling my car. But I’ve always known that I could be doing more — I just chose not too, focusing instead on how I was doing “enough.”

After spending time with you, with this letter on my mind, I am committed to making the harder changes — for example, using less energy around the house, eating less meat, purchasing carbon offsets, and lobbying my legislators — and continuing to critique my own actions (or lack thereof), rather than patting myself on the back for being “better than most Americans.” I’ve also realized, with a fair amount of trepidation, that I need to have some hard conversations with some of our family members. I gave up trying to talk to them about climate change more than a decade ago, but now that you’re here, I hope they’ll be willing to revisit the subject. It will be challenging for all of us to come to terms with our own selfishness, but I hope that your 1-year-old smile will motivate us to make these important changes. Personally, I think it’s just what I need.

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More Messages to the Future

 

My dearest Paloma Bear,

I want the very best for you and for generations to come. There is only one planet earth. Your mommy and I will make a genuine effort to make an impact to protect it for you.

 

Dear future self,

I am writing this to keep myself accountable and push myself towards taking action towards a sustainable future. I hope children of the future can still appreciate the wonders that nature and all its beings have to offer, appreciate the beauty in the world around us.

 

Dear Tomorrow,

I promise to eat less meat.

 

Dear Jamie and Jason,

My inspiration was the two of you. It started with thinking about the world you were inheriting and what your future was going to be like. But then you taught me how important it is to listen to you – to listen to young people.

 

Dear grandkids,

I believe this fusion of ecology and economy backed by the digital technology is our great achievement.

 

Dear Eleanor,

It seems silly to saddle yourself with guilt for something that hasn’t happened yet. I don’t want to do that. As of today, I don’t really feel guilty. I guess I just want to make sure I keep doing more, so that when you read this, and ask what I’ve done since then, I can still feel good about my efforts.

 

Queridas crianças do mundo inteiro,

Pedimos que vocês procurem fazer como nós e continuem essa luta de colaborar com nosso planeta: evitando o consumo exagerado, usando a tecnologia para o bem, plantando árvores, economizando água e poluindo menos.

 

To my children,

I hope that the fervor that is building continues to build and spread and that the world has made progress to minimize the effects of our past actions.

 

Dear Tomorrow,

I promise to purchase carbon offsets when we fly.

 

Dear old dude Mårten,

I know that the 2019 version of me (today that is) wished and hoped for that I did all within my power to turn the world around without loosing sight on the beauty of being alive.

 

I promise to take shorter showers.

 

I promise to help people! Become more aware!

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