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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

 

Dear Tanuj,

The time has come to question ourselves as citizens about our own actions and the legacy we are leaving behind.

 

Dear Tomorrow

I promise to educate others TODAY.

 

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I know it’s long past time to wake up. You deserve a future in which drought, famine, and war are not all your children ever know; the choices my generation makes now will determine your future.

 

Dear Tomorrow,

Awareness is key. Learning about this issue can seem like a small effort compared to other actions, but it’s the most important.

 

Dear People Of The Future,

It’s scary, this is the stuff you see in movies about the end of the world.

 

Dear Tomorrow

I promise to reduce my waste production

 

To the wonder,

Dear tomorrow, thank you for letting me ride the wave of wonder that reaches toward you for all generations of all species to come.

 

To my great-great grandchildren,

I don’t know your name
or even if you’re alive,
but I’m doing all I can
to make sure you survive.

I’m your great- great grandmother
who lived a century ago
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from the one you must know.

 

Dear Tomorrow,

I promise I will encourage everyone to get OUT of their cars and onto public transit.

 

Dear Tomorrow,

I feel optimistic for you, tomorrow. I can feel a shift happening already.

 

To my dear son Zac,

I promise to raise you as a loving-nature human.

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