When you’re reading this, things will probably be a lot scarier and more dire than they are, even now. You’ll also have a complete understanding of the state of affairs, and not the version that protects children’s hearts and sanity as you did when I knew you.
Things are bad right now. I stopped paying close attention to timelines a few years ago but every day I see news articles saying that the end is in five, ten, fifty years. No matter the number, doomsday is within both of our lifetimes. The change is becoming more and more tangible every day. Almost every year that you’ve been alive you’ve seen California’s fire season and watched the sun and sky get red and felt ash rain down from the sky, it was never like that before, even just a few years before you were born.
At the moment, climate change is tied up in politics and global affairs in such a way that it feels like any step forward requires screaming bloody murder or incredible monetary incentive, oftentimes both. That’s the part I find the most challenging right now. Scientific facts have no ground anymore. You would think that in a world full of adults, we might be able to have a more productive fact-led conversation about something as important as the mass extinction of our own species, but as I know you already know, most adults are idiots. Kids, teenagers, and young adults are leading this movement and I hope as we both grow older we look to them and learn from them in the ways that the older generations didn’t for us.
I promise that no matter how scary things get that I will never give up fighting for environmental justice and pushing for change. I promise that sustainability and perseverance will underscore each phase of my life. I promise that I will never have kids of my own and I will never let that stop me from fighting for future generations. I promise that even when everything seems impossible and like we are all screaming at each other and no one is listening that I will hold a place for you next to me full of hope, and we can figure it out together.