Luckily, we have figured out ways to build things without making the air dirty, and we are trying very hard to get more people to switch over to this new way as fast as we can.

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Beth Hartman
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Dear Ari and Levi,

(For delivery in 2020 so they can read the message sooner)

If I could wave a magic wand and make one wish come true, I would ask for all the air on earth to go back to the way it was before we invented machines that started making it dirty. All the smoke and gas that the machines have put into the air not only makes it harder to breath, but it also traps more of the heat from the sun, which can be very dangerous. If it gets too hot, many plants and animals won’t be able to live the way they have for millions of years.

Despite this big problem, these machines have also done a lot to help people: trains, cars, airplanes, and factories making your favorite toys are just a few examples of the amazing things we have built with machines. There are many things we now take for granted that didn’t even exist before these machines were invented, like water and lights in our houses, and phones that can call anyone in the world.

Soon, we may build even more amazing things that we now only imagine in stories, like cars that drive themselves around the street and rockets that can take people to other planets. But if we keep using machines that make the air dirty while we build these things, it might get too hot, and we won’t be able to build any of the other amazing things we imagine. This would make me very sad, because I think you both would really like to live in a world with magical self-driving cars and rockets that go to Mars.

Luckily, we have figured out ways to build things without making the air dirty, and we are trying very hard to get more people to switch over to this new way as fast as we can. One of these ways is solar panels, which we have on the roof of our house. These panels take light from the sun and turn it into energy that we can use for all kinds of other things, like cooking dinner and making the bath warm. Daddy works to try and find new ways for more people to put solar panels like this on their houses and in other places so that everyone can get energy straight from the sun without making the air dirty.

Another way that we can make clean energy is by using wind, which is something that people figured out a long time ago, but now we can build really big machines, bigger than airplanes, that capture the energy from the wind by spinning. We saw some of these machines when we went camping this summer with Katie, spinning by the side of the road. Just like Daddy works to help more people get energy from the sun, Mommy works to help people get more energy from the wind, the sun and any other ideas we can find. There are a lot of very smart people working on clean energy ideas!

A third idea is to drive cars using batteries that we can charge with clean energy from the sun and wind, instead of using cars that have to go to the gas station. We got Ari a toy car with a battery so he can practice driving a machine like this. Maybe when you both get bigger there will be many more cars like this, some of them even driving themselves along the road, and gas stations will get harder and harder to find! These cars don’t make the air dirty, which is very important, because there are so many cars in the world – you can start to see how many when we are sometimes stuck in traffic and you wish we could drive faster.

Finally, one other way that we can help keep the air from getting too dirty and hot for everyone is to plant more trees, which clean the air and provide cool shade. When you both get a little bigger I would like to take you to plant some trees in a garden near our house every year for your birthday.

I hope that with clean energy from the sun, wind, and batteries, along with planting lots of trees, we will be able to keep the air from getting too dirty and hot for everyone in the future, and you will get to see self-driving cars and rockets to Mars. We still have so many amazing things to build! Hopefully both of you will be able to help build some of these amazing things, and live in a world of incredible discovery. Daddy and I are working as hard as we can to try and help make this future possible for you and all of the other children in the world, and for all the other animals and plants that live on our beautiful planet.

We love you very much.

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