Dear children of tomorrow,
I do not know if I will have children of my own, so this letter is being addressed to you, the children from my generation.
My mother raised me to care about environmental and social justice. For as long as I can remember I have been going to protests, holding up signs and shouting into the air, asking the the government to make your world a better place to live in. Throughout my lifetime, I have spent countless hours learning about this development called global warming. In 6th grade, my mother sent me to a school where I interacted with teachers and students who cared about the environment just as much as I did, if not more. I can remember in 7th grade, I had my first research assignment on global warming. It was during this time that I can clearly remember sitting in class, doing the research for my project when one of my classmates breaks down sobbing over a photo of a malnourished polar bear stuck floating in the ocean on a sheet of ice. I am 23 now, but it was in that moment when I realized the severe emotional and physical impact that global warming is and will continue to have, not only on the planet but also its inhabitants if changes aren’t made.
Today this event, more commonly known as global climate change, is still an ongoing issue and is having a increasing impact on the planet. It is March here in Eugene, Oregon and four weeks ago we experienced a major snow storm which shut down the city for an entire week. After 11 inches of snowfall overnight, trees were blocking roads, power lines were down, and emergency service vehicles were taken out of service numerous time after getting stuck in the snow. Now three weeks later, we’ve experienced 70 degree weather over the past three days. If you hadn’t guessed already, this is not a normal weather pattern for Eugene. Over the past three summer’s, there has been an increase in not only the number of wildfires but also their severity. Summertime is supposed to be a season where children can run and play outside. However, while the Summer sunsets have become more beautiful, sadly the air quality has decreased due to the level of smoke from the numerous wildfires. The seasons are changing here in Oregon. A few years ago, the ski resorts were open all winter long, with plenty of snow to go around. But over the past 2 years the local ski resort, Willamette Pass, has been unsure whether they will even open.
Oregon is not the only place that is being affected. Global climate change is a global crisis which few people are willing to discuss. The question right now is not whether climate change is real but how to get people involved in the matter. In the news there is constant reporting on another hurricane in Florida, another tornado in Alabama, and another drought in California. However scientist are unable to state that these natural disasters are caused by global climate change. All they can say is the ironic increase in severe weather events and oh, here just so happens that our CO2 emissions have also increased over the past 30 year.
It’s 2019 and my generation is the one taking responsibility for the actions of those before me. However it will be your generation suffering from the consequences if nothing is done.
It’s 2019 and I am terrified! Terrified of what’s to come if carbon emissions are not decreased. Terrified for you, the children of tomorrow.
It’s 2019 and I am baffled by the fact that over the past 30 years climate scientist and activists have been stating these concerns, yet nothing has been done.
It’s 2019 and I have started this letter by stating that I may not have children. Not because I can’t, but by choice out of fear of what their world will look like.
Dear unborn child of mine,
I wish the best for you. I hope that you can spend the summers as I did, barefoot in the grass and high up in the trees. My wish is for you to spend Summer nights holding hands with the one you love and for both of you to be able to look up at the night sky and see the stars. I want you to soak in the hot springs which have not yet been destroyed by wildfire. To swim in clean water not polluted by plastic, and to hike through the old growth forests which I once set foot in.
The year is 2019, what beautiful experiences will the children of tomorrow miss out on?
Wake up world, it’s 2019..