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Dear Dylan,

Maybe it’s 2030 and you’re 16 now. When I was 16 I was getting my first car – 22 miles per gallon, if I remember right, in my Plymouth Neon. That probably seems like another world to you – or at least I hope it does.

Before you were born I didn’t think much about climate change. I wanted it to stop, but it didn’t feel like ‘my’ issue – I was too busy worrying about other things. Then you were born, and something happened to me – all of a sudden I realized it was your world, and (maybe, if you want them) your children and children’s children, that I’d been using all these years. It’s like I’d been using the house, but not keeping up the foundation.

I haven’t done much, personally; sure, I recycle, and say the right things, and don’t own a car. But I’ve never really put a lot of effort into climate change specifically – maybe because it’s such a diffuse, amorphous ‘global commons’ kind of issue, one where it’s harder to understand how individual action can translate into impact.

That’s a cop out, though; to not tackle an important problem because it’s difficult to figure out how doesn’t make any sense.

That doesn’t mean I know exactly what to do next, of course. But I plan to be more open to figuring it out, to at the very least talking about the importance of tackling this issue and supporting policies, and politicians, who do similarly. We can’t twiddle our thumbs while the world burns anymore. Thank you for helping me realize this. And I’m sorry for not having been a better steward of your most important inheritance – our shared world – until now.

All my love,
Dad

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