I am writing this on your 7th birthday, today on your 38th you know all too well that in 2019 we failed to stop carbon emissions in time to prevent catastrophic changes. Venice, Miami, Manhattan, and many of our greatest coastal cities are changed forever as the oceans rose into the streets and canals of the centers of our civic life. God’s creation, evolved into complex forms and relationships that provide beauty while sustaining us are forever gone. I am sorry that we didn’t have success in saving more for you.
You are living on the edge of a new time. We know that life will continue on earth, but we do not know how. Some life will certainly continue and evolve into a new set of thriving ecosystems in the time it takes for earth’s continents to rearrange themselves. New life forms will radiate from those that remain, creating species of plants and animals that we can only imagine.
In 2019 the role we will play in that story is not yet clear, but for the promise of love and hope. If we choose to treat our fellow humans with compassion, I have hope that we will overcome the challenges of drought in some places and rising seas in others to make room for everyone on our changing planet. You are and will be an important person in leading the way for displaced people with your compassion and understanding of others.
If we fail to help people as climate change progresses, I fear you will be witnessing people compounding other’s suffering. Drought, flooding, famine, and unfair immigration policies will have led to war and famine, causing more human deaths than necessary.
If our society has chosen this course, our survival as humans may be in doubt. As you know the biblical texts were written over the last 2500-3000 years. In that amount of time from now, the radiation of life that will fill our changed world will barely have begun. Evolutionary time is slow and patient. In the immediacy of today, however, our survival depends upon the stability of ecosystems we know today. I wonder if in 2050 we will be looking at a future where fear from the changes at hand has caused people to hate rather than love and provide hope. Perhaps in that world we will we no longer comprehend the biblical texts in a meaningful way. Will climate change be the end of the epoch of God?
Whether we have treated our fellow humans with love, and proceeded with hope will provide that answer.