Dear Future Kids Like Me,
I am not a parent yet. I don’t know the pang of seeing a future world that’s not up to par with what I would want to provide for my child. But I do remember the fire lighting inside me early on when I thought about all the natural resources of this world, all the different ecosystems and all the species they supported and all the evolution that had taken place to bring us to the beautiful world we now inhabit. And I know there will be future kids like me, who get the butterflies when they watch that first nature documentary, or take that first camping trip, and who feel compelled to “serve” the greater environmental good, in some form or another. This letter is for those kids.
The sinking feeling that hits most of us is that it’s not fair—that a whole generation—generations, in all likelihood, may never see and never know so many amazing landmarks, both natural and man-made, that are being threatened by climate change. That violent and unprecedented weather and rising seas and devastated ecosystems will be the new normal. That glaciers will be the stuff of legends. What I hope for future kids like me is that they continue to ride the groundswell of climate change support all the way into action. That they recognize that talking and planning have gotten us only so far, but tangible actions are the ONLY thing that will make any change, and they will be the critical link in that chain. They will come of age in the time where strong climate action is the norm.
My promise to future kids like me is to re-commit in areas where I’ve lapsed, to watch my personal footprint, to live by example in the environmental work that I do, and to nourish the seeds of interest in kids who have the fire in their belly. I want to see a glacier in my lifetime. And I want future kids like me to see one too.
“The saddest thing I ever did see was a woodpecker peckin’ at a plastic tree. He looks at me, and ‘Friend’ says he, ‘Things ain’t as sweet as they used to be’”. – Shel Silverstein, “A Light In the Attic”