The most important thing in my life is you, which means that as your mom – I am doing my very best to make sure that when you read this letter, Earth is a cleaner and safer place for you and your children.

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Elizabeth Dahl
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Dear Grown up Alton and Dot,

You two are the most amazing and special people that I know. We had so much fun together when you were little and I can’t wait for all the things we are going to do together in the future. I’m amazed each day by how much you know and the amazing people you are turning into. I’ve always done my best to be honest with you about things – maybe this is why both of you talk about air pollution when your teachers ask you what you would do if you were president. Even as kids – you realized what a special place the world is and that everyone must do their best to protect it.

The most important thing in my life is you, which means that as your mom – I am doing my very best to make sure that when you read this letter, Earth is a cleaner and safer place for you and your children. I know that sometimes you think I work too much or spend too much time with my students. This is all part of my effort to help protect the world for you and for my future students – who may include you someday.

Right now it seems like we may have to rush to see the Great Barrier Reef, Glacier National Park and many other places threatened by climate change. It is my hope that with all the people working now on climate change that when you read this, these places still exist and we can see them together. So even though you sometimes get annoyed when I make you unplug your chargers or turn off the lights or even sit in the parked car with the windows down instead of the air conditioning running – these are all little things that we did to protect your future.

I love you both very much.


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More Messages to the Future


To my darling ones,

And it’s not that I don’t care. I care deeply. For you three, and the families I hope you will have one day; for the many beautiful places I have had the privilege to know, places which take my breath away, that fill my heart with a bursting joy and connectedness to something so much greater than I, places I know may be quite different when you are my age


Aos meus sobrinhos queridos, Ana Laura, Luis Carlos e Helloísa,

Talvez eu não esteja viva para ver alguma mudança, mas espero que vocês vejam e tenham um mundo melhor em 2050. Plantei um ipê rosa e outro amarelo, que eles estejam florindo até 2050.


Queridos nietas/nietos,

Creo que debo hacer más. Por ello, he decidido escribir esta breve carta para empezar un proceso en el que vaya escribiendo más cartas, conforme vaya teniendo más claridad de mis posibles contribuciones.


Dear Owen and Vivian,

Here’s the biggest secret: I KNOW it will have. We may not realize how, but we have changed the world.


Dear Tomorrow,

The road I learned to ride my bike on, the field where I kicked my first soccer ball, and the park I ate my first ice cream cone at, could all be gone.


Minhas lindas,

As causas das mudanças no clima são tão profundas e envolvem tanta gente e tantos lugares.


To my precious children,

As you’ve grown older, I’ve become increasingly aware that protecting you means more than ensuring your short-term safety. It also means ensuring that you’ll have a safe planet to live on.


Dear Elliott,

We’re moving into uncertain times, and your dad and I worry. A lot. But you’re keeping us going. You’re pushing us to make better choices and not give up.


We will look back on our time here and ask, “What did I do?”

If we truly live our present moment, maybe you’ll have a future.


Dear Abigail and Olivia,

What stories will you tell them about our generation? Will we be heroes or villains?


Dear Future Generations,

I promise to make as many changes to my life as possible to make yours as great as mine.


Dear future child,

We’re presenting at conferences, writing articles, and organizing events with the goal of mobilizing our profession to act on climate, and to help them understand that it will deeply impact our mission to preserve history for future generations.

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