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


Dear Kai and Leah,

I want you to feel awestruck like I do. It is important to feel small sometimes, to feel the weight of reality, to recognize the scale of a challenge, to see where you fit and what you are up against. This is the case with climate change.


Dear Tomorrow,

I promise to pick up trash at every beach I visit 🙂 and to bike for local errands.


Dear Llewyn, beloved grandson …

I can only say that I devoted myself to doing as much as I could to make it better, to provide for a just transition, and to fight those forces that continued to exploit the Eaarth with extractive methods, methods that always also included oppressing some people–because those doing the oppression believed that they were better and deserved more.


To my future Niece,

While I will work my hardest to create any positive change I can, you must continue this quest. You cannot give up hope, and you must always remember that the beauty on this Earth is worth saving.


Dear Oliver,

I am getting your father on board too so that we can double charge this together.


Dear Tomorrow,

I promise to include the trees and animals in all my decisions.


To My Children and My Future Grandchildren,

People are an amazing race and, if we have the will, I believe we have the ingenuity and resources to fix the harm we’ve done.


Dear Tomorrow,

And, if this summer has taught me anything, I am content (because I have to be) living in this limbo, this seemingly endless waiting for the opportunity to change, when really the opportunity exists within our very selves all along.


Dear Tomorrow,

I’ll buy only food that I plan to eat before it spoils.


Dear Potential Future Kiddo,

To think that my choices of sustainable commuting, eating a plant based diet, and working on our City’s zero waste program likely pale in comparison to the impact of not having a baby is nothing short of devastating.  Does it make me a bad environmentalist to honor my maternal instincts?


Dear Tomorrow,

My climate action is to educate youth to create solutions for energy efficiency and conservation opportunities.


Dear Leo,

Last week I took you to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline.

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