Dear Hannah, Harper and future baby of Ryan and Colleen Lane,
The first thing I want to tell you, is that I love you all so much. You have always brought smiles to my face and we have shared lots of laughs. I am looking forward to all the time we get to spend playing outside, adventuring, swimming and exploring our beautiful earth before you even read this letter.
I am 33 years old, last year Aunt Sophie and I got married on June 18, 2016, and we moved to the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts. I have always been involved in preserving our planet, because we only have one place we call home. When I was in high school I became involved in the Venture Crew and spent most of my time in the outdoors. I would participate in in activities like “Hudson River Sweep” and collected 4 tons of garbage in just one weekend. I would clean trails, get grandma and grandpa to recycle bottles and cans, I would “Leave No Trace”. As a college student at SUNY Plattsburgh I was the president of the Environmental Action Committee, when I really got to do some great work. We organized on campus Fossil Fools Day, and gave the student body a bicycle share to ride for the week instead of their cars, we handed out close pins to wear to remind to hang clothes dry instead of using dyers.
I participated in the Climate March in 2005 in Montreal during the 2005 United Nations Climate Change Conference and the first meeting of the Kyoto Protocol, where the Prime Minister mapped out plan for our future and plans to cut greenhouse-gas emissions. This was the largest gathering for march for the climate in the history of North America, and I was so proud to be a part of it! Later on after trying to get signatures for getting the college a grant to get a wind turbine built near campus, I graduated. The project never was completed. It felt like my first big loss in trying to get my community to be invested in our planet’s future. After college, I continued to write letters and oppose any fracking of the water table in NY/PA area, and donated annually to the National Parks, and continued attending rallies for the climate, and continued to reduce waste, renew and recycle as much as possible.
Several people have emerged from the fight for our climate that I find very inspiring. These names should be in history books in my mind. First and foremost, Bill McKibben who is the leader, educator, activist and author of one of the most eye opening books called “The End of Nature” and “eaarth” which I want you all to read. I actually went to D.C. on February 17, 2013 and marched in front of the White House and met Bill McKibben and participated in one of the largest climate rallies in US history. I actively protested against tar sands and the Keystone XL Pipeline that was going to built, which ended up not being built, and felt a wonderful victory! Another hero is the founder of Patagonia clothing, Yvon Chouinard, a rockclimber at heart, who donates a large percentage of profits to protecting National Parks in Patagonia, and a voice in climate change. Other names like star Leonardo DiCaprio and Vice President to Bill Clinton, Al Gore. Lots of films to see that are eye opening like “Chasing Ice”, “Damnation”, “Inconvenient Truth”, “Crude”, “Wasteland”, “Planet Earth BBC Documentary series” are some great films to watch and get fired up about.
I want to take you all on camping trips across the country. I want you to hike the Incan trail to Macchu Pichu, smell the jungle, see the wild rare orchids like Aunt Sophie and I did this past August. I want you to feel the ocean waves, see colorful fish, swim with dolphins. I want you to build a fire in British Columbia wilderness and watch the Northern Lights flash above your heads late at night. I want you to ski down mountains in Vermont, Colorado and Alaska. I want you to see Glacier National Park, Grand Canyon and hike Mount Desert Island in Acadia. Do this and more. As an aunt and maybe a mother by now, I hope to continue to fight the good fight for our future.
Currently Barak Obama finished his 8th year as president of the USA and now sadly the nation (and Russian spies helped too) nominated Donald Trump for president of the US. I am very scared for what is to come. I will still pursue important climate matters, and continue to do my part, every single day, so that our oceans will not flood the coastal cities, coral reefs won’t become extinct, air quality improves and all roofs have solar, farms have no GMOs and power run by windmills, and cars are run without fossil fuels…. I will not stop fighting for a more sustainable future, your future.
Lots of love, hugs and hikes,