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Dear Jack Jr.,

Hi Jack Jr., it’s Jack Sr. sending you a perhaps melancholic message. You must be receiving this around 2050, which means food production has (hopefully) doubled since I was a teen, and mega-cities are even more populated and probably ingeniously scrapping for resources.

Not until recent have I thought about climate change, or really my behavior at all from a sustainability perspective. It’s crazy how much I have learned recently, and also how much humanity is destroying and exploiting our earth and the poor communities around the world. I worry for your generation, but I am also hopeful. Humans innovate and adapt to their circumstances, and, Jack Jr., I hope you’re doing your part as well.

Jack Jr., have you ever heard of planned obsolescence? I think my main goal as a human living on this earth is to not CONSUME so much. I want to make my electronics last longer, I want to not waste so much product packaging, but also I don’t want to limit myself to personal goals. My generation needs to come together and make sustainable choices on a larger scale than just individual goals, and I hope through computer science I can help achieve those feats.

We live in America! In the midwest! I can’t see any of the effects of my actions. Clean air, clean water, clean city. It’s very hard to come to the realization that our actions perhaps have a huge effect on the environment and people around us when we can’t physically see it. We need to break through this barrier, and affluent people cannot be so ignorant of the effects of their actions.

Sustainability science is multi-disciplinary, so many people from all type of fields of study can get involved. In order to protect the climate that you’ll have to deal with, Jack Jr., it’s absolutely necessary that people from all ways of life get involved with sustainable development. Computer scientists, film makers, social workers, construction workers… everyone.

All in all, I just want you, and everyone in your generation, and everyone to come after your generation, to live on the type of earth that I lived on. Up until now, people have taken the earth’s systems extremely for granted, and while that is a blessing, our behaviors are not sustainable. My generation needs to be vocal about climate change, and instead of debating scientific facts, we need to all join together and work on sustainable solutions.

All my love,
Jack

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