I know it’s long past time to wake up. You deserve a future in which drought, famine, and war are not all your children ever know; the choices my generation makes now will determine your future.

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Ryan Swank
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Dear Kids,

I was born into a dream, but for most of my life I never knew I was dreaming. The misty promise of unlimited growth, of burning fuel indefinitely without consequence, of progress marching towards a bigger and brighter future has surrounded me for so long that I always took it to be true. During the time you’ve been alive the mist has parted in places revealing some nightmarish scenes: wildfires raging most of the year, Arctic sea ice melting away, coral reefs bleaching away to nothing. All the while the dream landscape tries to reform and assure me that all is well, just go back to sleep. Besides, who wants to wake up from a pleasant dream into a vivid nightmare?

However, I know it’s long past time to wake up. You deserve a future in which drought, famine, and war are not all your children ever know; the choices my generation makes (or doesn’t make) now will determine your future. A large part of the problem is the term “climate change” itself. It is a central part of the dream, lacking urgency and lulling us into inaction. Words matter, and I will start calling this nightmare by its true names: “climate negligence,” “climate sentence,” “climate cowardice,” and too many more to list. The time is short to build the infrastructure that will prevent my hopes and dreams for you from crumbling into dust, and every moment counts.

I hope that by the time you read this, the nightmare you were brought into will fade into a real and bright future. This future won’t be as gilded as the future promised to my generation growing up. However, the senseless waste of resources and life will be replaced with more thoughtful and grounded daily routines, and the wilted communities plugged into a single global culture will take root once again and flourish in all of their diversity and beauty. In short, I will do everything in my power to complete the metamorphosis of “climate change,” from the present “climate negligence” to a hard-fought movement toward “climate courage.”

Love,
Dad

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More Messages to the Future

 

Dear fantastic,

We as the human race are smarter than this struggle at hand and need to rise above large corporate interests and confusion on this topic.

 

Dear Logan,

I am working every second of my life, with every ounce of my being, to ensure that I am leaving you and your brother a planet that is safe and secure.

 

Dear Gabriel,

One day ten or twenty years from now, when you look back from the future, you will be able to clearly see the entire path.

 

Dear Future Grandchildren,

I hope I can look you in the eye and tell you I honestly did everything I could to protect our planet.

 

Dear Ellie,

My heart is an ocean of love for all the children facing a life of climate catastrophe.

 

Dear Tomorrow,

I promise to clean the earth.

 

Dear Finley,

I wonder if in 2050 we will be looking at a future where fear from the changes at hand has caused people to hate rather than love and provide hope. Perhaps in that world we will we no longer comprehend the biblical texts in a meaningful way. Will climate change be the end of the epoch of God?

 

Dear Makena,

Sweetie, you deserve clean air, water and soil. You deserve to thrive in an environment that supports you.

 

Dear Tomorrow

I will teach my children about a greener earth.

 

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.

 

Paz e bem

Vivamos a vida com intensidade, Não nos importando a localidade.

 

My darling girls,

I can be brave enough to wake up.

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