When this message is delivered, I will be 52 years old. That’s the same age that my father is currently. Right now it feels like a long time, but it really isn’t. And that’s the thing – time is running out. In fact, that’s the motto of this letter.
The issue of climate change and global warming is imperative to the future of the world. Time is of the essence: we need to do something now. If you had seen me two months ago, you probably would have been shocked. While I don’t consider myself a conservative, climate change was NOT one of my priorities. For me, climate change was just a phenomenon, some vague concept that people spouted while hugging trees, doing crossfit, and praising the vegan diet.
But after learning more about the issues, I was shocked. The world is warmer than it’s ever been and it’s just going to keep getting warmer. Soon ice caps and polar bears are going to be the stuff of history books. And lets not forget the adverse affects of it all. Hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis. Colder winters and hotter summers. The irony of it all is that the people who are going to be the most affected by climate change are the ones that contributed the least to it. The fisherman in Bangladesh. The miners in the Congo. All of this resulting from our destructive lifestyles and habits.
So I thought about it for a while. What can I do to really make a difference? Is there really any point of doing anything? How can I grapple against an anthropologically-induced feedback loop? When did I start caring about the Earth so much? Am I a sign-waving hippie now? While the answer to the last question spiraled me into an identity crisis, the rest of those questions did cause me to think. What is it that I really want to accomplish with my life? What exactly do I want to do? And while I don’t want to dedicate my life to environmental preservation, I do want to get involved in stopping climate change. I do want to impact the world positively, and keep mass extinction from happening. And that leads me to my final point.
This is just the beginning. It’s the accrual of little seeds of change that will lead to the tree of revolution. I have started to research into the carbon footprint of everything I use and own, hopefully finding things that I can cut back on. I convinced my parents to purchase a hybrid car so that we would use less gas on our commutes. I even stopped taking long showers, because I didn’t want to waste water. That’s how you know I am serious about this.
Consequently, I have a message for you, readers of this letter. I don’t know what will happen in the next few centuries, but my hope is that hindsight will guide you. What we didn’t do, what we took for granted, what we didn’t understand, what we left behind. Everything that we procrastinated on. I hope that you learn from these ideas when you write a letter to the future and have more positive things to say. As poetically stated in the musical Hamilton, “History Has Its Eyes On You.” And I hope that you learn from history more than we did.