This is just the beginning. It’s the accrual of little seeds of change that will lead to the tree of revolution.

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Kaushik Sankar
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Dear Tomorrow,

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.

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More Messages to the Future

 

Oi Luc,

Estou esperando ansiosa sua chegada pra que a gente possa fazer muitas coisas boas juntos, uma delas, é cuidar bem do nosso planeta.

 

Dear Tomorrow,

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

 

Dear Lucy,

The clock ticks, time passes, and the earth and all of its inhabitants move closer to dangerous boundaries we can dimly discern but cannot see clearly.

 

Dear friends,

We need to rethink our consumption habits in order to reduce the impacts on the environment.

 

To the wonder,

Dear tomorrow, thank you for letting me ride the wave of wonder that reaches toward you for all generations of all species to come.

 

To my daughter and son,

Surrounded by scientists who shared my fears and visions, I often had a hard time to accept that outside our small community climate change received marginal attention.

 

Dear Daughter,

Even when contemplating huge global-historical issues — especially then — it’s important to stay grounded in the present time and place, the specific here and now, and the minute affairs of everyday interpersonal relations.

 

Dear Samuel, Willa, and Ben,

To the core of my being, and only through the power of community, I will honor the voices of the youth who are pleading, “Don’t burn my future.” Samuel, Willa, and Ben, your little voices I know, will join that chorus soon enough.

 

Dear Peyton and Lucas,

I want you to continue to enjoy bright, beautiful, blue skies, gigantic shady trees, chirping birds, scampering squirrels, sparkling creeks and all that this amazing world has to offer!

 

Dear future love,

A culture of consumption is the reason that my world faces such an ecological crisis, it is both necessary and proper to address the fundamental mindsets that have created such a destructive culture.

 

Dear grand nieces and nephews,

I wish you this security knowing we changed because we love you.

 

I love you Earth.

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