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Shelly Rylan
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Dear Tomorrow,

It is unbelievable to think that years from now you won’t be able even to see the stars. We barely can. Just small pinpricks of light in an ever-smoggy sky. To imagine our ancestors staring up into galaxies of flaming pendants of silver, and taking it all for granted, knowing they could look up and see it all there, always…It kills me to imagine my children, and even me, not seeing a canvas as great as the sky. To see only snippets of planets past clouds of pollution, Greenhouse gasses never made to be in the air. Methane, Carbon Dioxide, Nitrous Oxide. Don’t we all deserve to see how lovely our once green Earth was like the first day Mankind stepped onto it? To see rivers run clean, not filled with pigments that rain down from Mountain Top Removal? For people to live long healthy lives, free from masks people must strap to their faces to prevent them from breathing in pollutants? Animals of colors and textures our minds can’t even begin to comprehend are being murdered mercilessly so corporations can have pieces of paper. Pieces of paper. I think you know what I’m talking about. You know, the ones with the numbers on them, with dead important people who had a chance to see the stars?

Pieces of paper all made in the mint of some country somewhere, and end up meaning more than life itself. Yeah, that’s it, money. That’s how it works right? Mowing down pieces that made up our once green planet, trees that could have stopped Global Warming by exchanging Carbon Dioxide for oxygen? All for the cost of something that won’t save you in the end. We are are trading life, for a few precious decades of good living.

How selfish can you be, to walk off saying “Global Warming isn’t my problem! Throwing this candy wrapper in the ocean will not kill a Sea Turtle, my Ferrari won’t maim a Polar Bear or melt an iceberg!” Yeah, you and a million other beings thinking they are the only ones. Instead, you should be thinking you are the only one who cares.

You could say I believe in miracles, but what about the human spirit? 1879 was the year the first light bulb fizzled into existence. That was 136 years ago, will it take us that long to decline from our dependence on fossil fuels? We have to move faster. We have alternatives, we need to kick them into gear. Maybe there is still hope for seeing the stars.

Do you know how when a baby is born, or when a couple announces they are finally husband and wife, humans have weird tendencies to give every women, man and child a brightly hued balloon, and then in celebration of the momentous event, release them into the air? For most people the array of dazzling balloons soaring as one to the heavens is breathtaking, but do they have any idea each rubber globe is a tiny time bomb tied to a string? As the soar higher and higher they will eventually pop in the high altitude, exploding into thousands of tiny balloon fragments? Some will float down, then get entangled in a tree. Others will be washed down sewers, it’s glossy color standing out against the fester. Others will land in the ocean. Clog reefs, coat sea anninime, trap seagulls and strangle fishies. People can not be derailed from their balloon launching, ocean dumping and burning of fossil fuels. But we can pull this train we are on to a stop. Eat locally. Get a bike. Look on poultry packages, look for free range. Maybe one day we can look up in the sky and launch thousands of biodegradable balloons, and even see the stars.

Look for me in the future,

Michelle Susann Ryan

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