We wondered about how we might be able to eliminate plastics from our day to day routines, and recycled literally everything. We were amazing, you should have seen us. Now and again though, we wondered if these were the right questions.

Sent on by
Ben Carpenter
Send Your Own Message

To my brother’s children,

Your father and I did the best we could with what we had. I was living in Kansas City at the time, and he was in DC. He made videos, I facilitated online arguments between strangers.

Mitigation became a word we used a lot, because that’s all that can be done with the inevitabilities handed to a person. Mitigation is also all that the moral paralysis of a representative democracy allows, and I’m not just pointing fingers at the denialists.

We mitigated our personal carbon footprints by foregoing meat and riding bicycles to work. We wondered about how we might be able to eliminate plastics from our day to day routines, and recycled literally everything.

We were amazing, you should have seen us.

Now and again though, we wondered if these were the right questions to be asking. To ride a bike for political reasons, however fun and correct, still seemed like a privileged position compared to those we saw at daybreak, pedaling down the sidewalks on cheap bikes, ball caps pulled low over puffy eyes; or even compared to the beat-to-hell Saturns from the far eastern neighborhoods. Farmers markets, CFL light bulbs and reusable shopping bags became symbols dripping with class and racial tension. But it was hard to have those conversations; conversations about webs we’re all caught in as dense and old as empire. Maybe it is true we have to mitigate our political goals, the Dems have to win in 2018 midterms after all. So we mitigate our carbon footprints, and your father plans to install solar panels on Mom and John’s home in Hunt, where we’ll live someday. Way out there, we can remove ourselves from complicity with the impending destruction of the planet as best we can.  Maybe you’re reading this on their porch. How’s the garden?

I still feel that if our hands are clean, our feet are still wet. The work is not done, and what is done will never be sufficient. This is a condition of honest self reflection. There is no end to the webs you, my brother’s children, are tangled in. Power never goes away, it just changes. Figure out our blind spots and start there.

Enjoy the sunsets,

Uncle Ben

Share on:
 
Send Your Own Message

More Messages to the Future

 

To anyone who has heard my music,

I promise to care about the planet.

 

Aos meus sobrinhos queridos, Ana Laura, Luis Carlos e Helloísa,

Talvez eu não esteja viva para ver alguma mudança, mas espero que vocês vejam e tenham um mundo melhor em 2050. Plantei um ipê rosa e outro amarelo, que eles estejam florindo até 2050.

 

Dear Tomorrow,

The road I learned to ride my bike on, the field where I kicked my first soccer ball, and the park I ate my first ice cream cone at, could all be gone.

 

Dear Tomorrow,

I promise I will encourage everyone to adopt a plant-based diet. Good for our health, the animals and the planet.

 

Dear Future,

I will use less plastic.

 

Happy 34th birthday my son.

To laugh at our efforts as they were on such a small scale, too small some would say to make a difference, and then smile when we think about the number families just like ours that did the same thing.

 

Olá Pessoal,

Com essas ideias simples e força de vontade, podemos tornar um mundo, um lugar melhor para se viver, com menos mortes, menos lixo, transforma-lo em um mundo diferente.

 

To my Beloved Future Children,

Be fearless – do not be afraid to talk to each other and do not be afraid to fail.

 

My dear daughters,

I will use my voice to help bring awareness about climate change.

 

To my dear son,

Last year most of the world’s reefs turned white at some point, but because it was underwater you and your friends didn’t see.

 

To my sons,

I’m voting with climate change as a top priority. I’ve tried to teach you boys that we need to clean up after ourselves and take care of the earth. I promise to continue doing these actions and more, for your sake.

 

To my daughter and her children,

As a minister, I have preached that we are here to be of service to others and to be care takers of this wonderful planet that God has given us.

View All Messages

Send Your Own Message