I want you to see those corn fields in the north, the beautiful beaches down in Florida, and the stars in the woods at night.

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Madeline Hanf
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To My Future Nephews,

Firstly, I wish you both the best of luck growing up with your mother. No doubt she’ll be a very fun mom. I remember when we were younger, and spent a summer break in Ohio. My older sister, older brother, your mom, and me, along with your grandpa and grandma. We would tour around the different places my dad remembered during his childhood. Most people wouldn’t see Ohio as being a beautiful place, but when I was there I saw beautiful sprawling green spaces filled with trees, and the huge corn fields that dominate so much area in the northern US. I remember staying on the farm with my uncle Tom, and going camping in the woods with Uncle Mikey, two people I sincerely hope you two get to meet. The cool night air that felt so clean compared to the cities I lived in was soothing, and seeing the clear night sky with thousands of shining stars was something I could never forget. Near the end of the trip we went to visit Old Man’s Cave in Hawking Hills, and that area was the most beautiful place I have ever seen. I remember I was about eight, and my dad told me the story of the cave. A hermit named Richard Rowe lived in 1796. Dad said that years, even decades after the old man died, people claim they’ve seen someone wandering around in old-fashioned clothes, and could hear the man calling to his two dogs. It was probably the first ghost story I’ve ever heard, and the only one that ever truly scared me. Now that I’m older the old man doesn’t scare me, but the future of that cave, those woods, and those corn fields terrifies me.

I can’t imagine what your future will be like, with how quickly technology has been advancing. Even in my own lifetime, things have totally transformed. The goal of cell phones back in the day was to make everything smaller, and texting took a good hour just to type a sentence. Now, the bigger the phone, the better, and people can send messages across the world in the blink of an eye. Industries that were huge, like Blockbuster, have been completely overthrown by websites like Netflix. In my life I have seen that nothing is permanent, and nothing can last, but I have also seen the amazing power of human ingenuity. We’ve visited the moon, we’ve discovered water on Mars, we’ve connected the entire human population through the quickest system ever created! I mean hey, it’s not like we created horrible climate change issues, bombs that can annihilate the entire human race, and horrible inequalities for no real reason. Humanity can do fantastic, and terrible things, and I’m worried that you two will miss out on the beautiful things that the Earth has to offer, because people continue to do those fantastic and horrible things.

The Paris Agreement was a large step forward for the globe. In 2015, hundreds of countries agreed to tackle the issue of climate change and support developing countries as well. The main claim of the agreement is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by ensuring the global temperature rise this century is well below two degrees Celsius and continue to keep the temperature rise even lower in the future. Along with this goal, the Paris Agreement wants to strengthen the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change. This was the best hope that the globe had to fight against the irreparable change we are causing, but on June 1st, Donald Trump our horrifying, self-serving, sexual predator of a president, announced that the US was leaving the Paris Agreement. While the actual process of American withdrawal can’t even begin until 2019, the views of those in charge does not spell victory for the world’s climate.

Now, for my two sweet nephews, I want you to know that I am trying to do my best to help with your future. I try to not waste, volunteer my time for organizations that will make a difference, and take action in elections to make sure those who believe in environmental sustainability, so they can enact policies that will help us thrive. I want you to see those corn fields in the north, the beautiful beaches down in Florida, and the stars in the woods at night. I hope that everyone else of my generation does their best as well, so you guys can live happy lives. No matter what we do, be it good or bad, I want you to strive for better. Do not give up hope. Changing things won’t be easy, but always try your best like we did.

With so much love,

Aunt Madeline

PS: Future me, if you’re still there, I know you’ll keep on trying

 

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