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To the Child Whom I May Never Have,

I hope you’re doing alright. It is 2050, so I imagine you’re just beginning to find your way in the world as a young adult. You may actually be the same age as I am writing this letter. I want to tell you about how I feel, what I’m doing about those feelings, and how I view the future.

The year is 2021, almost 2022, and we are the deepest into the environmental crisis that we have ever been before. Biodiversity is declining, unprecedentedly extreme natural disasters seem to happen multiple times a year, environmental human rights abuses happen every day at the hands of the uber-wealthy and even the government, and meanwhile so many people seem unphased by it all.

I’ve gone through the 5 stages of grief over and over and over, and I feel like I resonate specifically with frustration, because humanity has so far had an inability to put all our differences aside to fight the biggest issue of our time—of course that’s not to say that there aren’t other large global issues, but climate change encompasses life, death, poverty, racism, health, the economy, etc., so you think it’d be high up on our priority list—and despite the irrefutable evidence that points to disaster, we still choose to divide ourselves further and many cling to apathy.

This frustration and knowledge of humanity’s response to the crisis has motivated me to go into the field that I am. I’m still in college pursuing a degree in global studies, environmental and sustainability studies, and political science, but I hope that after graduating I will have a fulfilling career in the nonprofit world, working closely with other activists like myself who care about climate change. I’ve gone almost fully vegan, with the occasional slip-up here or there, I’ve limited my waste as much as I can for a college student, and I’ve changed my life plan all to combat the climate crisis.

Despite all this, sometimes it doesn’t feel like enough. I frequently switch between an optimistic and pessimistic view on the environmental crisis. I know that we have the resources necessary to do the right thing, and I know that we are trending in a better direction than we have been; however, I worry that we might be doing too little too late.

I’m not sure about the practicality of the goals that follow, but this is what I want to see by 2050:

1) I want to see clean energy as the norm globally, hopefully making up at least 85% of energy generation; not only do I want it to the norm, but the desired norm as well.
2) I want the science behind climate change to be more widely accepted and not as skepticized.
3) I want companies to be held legislatively responsible for all environmental degradation, being forced to pay however much in fees as they cost the world by polluting, destroying, killing, etc.
4) I want international recognition from global leaders of the severity of the environmental crisis
5) I want the same leaders to make not only domestic legislation regarding the environment and climate change, but international legislation as well
6) Finally, I want to have had children knowing that I made the morally right decision, and I want you to have children knowing that you did the same.

I’m doing everything in my power to live in a way that is environmentally responsible, and I am committed to not only my future, but yours as well. That is my promise.

Thanks and peace,

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Dear World,

I vow that I will try to make a difference every day, so that you may enjoy the world as I have.


Dear Tomorrow,

I promise to drive less and walk more.


Dear future me,

My hopes have always been to live in a brighter and better generation, where women are respected around the world, human rights are respected and last but not least where animals and mother nature is cared for by us individuals.


Dear Tomorrow,

I promise to educate myself and others about how we can protect and nourish our 1 PLANET


Dear Tomorrow

I promise to educate others TODAY.


To future Geof,

Cool, now that your jetpack is put away in your garage where you keep your flying car; how did the aliens save us from our own destruction? Did they have this hyper advance vacuum that just sucks all the greenhouse gases out of our atmosphere?


To my dear children in the year 2050,

I don’t wish to go backwards, but I do wish we would slow down and design our brave new world with more care.


For my children,

If we haven’t done enough and the world you’re living on is apocalyptic or if you’re living on another planet then I’m deeply sorry and just know that I believe in you and I know that you are both strong and smart enough to handle anything.


Dear future me,

I’m doing this work because I see it as the best way to save and improve as many lives as possible. I’m doing it so you, 2050 Ryan, can look at yourself in the mirror. And so you can tell your kids and grandkids someday that you did everything you could.


Dear Generations to Be,

If we could all slow down, look around and connect: with each other, the Earth, the sky, the plants and rocks and animals, then maybe we can all remember to treat everyone and everything with respect and live in love.


Dear Tomorrow,

I promise I will take short showers, eat less meat, and buy local more often.


Dear Tomorrow,

I will aim to lower my carbon footprint!

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