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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,
Pop

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