“We worked, wrote on the subject, and supported causes and candidates who advocated change. We faced countrymen befuffled by self-interest, technological distraction, economic decline, Middle Eastern conflicts, terrorism, political discord, religious fervor, and special interest disinformation.”
Dearest, with all our being we apologize for our generation's failure.
Our expectations were high as world leaders emerged from the 2015 Paris climate change conference. The draft they paraded was our path to pull back from the climate disaster— change history’s course and the consequences you face. We read the bold statements in a small coastal town and marked the day’s high tide on its rocky beach.
Several years later, we cruised California’s great delta. Its waters were stained, the weather unusually hot, a match for Congress’ endless debates. Warm winters passed and world powers failed to act. We were torn with sorrow when climate scientists declared the world was past repair. Your generation’s lives would be terribly different from those we now share. Our generation’s preoccupation with self-interest, hubris, and greed ordained you live with world hunger, pandemics, and no social creed.
Did we do enough, of course not, but at the time it seemed so. We worked, wrote on the subject, and supported causes and candidates who advocated change. We faced countrymen befuffled by self-interest, technological distraction, economic decline, Middle Eastern conflicts, terrorism, political discord, religious fervor, and special interest disinformation. The great promise of Paris faltered, and America shirked its leadership role. More international meetings were held but despite our insufficient actions, the world’s carbon footprint, and mean temperature, continued to grow. Change was thwarted by the few who benefited most from the status quo, and successfully peddled their message to those "in the know".
The Pentagon released an assessment of climate change’s pervasive threat. Americans realized to late that instead of our limited wars and acts of terror, you face worldwide conflicts and terrorism driven by basic needs for food, arable land, and water. Our current struggles to cope with less than 50 million refugees from the Middle East, Asia and Africa are lost as a decimal point against the more than 2 Billion refugees you face who have been driven from their homes by climate change. And, as we worry about which areas to save around the San Francisco Bay, you live with the reality that most of the world’s great food producing deltas, have disappeared into the seas.
We just returned from visiting that rocky beach at high tide. The water was just a few inches higher. We wrote our apology on the rocks. You’ll need scuba gear to read it.