“All along, we knew how to solve this crisis. In the beginning, we had plenty of time to do it, but we kept delaying and denying, delaying and denying, decade after decade.”
Can you forgive us? Your lives are so much harder than they had to be. Does it matter to you that many of us tried? Does it matter to you that I tried? We tried so hard - we devoted our lives to preserving a future for you and your brothers and sisters, but ultimately, we failed you. For years, we were staring at a mountain of evidence, yet we chose to do nothing - nothing meaningful, that is. All along, we knew how to solve this crisis. In the beginning, we had plenty of time to do it, but we kept delaying and denying, delaying and denying, decade after decade.
We had so many great people join the fight, but unfortunately, their voices were drowned out by just a few people who wielded their immense wealth and power to do what was right for THEM, not what was right for everyone. They decided it was far easier (and far more profitable) to pretend the problem away. And once this mistake was painfully obvious to absolutely everyone, the people who were most responsible for the decades of inaction were long gone.
They never had to suffer the consequences - but you did and continue to - every single day. You suffer from much higher food prices and many of you are starving. You suffer from a dramatically more violent world as millions of people fight over scarcer and scarcer resources or are forced to migrate away from areas that are devastated by prolonged drought, violent weather or sea-level rise. You also suffer from a crippled economy. Turns out - the resources and services provided by functioning ecosystems and a stable climate were the foundation of our entire global economy. Clean water, clean air, predictable growing seasons, fertile soil, and vibrant forests - these things were critical, but we squandered them.
We are so sorry. I am so sorry.