“But I do know that individual people, especially in places like the United States and western Europe, have to learn to make do with less. Much less. And very quickly.”
My sweet girl,
When you were born, we decided you would be our only. This decision was born from the same place as our vegetarianism -- we want to live lightly on the Earth.
I think about your future all the time. Sometimes, I am able to focus on your college fund and what you will become. Other times, I wonder if I am fooling myself, pretending that your life as a young adult will look anything like my own.
Will anyone but millionaires go to college? Live in reasonable security? Is my concern that you have less college debt than we have completely off the mark? Should I instead worry about providing you with well-watered acreage away from all population centers?
I am a lover of science fiction. I believe we are at a crossroads that could bring either planetary unification or dystopia. I don't pretend to know whether the Paris agreement is enough. But I do know that individual people, especially in places like the United States and western Europe, have to learn to make do with less. Much less. And very quickly.
I sometimes dream of taking you to see Australia, where I grew up. Your uncle asks if he can take you to England. I want to say yes! I want to give you all the wonder and personal growth I gained from travel and living abroad. But flying around the world is part of the problem. Driving across the country to see all the beautiful corners of our planet is part of the problem.
I weep to think of you living in a world without large animals; without empty, wild places; without clean air and water and a secure source of food. For ALL. I weep not just for you, my own child, but for all the children.
I pledge to you that we will keep trying. That our family will continue to reduce our energy use, our consumerism, our carbon footprint. That we will talk about it with others.
I hope it will be enough. I hope we will come together to give you a good future.
I hope. And I love you.
And I wish: If it weren't for the hanging chads, (President) Gore would have been working on this for 15 years.