Dear Tomorrow: An Open Letter to My Son on Climate Change and His Future

, Research Director, Center for Science and Democracy | May 6, 2016, 11:32 am EDT
Bookmark and Share

Dear Thomas,

In the five months you’ve been on this Earth, I already love you more than I can describe in words. I want nothing but a perfectly happy life for you, a life with every opportunity possible. I’m working hard to make sure you have those opportunities.

IMG_2879I can already tell that you’ll be a curious kid like I was. This is what led me to science. I wanted to understand how the world works and how I could make it better. I first learned about climate change as a college student. It wasn’t a popular subject yet. I took a class called Global Warming with only eight other students in it. It was there that I learned about the scary impacts that climate change might have, how it would affect my future, and of greater concern, how it would affect yours.

You might see rising seas, severe droughts, more wildfires, and fewer snow days. It makes me sad to think that leaders of your generation will have to deal with these issues. Your generation will have to make tough decisions about equity, management of resources and a changing climate. I’m saddened to think this will ever cause you stress.

After I became a scientist, I left academia and took a job at a nonprofit so I could make sure that my technical training would help to make the world a safer and better place. The reduced pay and less time spent on the science I loved is worth it because I know what I’m doing is the best I can do to give you a better future.

When you are older, I’ll tell you that I tried. I tried to communicate climate science to the public and to decision-makers. I tried to work on the solutions and develop ways that our society can mitigate climate change and adapt to its impacts. And I tried to hold accountable those most responsible for causing climate change. I did everything I could to make sure that my generation addressed climate change. I hope that I am able to leave a better world for you and I’ll devote the rest of my life trying because I know that you’re worth it.

You’re worth it because when you’re older, I don’t want to explain to you why there’s no more ice in the Arctic. I don’t want to explain to you why entire nations have had to move from their homes when their communities went underwater. And I don’t want to explain to you why there are fewer species on the planet than there were when I was a kid. When you look at me with those big beautiful eyes and that innocent smile, you make me want to fight harder. And I do. I try to do everything in my power to make sure your life stays as happy as you are right now.

When you were just two weeks old, world leaders left Paris with a new global agreement. It was an agreement to address climate change in a bigger way than had ever been done before. It might not be enough, but my hope is that you will only live to see a world where that agreement is the smallest step society has taken to address climate change.



(This post is my contribution to DearTomorrow‘s Mother’s Day campaign, which is collecting letters, photos and videos about climate change and action for our children and future generations through a joint collaboration with Moms Clean Air Force and The Solutions Project. You can submit your own message to the future at

Posted in: Global Warming, Science and Democracy Tags: , , ,

Support from UCS members make work like this possible. Will you join us? Help UCS advance independent science for a healthy environment and a safer world.

Show Comments

Comment Policy

UCS welcomes comments that foster civil conversation and debate. To help maintain a healthy, respectful discussion, please focus comments on the issues, topics, and facts at hand, and refrain from personal attacks. Posts that are commercial, self-promotional, obscene, rude, or disruptive will be removed.

Please note that comments are open for two weeks following each blog post. UCS respects your privacy and will not display, lend, or sell your email address for any reason.

  • mikehaseler

    Dear Thomas,

    When my youngest was about your age, a paper called the Independent said that “Soon Children won’t know what snow is”. As a parent I felt guilty that my children wouldn’t know the joys of snow I had known. As a result I took so called “Global warming” seriously. But I was lied to. Because now my son is an adult – and throughout his childhood snow continued to fall. But worse, we were knowingly lied to and we continue to be lied to.

    Indeed, there is no room for doubt on climate. The satellites show no warming for 18 years, that trend is corroborated by the independent measurements from meteorological balloon data. The overall lack of warming is also corroborated by the growing Antarctic ice, the growing Greenland surface ice and the lack of loss of global sea ice.

    The only “outlier” is the surface data – which far from global, is plagued by issues like urban heating (because many sites were placed on the outskirts of large conurbations which have seen the most urban heating as towns and cities have spread). As a result we would expect significant cooling adjustments to have to be made to surface data. But NO! When people like NASA who make a great deal of money from environmental monitoring and the global warming scare, employ a 6x arrested eco-activist to “manufacture” the surface data measurement – we can understand why the surface data was never cooled to take account of urban heating, but instead was WARMED such that all the warming since
    1940 is due to these adjustments.

    Indeed, you might ask yourself the simple question – when NASA spends so much taxpayer money putting satellites into space to measure the temperature of the earth – they prefer a metric produced from temperature stations situated in parking lots?

    But even if we were to accept the warming shown in the massively adjusted surface data – what is the effect?
    Just like the “Children won’t know what snow is” report, you would never know it from the way it is reported, but there has been no increase in floods or droughts globally. There has not been an increase in storms, no significant increase or decrease in snow etc. indeed, if anything has changed it is that hurricane activity has decreased.

    The only significant change has been a long term decline in glacial ice – easily explained as a result of coming out of the little ice-age (and the surface ice shows the current temperature tremd) and an increase in CO2.

    And what has been the impact of this so called “CO2 poison”? Study after study is now showing a greening of the earth,
    we are seeing record crop yields. And all this is just as we climate sceptics predicted because farming INCREASE CO2 levels in greenhouses to boost plant growth.

    But what about the 20th century warming? Isn’t that unusual? The answer is unequivocally no, if we look
    at the best proxy for global temperature over the last 350 years a thermometer. This longest temperature series shows that the 20th century warming is far from abnormal. But here is another interesting thing. Despite having this 350 year temperature series which we know to be a very good indicator of global temperature, academics prefer to use “tree rings”. Now these tree ring “thermometers” are so appalling that they show 20th century cooling. But academics (who make a great deal of money by grants to study this “problem”) are very keen to use these trees rings because they can be used to show the 20th century is abnormal (if you hide the recent decline).

    Indeed, this long termperature series shows far more than that the 20th century is far from abnormal. It also shows that 3 out of 4 of the major famines in the British isles were due to exceptionally cold years. This shows that cold is the real
    killer. A fact born out by the huge increase in winter deaths (around 1million since this climate “global warming” scare started). The lancet reports 15x as many deaths from cold and heat globally.

    So, there should be no doubt about climate. Cold is a killer, CO2 is the essential ingredient to all life on earth and we should welcome an increase. The 20th century warming is far from unusual and almost certainly (largely) natural and whilst CO2 is levels are rising, it clearly is not having an impact greater than natural variation as there
    is no credible evidence of current warming.

    There is no doubt about climate – “global warming” is just one puffed up scam and I am ashamed as a scientists that I and so many other well meaning people were so gullible that we nearly destroyed out economy and countrysides because of the stupidity or selfishness of a large number of people many of whom make a living from pushing this scam.

    • Ian Forrester

      Haseler, you should be ashamed of spreading such rubbish. You claim to have a degree in physics so we can rule out lack of scientific knowledge for your lies and misinformation. That only leaves us with the fact that you are just a dishonest scumbag who is selfish, arrogant and has no worries about condemning future generations to a very different world than we enjoy today. You are just another of those “I’m all right Jack” type of selfish worthless pieces of humanity. Anyone who wants to see how much of a dishonest crank he is should visit his site. It is far worse than WUWT.

      • mikehaseler

        You know I don’t engage with you after your racist comments.

      • Ian Forrester

        Stop lying I have never used racist comments. You stopped me responding to your web site because I showed up all your lies. You are just a despicable person.

        If you consider my comments that you are neither “Scottish” nor “sceptic” as being “racist” you are more ignorant than I thought. You are neither Scottish nor sceptic. So you lie even in the naming of your blog. You are just a dishonest AGW denier.

      • Alex Sinclair

        Mike Haseler makes interesting points which, if you disagree with them, deserve an argued response, not an ill tempered, childish, name calling rant.

      • Ian Forrester

        Have you ever been to his web site? He is well known to be a dishonest crank who thinks he knows everything about everything but knows absolutely nothing. He will not respond the lies he made about me because he knows that I will expose him to be the dishonest AGW denier that he is.

  • Earl Salzman

    That picture says it all. Thank you for the work you do.

    • Thank you, Earl. I found it to be a worthwhile exercise to think about what I would want to tell Thomas in the future about my work with the Union of Concerned Scientists. Certainly, it puts a new perspective on the importance of working to address climate change. I appreciate your taking the time to comment.