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.
I 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 deartomorrow.org.)