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A Letter to My Child on a Changing Planet


A Letter to My Child on a Changing Planet

Norah Vawter

To my five-year-old son:

By the time you’re my age, the year will be 2051. I don’t know what the planet will look like. And that scares me.

Today, it’s obvious that nature is changing too fast, too much. Of course, nature’s not the culprit. We are. Humans. Your parents, your grandparents, and so many generations who came before us.

We’ve been selfish and careless. We’ve forgotten to think about the future. We’ve screwed up the environment with our plastic water bottles and our massive landfills, and most of all, our fossil fuels.


this brought tears to my eyes. as a military brat i got to explore many climates and terrains, i constantly tell my dad how lucky i was. but i fear for this wondrous planet as i see pictures of starving polar bears will my future grandchildren and theirs, etc…not know of polar bears? what of all the wild animals, will they only see them in a zoo? as we are faced with an administration who wants to toll back protections what are we to do. each of us has to take responsibility for our actions. it’s the only way.


Obviously the federal government is not doing it’s part. Trump himself is promoting fossil fuels and the Congress which is controlled by the Republicans, is not taking action. So that leaves it up to state and local governments. The states probably have a bigger role to play in fighting climate change then the federal government anyway except on the international level so it is critical to pressure states to act. Many are doing a lot but none are doing enough. Their most important objective at the moment should be to require utilities to use 100% renewable energy within approximately 20 years. That is a difficult goal to achieve but it is probably a minimum of what is needed. A grid that includes only renewable energy can then be used to charge electric cars, buses, and trucks and heat buildings without carbon dioxide emissions.


I know that this is not enough by itself, but I can help but to notice that encouraging individual action to reduce carbon footprints at the household level have pretty much fallen off the agenda of environmental organizing. I wonder why? It seems to me that it is hard to be credible in advocating getting rid of fossil fuel consumption if we cannot show that we are able to do just fine using very little of it.


It’s a shame you didn’t tell your kid that it’s not all of us being selfish and careless and that we tried and failed. Perhaps you’re too young to remember rivers catching fire and thousands dying in Pittsburgh from dirty air. We cleaned up our nation in the 70’s. We patched the ozone hole. Then Reagan and the beginning of the slide into the depths we find ourselves today. Why tell him we didn’t care? We did and we do still. Did you mention the conservative half of America that doesn’t give a rats ass about clean water or air? Did you tell him about the Koch brothers? Nope. You told him we are all careless and selfish and we did this to his planet. Wow.


Very sentimental. But we’re past the tipping points and climate chaos is baked in.

In 2051, the oceans will be at least a foot higher. That’s if we’re lucky.


If you’d been paying attention, you never would have had children. I mean, why bring people to a dying planet? That’s the true selfishness. I won’t apologize for being brutally honest.


Seriously. Where is “discover” to scream and yell about this?


To my five-year-old son:

"By the time you’re my age, the year will be 2051. I don’t know what the planet will look like. And that scares me.

Today, it’s obvious that nature is changing too fast, too much. Of course, nature’s not the culprit. We are. Humans. Your parents, your grandparents, and so many generations who came before us."

First of all, I wouldn’t want to scare my children with this shit and turn them into frightened, reactionary conservatives. They’ll figure it out for themselves.

Secondly, I refuse to take the blame for the conservative idiots that caused these problems in the first place. I’ve fought against them most of my life.

Direct Democracy


My brother Bob was one of the very first distributors of Solar Energy products in Maryland in the 70’s.

Within just a few years, the Oil industry got wise and used their bought politicians to kill the government incentives which allowed most folks to enjoy the benefits of Renewable energy.

Money can help promote the best alternative for a products usefulness, or it can destroy an entire planet, if the money is put into the wrong person’s hand.


Would love to give you a thousand likes.

My father once told me that women who don’t have children by the time they are 28 years old are just selfish. From where I sit, the women who don’t have children for the sake of the Primary Mother - Mother Earth - are the UNselfish ones.


You do know that the female population of any species has to have, on average, at least two offspring in their lifetime in order to prevent population collapse and extinction, right?

Advocating that humans commit species-suicide based on some abstract concept of “Mother Earth” (Mother of who???) is not an idea that is going to sell very well. There is a word for it - “misanthropy.”


You are probably right. I think local environmental organizations and local governments are focused more on individual actions and may be more effective when it comes to individual actions. State governments are needed to provide financial incentives for taking some individual actions such a putting solar panel on roofs, making homes more energy efficient, buying electric vehicles, etc.


7.3 billion humans on this planet. That’s the real suicide. It’s not an idea anyone’s trying to sell it’s the insane truth.
Without earth you wouldn’t be here so it’s your mother/father whether you like it or not.


Norah Vawter inspires a variation on the letter:

To Whom it May Concern,

By the time you read this, a temporal tsunami of institutionally triggered inflection points will have conflated the “natural” with “man made” in the planetary tipping points known as “climate change”. We are facing consequences of an epoch, a millennium, an ‘era’ of industrialization of humans misleadingly termed “evolution” in an insensate Cartesian feedback loop entitled ‘homo sapiens sapiens’. The latter is actually a reality, but full blossoming is being held in abeyance by “consumer” enslavement. Make special note: the cycles dependent on ‘consumer’ require an enforced designation that is wholly dependent on denial of ‘sapiens’, much less the sapiens sapiens - of self awareness.

We have access to a stunningly liberating tool box: the firm ware of an archaic revival

“Time”, to which we have been, and are being, systematically acculturated, induces highly manipulable and intentionally arbitrary compliance to specified targets by obscure powers of self interest: it is an abstract cage. It has been rendered an instrument of distortion, exclusion, and incapcitation. One of your tasks, beloved, is to find out about how ‘time’ has been regarded, calibrated and utilized by other cultures; to be aware that originally, calibrations linked us to the movement of the solar system and in some cases to galactic patterns, forms of knowledge of integration essential to everyday human existence on the planet.

There are peoples all over the world who are waiting to mesh their knowledge with other forms of knowledge, to celebrate the challenge and our precious natural resources.

Some tool boxes for ways of learning and knowing to explore with friends:

  1. The wisdom perspectives of Micronesia Journey of the Hokulea and Wayfinders of Polynesia because the “the ocean unites everyone” - even those who have never seen the ocean. Ancient wisdom and modern science is our top priority.

  2. The REAL meanings of the world’s religions and languages https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgfXHy4pIDM

  3. A brief History of the Calendar and Time Keeping https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaYMK2n9Aow

The access to this toolbox is a self-regenerating vitamin for the mind, body and imagination. These are strengthening means and methodologies that foster interactive diversity that nurtures balance, sustainability and creativity.


You do know that cancer kills its host, right?

And there’s a word for this epoch, ‘Anthropecene.’

And this is happening:


Yes, and a fertility crash due to a uncontrollable exponential increase in the proportion of non-childbearing aged woman can wipe out those 7.3 billion humans pretty rapidly. This is already happening in Japan and some European countries, and even China is scrambling encourage more childbearing to offset the double whammy of the one-child policy and rapidly increasing affluent urbanization which also leads to much less childbearing.

After nuclear war, global warming and asteroid impact, fertility crash is one of the top potential causes of human decimation or extinction.




If you understand that having a child calls for sending per a letter
like this one, I suggest instead deciding not to have the child.

Having a child these days is doing wrong to the child, who is likely
to encounter shortages and disasters, which could cause per penury or

It is also doing wrong to the rest of humanity, because each
additional human speeds up all the harm we are doing and makes
avoiding disaster even harder. We have already passed Earth Overshoot
Day this year, on August 1, which means we are going to consume this
year almost twice what the Earth can regenerate in one year. See

The most effective thing you can do to reduce your personal carbon
footprint is to avoid reproduction. See