An Open Letter To Our Grandchildren

This crossed my radar earlier this week and I saved it to share with you.  It speaks for itself and needs no introduction from me.  At the end, there is a short (3 minute) video clip that I urge you to watch.

We Trashed Your Future: An Open Letter to Grandchildren Everywhere

Dear Grandchildren Everywhere,

It is with immense regret that I must write you this letter of apology for the actions of my generation and previous generations that preceded me. We have trashed your planet and your future, and now we must take responsibility (albeit too late) for the Earth we are passing on to you.

In our quest to conquer nature and stock pile material wealth, we have systemically destroyed Earth’s life support systems, so that a few people could get rich beyond their wildest dreams. We have polluted the land, the rivers and the oceans. We have decimated global biodiversity and caused the climate disaster that now threatens your very survival. And the tragedy is that we knew the facts and realized the consequences of our actions long before we reached the point of no return.

At the time of writing this letter to you, the world’s leaders seem more focused on Donald Trump’s Twitter feed, global trade wars and Brexit than they are on your future. So preoccupied with what might happen tomorrow, they fail to consider the magnitude of what might happen a year, a decade or a generation from now. Needless to say, many of today’s grey-haired politicians will not live to see the dystopian future they have bequeathed you, and perhaps that is part of the bigger problem.

Nevertheless with every passing day we destroy our planet and ourselves through slow and painful destruction. We have created an economic system in which every natural resource is a commodity to be extracted and sold to the highest bidder. Every living tree, drop of oil, pool of water and patch of fertile soil is up for sale. And by the time you grow up, I fear much of what is left today will have been contaminated beyond restoration or have disappeared for good.

Of course, you have the right to feel deep anger and frustration, the right to question why we were so blind to our destructive ways and the right to ask why we did very little to fix Earth’s growing environmental problems while there was still time. I cannot blame you for feeling a deep sense of resentment towards us. We failed to safe-guard your future due to our never ending greed.

But now I ask only one thing: Do whatever you can to restore Earth’s systems and eek out a peaceful future for yourselves. We can only hope you learn from our towering mistakes and succeed where we failed. Sorry and good luck.

Yours Sincerely,

Your Ancestors

Alex-MoxonAlex Moxon is founder of Susticity.com. He is a sustainability and social justice writer with a “pay it forward” attitude, aiming to have a positive, uplifting impact on others in everything he does.

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47 thoughts on “An Open Letter To Our Grandchildren

  1. My grocery store sells distilled water which the customer dispenses in his/her own containers. There are no plastic containers to throw away. We are lucky here to have municipal wells that tap into Florida’s aquifer. Minimal chlorination is needed and it’s undetectable when the water is chilled or iced.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. They really do think they own The Earth don’t they. This massive and complex melding of forces which will dwarf any of our weapons. Our survival conditional.
    My quirky hope is that if I am consumed by waves, floods, etc the person next to me will be a climate-change denier and my last words will be somewhat pithy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great letter, poignant, and accurate. The video by Steve Cutts, a professional animator (he has a Web site) has been around for a long time now. I embedded it in one of my old blogs (gotta be couple of years ago nearly). Steve also produced Wake up Call about the mining of minerals (Rare Earth’s) for mobile phones, tablets, etc. I is equally damming!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve seen the cartoon before – so accurate. This is what we have become. And we’ve all connived in it, as you say above. And I doubt we’ll even have the courtesy to clear up the mess we’ve made before we make ourselves (and everything else) extinct. It’s only the knowledge that I know there are some really good people in this world that stops me continually shouting ‘I hate our bloody species!’

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Remember those bumper stickers on ostentatious vehicles, particularly humongous sized motor homes that said, “We’re spending our kids’ inheritance”? The spenders succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. Personally I doubt that the younger (latest) generation is by and large any smarter or wiser than its ancestry. Never mind the destruction of the planet, if you want to hear a global outcry, shut down cell phone service.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t seen one in years, but yeah, I do remember those bumper stickers, now that you mention it! They were disgusting enough back then, but now take on a whole new meaning. I like to think that the younger generation are more savvy, and when I look at young people like Greta Thunberg, it’s encouraging. But, overall you are probably right, that they are no better than us, attached at the hip to their electronic gadgets and not paying much more attention to the world around them than their parents.

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  6. Finally, someone who can read my mind. Humans getting stomped on like bugs by aliens is one of my long-standing visions, and examples of what we deserve from any other intelligent living beings, should they happen to drop in on us unexpectedly. But “those other people” tell me no one would do that to an intelligent human race! My final question, “Who the hell says we are intelligent?”

    Liked by 3 people

    • I share your final sentiment there … “WHO the hell says we are intelligent???” Humans claim to have superior brains, but they don’t use them. They claim superiority for their ability to walk upright and for their opposable thumbs, but I say both of those things get them into trouble more often than not. The opposable thumb thing, after all, is what enables them to shoot guns. Big whoops. And their lack of fur makes them among the least physically attractive of all species. 🐺

      Liked by 1 person

    • @RG
      Fortunately for us, higher consciousness beings or “aliens” (from a human perspective), are compassionate by definition since they’re more evolved. Otherwise we’d be squashed a long time ago. 😉
      We as a species will remain quarantined on Earth until the time we are deemed safe to interact with. We must evolve spiritually and consciously to the point where we will do no harm to ourselves and others. If we survive technology, and our impending self-destruction from climate change, nuclear war etc. then perhaps there will be first contact. Until then we’re pretty much on our own to grow and mature, since we’re way too violent at this point. We the human race need to develop/ or more accurately… to remember/ access our innate heart intelligence, regain our soul smarts. Cheers! ❤

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  7. Jill, great letter, yet it needs an amendment. It should be addressed to our children. The havoc has begun and will get worse. This is why all politicians must answer today, what they intend to do about it? As I mentioned in your recent post, Dems need to debate and discuss climate change action openly and actively. You might find my current post on a Libertarian economist’s view that coal cannot be made great again. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • Nor can our dirty oil be great, ever. But conservative politicians in Canada (conservative = republican) want to get all the oil out of the planet now, destroying the atmosphere, but they do not care. Burn, burn, burn. Who cares if we can’t breathe…

      Liked by 3 people

    • You’re right … though I cannot take credit for writing it. We are dropping the ball … and there can be no going back, there are no ‘re-dos’. I’ll check out your post … sorry, I’m behind on every single thing these days. Sigh.

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      • Jill, Rawgod, over the weekend, Toyota announced the acceleration from 2030 to 2025 to have 1/2 of their sales from electric cars. VW is going full bore into electric cars. Some countries have new laws to phase out gas powered cars.

        But, what is scaring oil companies and utilities now are renewables need not be big projects and there is small, but growing trend of not buying a car.

        Keith

        Liked by 1 person

        • As Trump tries to de-regulate fuel economy standards, I hope that every auto maker ignores him and continues to make the effort. Thumbs up to Toyota and VW! It’s time for the big gas guzzlers to be put out to pasture. Frankly, I have only owned one new car in my life, and that was right after high school. Ever since, I have found used cars to be much cheaper and suit my purposes just as well.

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  8. Memo to the next space aliens who visit earth: we have an even more run-amuck desecrater whose arrogance needs squashing. When he’s not out making mischief in foreign lands, golfing, or bloviating on Fox News or at ‘base’ rallies, you’ll likely find him spewing garbage in the Tweet Room at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C., USA. Just look for the smug-looking orange bully with the weird hair who acts like he owns the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Of course those who watch the video will be angry and disgusted, blame the insatiable industrialists and politicians, shed a tear for Mother Earth and then run down to the grocery for a T-bone steak placed on a Styrofoam plate and wrapped in plastic wrap, then head for the soda aisle for a couple plastic liter bottles of Coke. Then they will drive their Hummer back to the house one-half block away. Yeah those damned corporate environment destroyers ought to be hung at the landfill gate.😡

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yep, you’ve likely hit that nail on the head. Always easier to blame everybody else than to look in the mirror. And I’m guilty of it, too. I keep saying I’m going to buy a distiller to stop buying water in plastic bottles, but I haven’t yet. And I most always have more lights on than I really need. Sigh. I think I will order that distiller tomorrow!

      Liked by 2 people

      • I can relate. I see folks at the grocery with cartons of bottled water costing lots of dollars and resulting in a basketful of plastic bottles which most likely will end up in a landfill. My drinking water from the tap cost me about 2 cents a gallon and, when chilled, tastes as good as the $1.49 a liter stuff on the store shelf. Some of my contemporaries say, “But what about pollutants?” Yeah, and what makes you believe your bottles of water came from crystal clear mountain springs? Just a thought from a disgruntled old man.😎

        Liked by 1 person

        • Our tap water tastes horrible … like drinking bleach, but my friend Herb swears that a distiller will take care of that problem. I just cringe at the initial outlay of a few hundred dollars, but I cannot in good conscience keep tossing away plastic bottles that pile up in the landfills and oceans. We used to have recycling bins in our neighborhood, but a year or two, they removed them. I think I shall start a petition to get them returned. Sigh. There is much we can all do, if only we will. And yet, our contributions feel like a drop in the bucket compared to the damage being done by the fossil fuel industries and others.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Regarding your water “bleach like” taste problem, usually a two-cartridge filter unit, one removes particulates, the other removes those annoying chemicals that cause the bleach taste, is all a household needs to install. The least costly in cartridges on the long run is to install a separate system by teeing off a cold water line to the filter system and install a counter tap to dispense only filtered cold water. That tap is then used for dispensing cooking and drinking water and you’re not unnecessarily dispensing filtered water to your dish washer, sinks, bathrooms and laundry room. Check out the information on the distillers at the link provided – I would not recommend that route for the reasons explained. Essentially, distillers should only be used where there is regular danger of e coli contamination of public water systems. Although we installed ‘reverse osmosis’ filter systems (a very advanced filtration system) in our McDonalds when I worked for Coke, that is a much more expensive proposition and really not necessary in a private home where you’re not likely to be sued if someone gets sick from the water!
            https://www.quora.com/Whats-the-difference-between-filtered-and-distilled-water

            Liked by 2 people

            • @ ShaTara
              The big issue is fluorine chemical additives in most municipal water supply. It can only be distilled out, reverse osmosis may eliminate most of it, but those cartridges are darn expensive. Distillation is still the cheaper route for pure water, a 1000W heating element makes a gallon of water in 2 hrs, and cost around a $1.50 depending on your kw/hr rate. Solar panels come in handy for offsetting these additional energy expenses. Cheers!

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            • Thanks for the information and advice, Sha’Tara! I will look into the filtration idea, for it seems it would be much more economical and serve the same purpose, perhaps even better!

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