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By Wendy Becktold
What is the Dear Tomorrow Project?
Trisha Shrum of Boulder, Colorado cofounded the Dear Tomorrow project.Matt Nager
How did you get the idea?
I study behavioral and environmental economics. I was invited to speak at a conference in Iceland, where Christiana Figueres, who was the head of the UN Climate Change Secretariat, also gave a talk. She spoke about a dream she'd had in which the children of the future asked her, "You knew about climate change. What did you do about it?" On the plane home, I wrote a letter to my 10-month-old daughter. I wanted her to know how I felt about climate change at that moment—how I struggled to continue the day-to-day work but that I was committed to it. Shortly thereafter, I met Jill Kubit, who's also a mother and who felt the power of the idea. We launched the website in December 2015.
Why is this effective?
Climate change can make you feel small and powerless, but when you're talking to your child, you realize that you are the most powerful person in the world for her and that it's your job to protect her. Any excuse you have for not getting involved falls flat. We ask each person to share their letter with their own personal network, because that's the way we reach people outside of the environmental movement. Your aunt might not be reading SIERRA, but she might be interested in reading a powerful perspective from someone she knows.
Climate change has become highly politicized. Is The Dear Tomorrow Project a way around that?
Conservatives who care about the environment have been forced into an unfair identity crisis. It's as if they can't care about the environment and also have conservative political beliefs. One of our goals is to give people a way to say to their friends and family, "I, as a conservative, think that we should be good stewards. This matters." Studies have shown that people don't talk about climate change, even if it's important to them. This is a way to open up a conversation. You don't need to be an expert; you don't need to have a pristine carbon footprint. We just want people to talk about it from a place of love and talk about the legacy that they want to leave.
Reposted with permission from our media associate SIERRA Magazine.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Dr. Brian R. Shmaefsky
One year after the Flint Water Crisis I was invited to participate in a water rights session at a conference hosted by the US Human Rights Network in Austin, Texas in 2015. The reason I was at the conference was to promote efforts by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to encourage scientists to shine a light on how science intersects with human rights, in the U.S. as well as in the context of international development. My plan was to sit at an information booth and share my stories about water quality projects I spearheaded in communities in Bangladesh, Colombia, and the Philippines. I did not expect to be thrown into conversations that made me reexamine how scientists use their knowledge as a public good.
The shipping industry is coming to grips with its egregious carbon footprint, as it has an outsized contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and to the dumping of chemicals into open seas. Already, the global shipping industry contributes about 2 percent of global carbon emissions, about the same as Germany, as the BBC reported.
The Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC overlooks the Tidal Basin, a man-made body of water surrounded by cherry trees. Visitors can stroll along the water's edge, gazing up at the stately monument.
But at high tide, people are forced off parts of the path. Twice a day, the Tidal Basin floods and water spills onto the walkway.