Dear Future Generations, sorry.

Dear future generations,

Sorry.

The Earth was 4.5 billion years old in 2016. Mankind was only 140,000 years old. If Earth’s existence was condensed into a 24 hr clock -(That’s one whole day)- then humans were alive for 3 seconds.

3 seconds and look what they had done.

I watched your great great and many more greats great grandparents grow. I witnessed them as they left a trail of breadcrumbs in desperation of marking their existence. They struggled to leave the Earth with their presence, go unforgotten. Those trails weren’t needed. They made their mark on the Earth long after they were gone. This ‘mark’ is known as destruction. They were so caught up in their own doings to do something. Your ancestors modestly named themselves homo sapiens, wise man. Were your ancestors really so wise? Smart, yes and there is no harm in being smart. In fact it will be applauded; there is something called being too smart for your own well being. Smart talks. Wisdom listens. They covered their ears to mother nature. If I were to apologize it would be as deceiving as snake eyes. I could be apologizing to you, the new generation. It really should be directed to the people during those three seconds of existence. Whose houses were washed away, only seen as a mere repercussion towards their definition of progress. I’m sorry they ruined the Amazon Rainforest. Let me say this in your terms, Amazon Desert. This ‘Amazon Rainforest’ was filled with billions of trees all different than its neighbor. Leaves that were the foundation in a barricade against the clouds. Oh, you don’t know much about trees do you? You would have breathed the air they created. They cleaned up their pollution, their carbon, stored and purified water, medicine that cured diseases, and food that fed them. Which is why I am so sorry to say that they burned them down with torture devices and machines at a rate of 55,600 every minute. I’m sorry the oceans control every aspect of life. I’m sorry you spend every waking moment of the day under the spotlight of a burning ball of hydrogen, helium, oxygen, carbon, neon, nitrogen, magnesium, iron, and silicon gasses (sharp). I’m sorry they left you that mess of a planet. Calling that destruction success. I’m sorry they were too caught up in their own doings to do something. But should I be apologizing to you? Should I say sorry for their lack of moral obligation?

Bright red dots used to pop up on the sphere below me. Each dot, a person would inquire, “So what?” And it’s a valid notion. I mean why should they had. It’s not their fault they didn’t see the direct link between actions and consequence. Not really. Wisdom knows that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. If they were wise, they wouldn’t have be shocked when sea levels rose fifty feet or when a storm destroys like never before. News networks reduced the number of their foreign bureaus by 50%. Aside from a one-person ABC mini-bureau in Nairobi, New Delhi, and Mumbai, there were no network bureaus in all of Africa, India, or South America. Yet, at the time all these places were home to over 2 billion people (Miller 2:11). Those who had access to news sources, local television loomed large over the other sources and unfortunately only dedicated 12% of its coverage to international news at the time. The internet, which was a large source of information income, didn’t do much better. In 2007, Pew and the Columbia J-School analyzed a total of 14,000 stories that showed up on the search engine Google’s News front (Pew). Of those 14,000 stories, they all covered the same 24 issues. The majority of these articles didn’t put them into a format where people could understand their connection to it. Understanding your personal connection to an issue can be the only way to understand the tie and moral obligation.

The novel “Life As We Knew It”, highlighted the idea of a moral obligation through the perception of the media and newscasts. Disasters put life on Earth to a halt. Miranda and her family had to face problems together in order to survive. A large factor of the book was about isolation. The reason they were able to survive the outbreak of disease was because they were isolated in their boarded in one-story house. Their isolation “had saved [them], given [them] weeks, maybe even months more of life”(Pfeffer 331). There was no way of knowing of another country, town, or family to be alive. The only way they would have seen the direct consequence on Earth was because they were a mere building block in the disaster. They had a direct connection. Pfeffer wrote, “But it was still news. There was life going on. We weren’t alone,” (Pfeffer 321). Those few minutes of radio news, showed Miranda and her family how they connected to the rest of the world, or what was left of it. There needs to be an attitude change. Eyes can’t just be beginning to awake once they can feel the water beneath their feet as it washes away their home.

The mentality of “it won’t affect me” should have be put to a halt through the media, as it surrounded them in every aspect of our life. Fox news didn’t think climate change was a threat. I would have dared them to interview the thousands of people in Bangladesh at the time, who were displaced from from their homes as rising sea levels washed them away before their eyes. While their eyes were glued to that beautiful view through their penthouse window. To Sarah Palin, you said, “I love the smell of emissions,”(Fox 1:05), while kids of Beijing were forced to wear masks to school. The lack of communication and unity on international issues worldwide, created a community that was unaware, oblivious, and isolated from a consequence that truly connected everyone. No matter what you were fighting for, gay rights, workers rights, racism, abortion, or animals, it’s not gonna matter when the temperature kept rising. In a less direct and more dramatic consequence of constant industrialization, as they develop the Earth, it could ultimately be hurting themselves. The Earth is a pivotal part of focus and positive moods. An article titled, “All you need to know about deficit disorder”, stressed the importance of natural Earth. Nature deficit disorder references the consequences of minimal to no time spent outdoors. Specifically, when children spend more and more time indoors it makes them feel separated from nature resulting in a reduced attention span. Other repercussions from the industrialization of the earth included, increased greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere.

Several media sources had covered the reduced emissions notion; However, recently their president elect, Donald Trump, threatened taking the United States out of the drafted Paris Pledge, an agreement between 195 other countries to reduce carbon emissions. Donald Trump had deliberately gone against the Obama administration policy which was proven effective. America was the second largest producer of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. Being such an international powerhouse, the United States, was the model for other developed countries to complete the pledge. The fact that America was such a pivotal factor in the drafting of the Paris Pledge and that they backed out, created a domino effect for other developed countries. If America doesn’t complete the pledge why should other countries care? Trump didn’t have the power to disintegrate the efforts against the green house gasses movement; however, he was the first flick in a chain of events. It was up to the other 194 countries to band together against society’s idea of industrial progress. The question did America as one country alone change the pledge? Were all the countries morally bonded to this pledge?

For the lucky percent of the population, there will be a tomorrow. Food on the table tomorrow, school tomorrow, work tomorrow, friends tomorrow, family tomorrow, rain tomorrow, sun tomorrow, smiles tomorrow, tears tomorrow, and laughter tomorrow. Why should I be saying sorry for the loss opportunity for this new generation and more to come, when it destroyed somebody’s tomorrow. I’m not sorry. I don’t accept this. I don’t accept this letter. I don’t accept this future. I hope when or if future generations ever get the opportunity to read this, they are confused and puzzled that this was even up for discussion. An error doesn’t become a mistake until you refuse to correct it. They can redirect this. How? By all means I don’t have the power up here than I do on Earth. All I have are mere words. But can I suggest that humans stop looking at the branches of government, politicians that run companies to take our actions and turn them around. They must direct their eyes to the root. They are the foundation, this generation. It is up to them to take care of this planet, their only home. They must globally warm their hearts to change the climate. A change needs to happen where they realize that they are not apart of nature, they are nature. By betraying nature they are betraying themselves. To save nature is to save them. Whatever they’re fighting for racism or poverty, feminism, gay rights, or any type of equality. It won’t matter in the least, because if they don’t all work together to save the environment, they will be equally extinct.

Works Cited

Emily Guskin, Mark Jurkowitz and Amy Mitchell of the Pew Research Center “Network: By the Number”. stateofthemedia.org. 2013.

Lee, C. Jasmine. Pearce, Adam. “How Trump Can Influence Climate Change”. The New York Times. December 8, 2016.

Miller, Alisa. “How the news distorts our worldview” Ted.com, Ted Talk Presentation and Lecture, March 2008.

News, Fox. “‘I love the smell of the emissions’ (real quote)- Sarah Palin at the Rolling Thunder bicycle ride”. Youtube, uploaded by PalinGrifter2012, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHkL1rvckBk

Pfeffer, Susan. Life As We Knew It. Harcourt Children’s Books, 2006.

Sharp, Time. “What is the sun made out of?” Space.com. August 17, 2012.

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