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George Green's Letter
An unknown child,
This is my message in a bottle, to someone in the future. I don't know where it will be carried, by the Gulf Stream, if there is such a thing anymore. I hope you are a child, because my greatest concern is for children of the future. I am writing this in 2022, just before COP27, probably the World's last chance to prevent extreme, uncontrollable climate change.
I was a child in the nineteen-fifties. We had benefitted from the development, trade, wealth, and, sorry to say, exploitation that coal and oil had made possible. We even thanked God for them in Harvest Festival songs. Our advantages were costing the Earth, but we didn't know it. When scientists told us that our country's burning of fossil fuels was harming the Earth for you, we were told to keep quiet. Oil producers were paying for the truth to be hidden; for lies to be told; for rich people's wealth to be protected.
I want to say sorry on behalf of my generation. Many of them think that there's nothing they can do about it now, but I have an MP whose job is to represent me, so I make sure she knows that I am worried about the World for you, not about her next election.
I hope you are in a place where you can get clean drinking water, on high ground away from the rising sea, out of the flood plain. I hope that drought and cyclone haven't brought famine to your community. I hope that you haven't suffered the civil unrest we predicted, because of shortages of food and water, and violent defensive action against desperate refugees from devastated homelands.
It's no comfort to you now, but I have been campaigning for two decades. At first, very few paid attention. Some thought me fanatical and provocative. More recently, people just seem to put it out of mind, foolishly leaving it to governments. There's always something considered a priority: Covid; Russia's invasion of Ukraine; Food poverty, etc. Sorry, but you are a victim of our failure to recognize the biggest, irreversible, deadly threat ~ not to 'our Planet' ~ but to the dominant species that lives on the Planet. We humans made the crisis worse by degrading the soils that produced our food, by destroying the habitats of other living things, in our greed for more and cheaper resources. We failed to recognize our part in the web of life and tried to dominate it. We didn't walk humbly with God in his Creation.
I know it will not be possible to return the Earth to how it was in 2022, but I pray that your surviving humans are wise and humble enough to work together to prevent further acceleration of warming, to a world where no humans can survive.
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