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To my nephew, A.,
It's November 2022, and the UN climate conference COP27 has started in Egypt. I hope you'll read this in 2030, when you're 22. I hope I'll still be around in 8 years! Maybe on a cruise along the river Nile, sunbathing like a crusty old crocodile.
I hope that, 8 years from now, the climate crisis will be better than it's looking from here.
In 'The Odyssey', Odysseus gets home at last from the war and his wanderings. In secret, he watches his elderly father Laertes, working on his farm, in worn-out clothes, looking after the trees. Laertes hopes that one day his son will come home, to enjoy the trees. Maybe he'll climb in them again.
I hope that the world's governments will find the courage to keep the promises they made in the Paris Agreement, when they drew a line at 1.5 degrees of global warming. At the moment, they're not doing that.
In the first century AD, a poor man, kept under armed guard, under house arrest, in chains, dictated a letter saying that the 3 most important things in the world are belief, hope and love. Not long after, he was tried, condemned and executed. But 20 centuries later, his words are still read and spoken all around the world.
I hope companies will stop wasting resources, and use clean energy efficiently.
In 'Nicholas Nickleby', Charles Dickens writes about a red-nosed alcoholic office clerk called Newman Noggs. He makes hot buttered toast for his elderly father, 'the aged p.' Noggs says, 'Always hope.'
I hope people use fewer animal products, and stop throwing away plastic, metal, glass, cloth, paper and cardboard, and instead reduce, re-use and recycle.
In the year I was born, so many people were running away from East Berlin that the East German government made their half of the city into one huge prison inside the Berlin Wall. The Manchester novelist Anthony Burgess travelled to Eastern Europe, and then wrote a comic novel about the Soviet Union. The novel ends in Finland. Burgess hoped that the nightmare of Stalinism would end, and he expressed his hope by describing the finale of Sibelius' 'Finlandia'. In the 90s, the nightmare did end. The Berlin Wall fell. Many thousands of people have gone to Berlin, where the Brandenburg Gate stands open, and walked through.
In the 70s and 80s, people boycotted goods from apartheid South Africa. In 1990, Nelson Mandela, after 27 years in jail, breaking stones on Robben Island, walked out free at last. He was elected President of South Africa. There was no war. Mandela, and the politician who let him go, won the Nobel Peace Prize. Hope is power.
Every year, the river Nile rises, waters the land, and brings Egypt back to life.
Let's hope in human belief, hope and love.
Love from J. x
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