Judith Russenberger's Letter

To my daughter Heidi,

I am both sorry and angry.

Sorry because you have spent so much of your life living with the threat of climate change and doing all you can, including being arrested, to avert this disaster. Sorry because you know that glacier are receding changing the Alps forever. Sorry because you know our native trees such as the beech will be no more. Sorry because you know our wild flowers -such as the bluebell - and butterflies will disappear. Sorry because you know that the crisis is increasing inequality, creating more homelessness and poverty, more forced migration, more grief. I am sorry that you are growing up in a world where you can see the disaster that is coming.

And angry because your future shouldn’t be like this. We have known of the risk of climate change throughout my whole life time and yet governments and big businesses have put profit first whilst allowing the climate crisis to grow and grow. And I am angry that your efforts to prompt change have been so resolutely ignored by our government. And I am angry that governments and businesses can be so callous in their disregard for the well being of others. I am angry that I feel so powerless, that you and I are trapped in a system which has no reset button. And I am sorry that I have not created a better future for you.

I wish we could see a miraculous change of heart in the world, that governments would free people from the tyranny of fossil fuels and give them renewable energy instead. I wish we would all live more simply so that land and oceans can be rewilded, so that natural resources are conserved. I wish we could embrace a shorter working week and have time to enjoy the wonder of life. I wish governments would ensure a basic income for all, free education, health and social care. I wish we had strong communities where the well being of all was a priority. I wish we were more caring of each other, better able to listen and to talk to one another.

A tiny part of me believes that these changes might yet be possible - but it feels like a small hope.

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