Julian Barlow 's Letter

To future generations ,

It’s a strange thing, writing a letter to generations yet to come and trying to predict the state of the planet they will come to inhabit. Homo Sapiens have been walking the Earth for over 300,000 years but it is only recently that we’ve begun to understand the huge damage we have wrought since. The term ‘climate change’ doesn’t even appear in print until 1975 but in the intervening 50 years we’ve witnessed catastrophic destruction and extreme weather events becoming commonplace - raging temperatures, wildfires, flooding, and rising sea levels.

As I ponder where we’ll be in another 50 years, I am concerned that my one-year-old granddaughter, Gracie will be denied the things that my generation has taken for granted. Polar bears in the Arctic and four distinct seasons with snow in winter and sun in summer. I worry that this ‘Green Planet’ will be anything but green if we continue on this trajectory.

I do, however, have hope. The outlook may be bleak, but we are more aware than ever of the mammoth challenge that faces us and huge technological advances, if used wisely, mean we could better placed to overcome it.

There have been incredible developments in renewable energy, for example and I can only imagine what’s yet to come in this field. I work with a community energy group in Wiltshire which encourages the proliferation of wildlife and seeks to reduce carbon emissions, and I believe that if the UK government would heed the call of its people to promote more investment in renewable projects like ours, we could begin to turn the tide. We crowd fund – paying our like-minded investors a reasonable return and in turn we run our solar farms for community benefit, pay for energy for schools and village halls, and protect habitats for wildlife whilst reducing carbon. What’s not to like, eh?

I hope that, when you look back, the history books will show that the people in power – those still pursuing regressive fossil fuel licenses – came to their senses in time. I hope they’ll show that they prioritised preserving the planet for you and your children over short-term profit. I hope that the global community was able to do enough, giving you a platform from which to do more…

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