For all our children and their children
To All the Young Ones and those Yet to be Born,
These are strange times. We are giving you a world that once was ecological rich – with over 8 million species and now more than half are threatened by our carelessness. The world is less resilient, more fragile and less diverse than when we inherited it from our parents. From climate change to habitat loss, from overpopulation to pollution, you have every right to be worried. We have failed you and for that I am truly sorry!
And yet the same time, the very innovation that brought us the things we have come to covet – smart phones and Wifi – that kind of thinking can be harnessed to create a better world. And therein is lies the hope. With your help, we have a chance to do something extraordinary.
Everyone talks about sustainability. But I’d like you to be bolder. For sustaining what we are doing is simply not enough. Instead, I want you to think about a more useful word. One that has the power to transform how we life on this earth. The word is “regenerative.” The answer to our problems is not only a technical one (finding ways to get off fossil fuels) and a social one (reducing waste, energy use and consumption) but it is also looking to life itself for healing.
Instead of thinking about reducing our impact and doing less harm, let’s work toward doing more good. We can create nature rich spaces where both nature and people thrive. We an regenerate. That means creating buildings that are biophilic – having nature inside and out. It is possible to buildings and places that are more bio-diverse then before a building was there. In a way, our buildings can become part of our ecosystem and as a result, so will we. Let’s use nature materials – that when their life cycle is over, they become part of the soil. Let’s plant food right next to where we live – and harvest local and healthy food. Instead of creating highways for people – let’s create corridors for nature, so that ecosystems and habitats are connected. Let’s design products based on the circular economy. In nature nothing goes to waste – so every product, when its useful life is over, can be re-purposed for something else.
In these challenging times, the answer is located right where it has always been - in nature. And it should be in our better nature to seek inspiration there. From the bottom of my heart, I hope you will.
With much love, Jacob Rodenburg
Our dear children & grandchildren
To our wonderful Family,
This letter is to tell you that we love you all so very much and are very concerned about how Climate Change might damage your lives & future. We also want you to know that because of our love for you, even though we are aging Seniors we never stop trying to combat & mitigate this Crisis.
We are Climate Activists who work especially through Peterborough For Our Grandchildren to educate & engage the public and all levels of government to deal with this Emergency before it is too late. And we are increasingly successful, we think. For example, we were instrumental in persuading our City Council in September 2019 to enact a Declaration of Climate Emergency, and then to establish a meaningful Fund to take real & useful Climate Action. And we are working closely with & through our M.P. Maryam Monsef, to press our national Govt to do much, much more to meet Canada’s promised & essential GHG emissions reduction targets & timelines. We try very hard to forward the protection of our vital natural world, our wonderful carbon storing trees, forests & wetlands & ecosystems. No action is too small or too big for us to try to undertake, including even trying to get Dad to eat more veggies & less meat!!
In short, we can never stop trying, can never lose hope, because we & our generation MUST leave & bequeath to You a clean, green planet & clean environment in which you can all have healthy and happy lives on this beautiful Earth. Our great LOVE for You is what inspires our continuing Hope.
And we also hope that long after we are gone, whenever you stop just to breath the fresh air and smell the flowers and hear the bird songs all around, that you feel the awesome joy of Mother Nature in her and your flourishing health. That is our great dream for you.
Love You Forever, ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Mom & Dad/. Gramma & Grampa Morton
To my precious Blaire, Finn, Hugh, William, Norah and Lou
I really woke up to the severity of climate change in 2017 when I went to a three-day conference with the organization, Climate Reality Project. It was devastating to fully understand what we have done to this beautiful planet and were continuing to do. I am so very sorry... I have been working very hard since that time as an environmental activist in our community. I give power point presentations on the science and I work with a group called “For Our Grandchildren” which works hard on local environmental issues. We recently successfully lobbied our local government to declare a climate emergency, which was passed in September of 2019. I had the privilege of speaking as a delegate to city council on behalf of 4RG that night. It was a thrilling experience to see the declaration pass. The dial was moving.
So many still do not fully appreciate what is happening as some political and economic interests work against awareness. There is some recent hope however as the media has appreciated the latest report from the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Oc. 2018) and is finally reporting on it properly. And…. people see the evidence through the terrible disasters playing out now around the world. People are now waking up from a long sleep. There is hope.
I love you all very very much and will continue to do what I can to protect you and all the children of the future. My dearest wish is for the world to find beauty, balance and love. You deserve no less.
Love and hope,
Anouk, Juni, Rafi, Oscar, Charlie, and Louie
For many years I have tried to take action to protect nature and to assure that the world you live in will be as magnificent and nature-rich as the world I was born into. I have tried my best to open people's eyes to the wonders of the natural world and to the importance of assuring a stable climate on which all of life depends. Despite all the bad news here in 2020, I do see signs of hope all around me: the rising tide of young people who are speaking out and protesting, the many corporations that are trying to change the way they do business, and the numerous groups here in Peterborough that are taking action. At the same time, however, I am outraged that change is happening fast enough, especially when we know what has to be done and we have the technologies to make a carbon-free future a reality.
My greatest hope is that you will never have to ask yourselves: "Why didn't people in a position to slow down and eventually stop climate change take action when they knew what was coming? Why were so many people so indifferent and just sat on the sidelines? How could they not care that future generations would undoubtedly suffer unbearable hardship?
I love you all very much.
My Dearest Gabi. I keep your photo out in view everyday because you are precious to me. I am very proud of you for your participation in a local club that works on justice for all people. Your concern about the environment maintaining a healthy future is admirable. As your Great Aunt, I promise to follow the three R's Reduce, Reuse and Recycle in my daily life. I love how a composter gives you new soil for enhancing your garden and then you have less waste to send to the landfill. Enjoy exploring the natural world. It's great that you and your Mom go bike riding. You live near one of the most beautiful parts of Ontario. Thanks for sharing it with me when I came to visit. Our family really does enjoy bird watching. We must protect the earth, water and air for the future of your children. Hugs
The children I never had and the mother who passed down family trauma
My grandparents had no greatgrandchildren. This branch of the tree is dying... we're all over 50. So perhaps that's the single biggest thing I've accidentally done to limit damage to the planet... fewer people. I expect Earth to end this century with billions of less living humans on it than it started with - humans are pretty awesome so that's a huge tragedy.
What concerns me about climate change is that positive feedbacks are already happening. I frustrated by people who can't connect all the systems that are interrelated. I'm fairly sure and simultaneously terrified that things are going to get rapidly more dire. I watch the fires worldwide, pay attention to the ice, worry about the methane, ache for the daily extinctions, rail against the pathological behaviours and governance, keep sinking into spirit and soul so my capacity for grief can accommodate it all.
I'm living a small life. No car (14 years), no flights (9 years), insulated, efficient home kept at 17C, buy local, eat seasonally, grow some my own food, reduced meat, etc. etc. etc. I try to help with community initiatives but have mental health limitations (see trauma). I wish I could have deep relationships (see trauma). I will continue doing what I can.
I have hope because I think we are a tough, resilient species. I hope some humans will survive and turn this beautiful planet back into the garden for all species from which we evolved. I hope because I see so many individuals and groups pulling in right directions.
Despite everything I love my mother because she gave me life. She truthfully did the best she could protecting and raising me safety in a rich environment. She continues to live her life with purpose and friendships. She stays busy in service to others and that's admirable. She created this environmentally aware person that is me.
And too the never conceived children... It wasn't until about a decade ago that I finally got how wonderful and honourable it is to be part of the continuation of this human experiment and how ultimately creative and daunting it is to choose to parent. I missed out on the growth and development that comes with having children and being a parent. They missed out on existence.
My dearest niece I am writing to tell you my concerns about climate change. I am concerned that our home, our planet is on fire. We humans have taken for granted for far too long that Mother Earth will always look after us and we have neglected to look after Her. I am concerned about the quality of our drinking water, especially on many First Nations reserves where drinking water alerts have been the norm for generations of people. I am concerned that our government promises to do better but has not met its obligations and promises as one of the calls to actions. I am concerned that my generation is not going to leave Mother Earth in a good enough condition to protect your generation and your children's generation.
But Jessica I do have hope for the future. One reason is this..the amazing young woman Gretta Thunburg is inspiring young people all over the world, and they are responding to her call to do what ever they can do, now. And these young people are demanding that my generation make changes so we can stop further damage and begin the work of leaving the earth a better place for you my dear. And she is forcing politicians and governments to take action, albeit they are slow to react.
Here is what I am doing to help Jessica. As you know I no longer have a car, and I walk everywhere I go, or ride with a friend. I reduce the amount of garbage I am producing and I recycle everything that is recyclable. I do not smoke and I do not send smoke out into the air by any means, with the exception of using candles. I have greatly reduced the use of any chemical cleaning products, instead using natural cleaning products, like baking soda and vinegar. I am conscious of how much water I use, by turning off the tap when brushing my teeth and turning it back on only to rinse my brush. I do not take long showers.
My local Quaker Meetings for Worship has taken on several of The Calls to Action resulting from the Truth & Reconciliation Recommendations, including actions around water. I attend workshops and conferences at Trent University on topics related to these Recommendations and I have been an active part of that initiative, writing letters to government leaders. Due to my own limitations I have not gone on any of our local Water Walks, but I hope in the future to join a group of Water Walkers for even a short stretch of the walk near my home.
I keep up with the current events and respond whenever the opportunity presents itself, such was signing petitions regarding Grassy Narrows, the Transmountain Pipepline, equal education for young people living on reserves and more. I am active with our local chapter of Amnesty International and I attend meetings, rallies and write letters, especially on the annual Write for Rights day when many gather to write letters to heads of governments around the world, asking them to please free someone who has been wrongly or unfairly imprisoned for doing their job as a journalist or simply speaking out against what they see as unjust behaviour of governments or corporations, such as mining or tree cutting on sacred territories without consultation with landowners, private as well as Indigenous leaders.
I have let our Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment know that I believe that our Tar Sands must not carry on the way they have for years and that we must rapidly decrease our dependence of fossil fuels. I have written to both levels of government about the need for decreasing motor vehicles on our roads by encouraging or forcing car manufacturers to produce electric vehicles and to encourage more use of public transportation.
Locally I have let our own City Council know that I approve of their decisions regarding reducing the number of individual cars on our streets and they are making some inroads. They just approved letting children ride free on our local buses, and are working on creating more bike lanes and places for bikes to be locked up.
I walk around my area of the city almost every day and I encounter many other people out walking, riding their bikes or roller blades. I encounter people cross country skiing and snowshoeing, rather than using snowmobiles, although there is still certain numbers of the population that likes their big trucks and off road vehicles, sadly.
I believe strongly in taking nothing but pictures when I am out and about, except for collecting fallen leaves and flowers, pressing them to make my own cards, reducing the labour and materials used by large card companies, like Hallmark.
I limit my use of television, computer and cell phone for my own health benefits and to reduce the amount of electricity and WiFi use affecting the environment. I support organizations like our local Peterborough Field Naturalists, For Our Grandchildren, our annual Dandelion Day and Purple Onion Festival. I buy our local currency, the Kawartha Loon and support the vendors who accept it. I shop every week at our local Farmers Markets to support our local farmers rather than the large grocery chains.
I try very hard not to waste food by purchasing only what I need. When I prepare food I make an effort to make large quantities so that I have leftovers and not using more electricity than necessary. I am also involved in feeding those less fortunate in our community and support organizations and individuals in my community that are pushing for affordable housing to reduce and hopefully eliminate people living in tents like has been happening for too long and came to a crisis this past year.
As you know my dear, I have chronic health issues, so I do have to pace my activities, but I can support my friends who have more energy in their endeavors. And one final thing Jessica. I have made the decision to take the train when I visit you all in Winnipeg this summer, rather than fly.
I hope you can forgive me and my generation for being so careless with our environment and trust than I am doing what I can to leave our earth a better place for you and your loved ones. And know that I love all of you with all of my heart dear Jessica. Like me, you are the eldest daughter and I know you take things seriously as well as with a sense of humour. I have watched you grow into a beautiful young woman, wife and now mother and I admire how you and Jon are raising your children. I know they will grow up to be responsible young people as well.
I have written this letter as part of a workshop that I will be attending this coming Saturday, January 18, led by Dorothy Taylor a local advocate for protecting our water and other initiatives. This too is an action I have chosen to take.
What to do? How to be? Challenges for My Grandchildren
Oneness. Don’t lose it!! In all the shimmering chimera of our lives, living oneness is the reality. Namaste! T’ai Chi, QiGong, Zen, African, Caribbean spirituality – all are expressions of our conscious perception of the sacred. Everything, every existent phenomenon, is sacred.
Without consciousness, can you have love? Can you have love enough to change your life, to think and live in such a way as to save this planet?
Show me a sign. Show me how you traded in your car for a bike. Show me how you take vacations right here where you live. Show me how you make a gift for a friend instead of checking what’s at Walmart. Show me how you plant a pollinator garden for the insects so local farms can grow our food. Show me how you volunteer where help is needed at the Warming Room, One Roof, Carol’s Place. Show me how you struggle to understand the jerk who lives next door. Show me how you feed the birds, witness in awe and wonder the natural world and find in the process all those other treasures money can never buy – joy and happiness. And gratitude, and therefore that ever-elusive vitality, more necessary and sacredly creative than anything – the transformative energy of love.
And so – much, much love to you,
Andrew Robert McCracken
To: Andrew Robert McCracken
My dear grandson, I always felt I would do anything to help my children, but it wasn’t until you came into the world January 2019 that I woke up from day to day living and realized I had to do more to help keep the planet healthy for you as you grow up!
I quickly realized that time was running out to help our planet and joined the group “For Our Grandchildren" 4RG, to try and do more and make others realize we need to start now to help the planet for all living creatures.
Many of the young people of this generation are amazing at speaking up to the government and school boards to do more and move faster to save our planet.
This website, the caring youth, and organizations like ‘For Our Grandchildren’ give me hope, dear Andrew, for your future. Because as 4RG motto goes – There is no planet B!
Hoping you will realize the wonder and beauty of nature and our beautiful province, country, and the world during your lifetime!
Love you dearly, and striving to help with your future,
Grandma Connie McCracken
I love you.
What gives me hope as we face this time of climate crisis?
The understanding that the Earth can take care of herself. While we will reap the results of our actions and inactions, and that may be difficult at times, the Earth and her magnificence will be what she will be.
What am I doing to behave reasonably?
Going to continue to greatly reduce the stuff I buy. Further limit the amount of meat I eat. Pay more attention to where the stuff I buy comes from and how it was produced. And reduce packaging in my food and all other purchases.
And love up those around me.
And meditate, aiming to bring more peace to the world through peace in myself.
Dear Mother Earth ~
Dear Mother Earth:
Humanity is not a monolith, but a very large group of us decided to move away from your embrace long ago. Why any human collective would want to become alienated from our other-than-human relatives in Earth Community, and leave the sacred circle of Indigenous Society is a mystery, and a mistake of the highest order. Without the reciprocity we had always known, the misguided among us broke natural laws and built vast civilizations misusing your elements, minerals, metals, mountains, forests, plants, watersheds and animal labor.
Without any care or respect for the well-being of the natural world, artificial cities were created by domination, greed, waste, ecocide and plunder. And as the insatiability of all this urbanity continued to attack Indigenous people and the land, the agenda of the Colonizer led to more abuse from fantasies like the endless growth paradigm, and dangerous new forms of industry and technology. Today, the dark engines of our destructive civilization have culminated in a worldwide Empire that encircles us like a snare, and continues to shape human reality. And yet, here at the 11th hour, millions of us are waking up to the impossibility of believing in the lies, and we are acknowledging that the systems of capitalism and endless growth are not compatible with the life-generating design and natural systems of the planet.
Dear Mother Earth, please know that many of us have never stopped loving you, being embedded in you, and knowing you as Sacred and the source of all life. We now see that there are countless ways the living magic and primal matrix of the Sacred Earth Mysteries are returning to our lives, in the shape of things, the ancient shadows and the hidden meanings. The eternal Indigenous archetypes that weave natural law into human life continue to arise, and are showing up RIGHT NOW in profound expressions of resilience, resistance, and the return to Earth Community. Beyond the toxicity of the rectangular-steel flatline, concrete-girded industrial world, the truth of the tribal human soul and the touch of the tribal human hand continue to manifest, and guiding forces are already in place for the collective recovery of our Ancient Spirit and eco-selves.
Because of you, Our Beloved Earth, we continue to access a deep well of ancestral knowing, and your Web of Life continues to sustain all beings with the everlasting restoration of healing and new growth. And even though some humans among us accept the illusion of separation from the natural world, please know that the earth-emergent ones are awake and aware, and ready to embrace your harmonic intelligence once again. Dear Earth, as your Great Heart continues to thrive, please do not give up on us.
Denise Morton Sayles, Neil David Morton, their families & all our Grandchildren
Dearest Daughter & Son & Our Family, I am writing this letter to you in 2020 because Dad/Grampa & I cherish you all so very dearly, and we worry so much about the impacts of Climate Change on your future.
To begin, our sincere apology for what our post-war generation has done to our planet by our greedy hyper-consumerist, wasteful way of life. We were steeped in the ideology/religion of Capitalism that endless growth is possible & essential. And we truly never knew that we were destroying our own Mother Nature and her precious and fragile atmosphere by our endless polluting production & emissions especially of the green house gases that are causing what is euphemistically named Climate Change. But by now in the 21rst century the damage is all too clear, confirmed not only by Science but by what we see all around us as large parts of our planet AND of our own Canada are burning up while others are flooded by the rising seas and waters, and our sacred water is increasingly polluted & poisoned, and our beautiful natural world & all its wondrous species of life, including Human life, are at increasingly great risk.
Some call this the Sixth Great Extinction. But We Cannot allow this tragedy to happen, and although our generation are now aging Seniors, many of us are fighting hard to halt this Crisis especially because it so immensely threatens the wellbeing of our own beloved children & grandchildren & future generations. This is why Dad & I with our fellow Environmental Activists are fighting so hard to educate & engage the public & to press our political leaders to take really strong & effective action NOW to stop our deadly pollution & still increasing CO2 emissions —- to leave our fossil fuels in the ground and provide education and massive help to us all to transition as quickly as possibly to clean, green renewable forms of energy, because it is essential that by 2030 we decrease our emissions by 45 per cent to net Zero by 2050.
And there is good reason for Hope that we can halt this so menacing existential crisis because we already have the technology to do so. But it will take All of us & our collective will power & major political action to achieve these essential goals before it is too late, as otherwise “Climate Change” will reach the tipping point when, as per the melting of our own Canadian permafrost & Arctic Ice, it becomes self-perpetuating and unstoppable.
And admittedly your Dad/Grampa & I Mom/gramma are ourselves old, aging and so tired that we can sometimes slip into hopelessness & despair. But we are so Very fortunate to be members of such a courageous, hopeful, supportive and inspiring group as Peterborough FOR OUR GRANDCHILDREN.
But what most of all inspires us is YOU, our dearest beloved family, and our greatest wish to leave for you & future generations of Morton-Sayles families a planet that is not only liveable but also also healthy enough that you all can likewise experience the great joy You have given to us and our lives, and all have a wonderful and always Hopeful future. And so perhaps this will be our own greatest legacy to you, our pledge that so long as we are able, we will strongly for You, continue our struggle to bequeath to You & your family as healthy as possible our Mother Earth, so that you can journey through this awesome life with much Joy and always great Hope for the future.
And of course we do hope that when you later on in the 2020’s can read this letter, we might even be still alive 😊😉! But if not, we do want to leave this, our special legacy & bequeathal to you.
LOVE YOU SO MUCH AND FOREVER ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Mom & Dad Morton