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The world I know | Letters to the future: The Paris Climate Project

Dear future,

I wish you could know the magnificent world I know. I grew up in a place romanticized in fiction as Greentown and, as an adult, I lived on the rocky seacoast of New Hampshire, along the mighty Mississippi, in the shadow of the Continental Divide in Montana, on the great lake in Chicago and just feet from the white sandy beaches of an island paradise in Florida.

Sunrise after sunrise, sunset after sunset, I could step outside and celebrate Earth and all that existed in nature. Just yesterday, I stood on the beach, sand sifting over my toes, and caught a glimpse of four young dolphins leaping from the Gulf of Mexico, their gray tails glistening with water.

Later in the day, I reported a story on the BP oil spill: Half of the oil that gushed from the Deepwater Horizon well in the spring of 2010 likely remains on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico and chemical dispersants — extensively employed to break up the oil — failed.

Future, I suspect my beach is underwater now and Gulf of Mexico waves are rolling over the cement slab that once held my home. Maybe the optimist in me should take comfort in the notion of a new nature overrunning the island. Maybe. Future, is that what’s happened? Is that what we left you? Or did we leave you even less?

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