Letters to the future: Will we finally tackle climate change? | News Feature | Indy Week
Pin It

Letters to the future: Will we finally tackle climate change? 

World leaders from more than 190 countries will convene in Paris during the first two weeks of December for the long-awaited United Nations Climate Change Conference. Will the governments of the world finally pass a binding global treaty aimed at reducing the most dangerous impacts of global warming ... or will they fail?

Letters to the Future, a national project involving more than 40 alternative weeklies across the United States, set out to find authors, artists, scientists and others willing to draft letters to future generations of their own families, predicting the success or failure of the Paris talks—and the future that followed.

Some participants were optimistic about what is to come; others, not so much.

Jeffrey C. Billman

Dear future INDY readers: First off, you exist! That's wonderful—and maybe a little surprising. In my time, newspapers are being written off as anachronisms to be gutted, hollowed out and sold for scrap. (Related: Is Twitter still a thing?) It's good to know we survived, in one form or another. (Or maybe you're reading this in a library archive? Oh well.)

Come to think of it, though, maybe that's how my generation should be looking at things like coal and crude, bygone relics to be cast aside in a clean-energy future. But even a generation after we realized that releasing climate-shaking quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere might be a problem, the fossil-fuel industry's clout and avarice remain largely unchecked. The tiniest steps toward a more sustainable future are met with ferocious resistance or outright denial. We've been cowards, afraid to own up to the consequences of our modernity, content to pass along the costs to our posterity.

But there came a point when our cowardice was indefensible.

That's why, as your history books tell you, the Paris climate talks were so important. This was the moment that the world admitted we have a real problem that requires real solutions that may have real short-term pain, but the cost of inaction is, in the long run, much greater.

At least, for your sake, that's how I hope it played out.

Billman is the INDY's editor in chief.

Tags:

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in News Feature



Twitter Activity

Comments

An update in 2018:

Last year a close friend of mine adopted a kitten from Goathouse who is absolutely …

by Fireflytamer on The truth about the Goathouse Refuge (News Feature)

Rich - I have provided a sound argument. The problem is, you don't have a defense because I'm right. I'm …

by For Real??? on They Hate Racists. They Love Assault Rifles. Meet Redneck Revolt. (News Feature)

Most Read

Most Recent Comments

An update in 2018:

Last year a close friend of mine adopted a kitten from Goathouse who is absolutely …

by Fireflytamer on The truth about the Goathouse Refuge (News Feature)

Rich - I have provided a sound argument. The problem is, you don't have a defense because I'm right. I'm …

by For Real??? on They Hate Racists. They Love Assault Rifles. Meet Redneck Revolt. (News Feature)

For Real - -
These are words the Left love and abuse - Race, Hate and bigotry, because you have …

by Rich Seibert on They Hate Racists. They Love Assault Rifles. Meet Redneck Revolt. (News Feature)

Rich - I'm not taking shots at you, I'm must being honest. What is your problem with the left? If …

by For Real??? on They Hate Racists. They Love Assault Rifles. Meet Redneck Revolt. (News Feature)

Friday, April 13th, 2018
Today, looking from below the parking lot (map item # 4 - the West.) up to …

by Doug Johnston on Dix Hill today and proposed plans (News Feature)

© 2018 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation