Have you thought about how climate change will impact our world when your children grow up? Will they have clean air to breathe? Access to fresh water and healthy food? What kinds of energy and transportation systems will exist? What would you say to them when they ask ‘What did you do to ensure that I had a safe and secure future?’
You can begin to answer that question today. Through the DearTomorrow project. You can start to take an action today and inspire the ones around you to help build a better world where your children and grandchildren will thrive. Your message will remind them of the effort you made for them.
To learn more about DearTomorrow and how you can get involved, I have invited Jill Kubit, Co-Founder of Dear Tomorrow to give us a broader perspective.
Hi Jill! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your work and experience with us!
What is DearTomorrow?
Hi Grinia! DearTomorrow is an online community of people sharing messages to their children, family and future selves about climate change action. In their message, they share how they think about climate change, why its important to them and what they are doing to help address this important issue. These messages are archived and will be released in the year 2050.
When we think about climate change and its effects in the world, it is hard for many people to relate. The idea behind DearTomorrow is to help people think about climate change and the future we are creating for our children in a more personal way. We know climate change is happening now and that it will impact our children’s future. When we put ourselves in that future and imagine how life will be when they are our age, we can understand the importance of our actions. There are many things we can do now to minimize the impacts and contribute to the better world.
What inspired you to start this work?
I have been working on climate change for the past 10 years, engaging workers and communities to think about the problem and to understand that transitioning to a low carbon economy can also provide good opportunities for jobs, the economy and improved health. My interest has always been on how climate change and related policies affect people and their quality of life.
After I became a parent, my views changed. With everything I know about climate change and its impacts, I saw my own son growing over the next couple of decades when we need to make a transition to renewable energy. Dear Tomorrow was created to help us to think about the transformation that we can make and inspire us to take action now. We have the solutions available now. It is not too late!
We often hear about climate change and its impact in the world. But what is it really about?
Climate change is a complex problem and I will attempt to describe it in the simplest way that I know how. Basically, we are raising the planet’s temperature due to the burning of fossil fuels and land use changes like deforestation.
As the temperature of the planet rises, even in the smallest degrees, a number of negative things begin to happen including: sea level rise, more extreme weather events, and impacts on our food and fresh water. Scientists are concerned about this leading to mass migration, food and water shortages and all the complex social problems that comes with it.
That sounds scary! How could each one of us have an impact on this massive change?
Unfortunately, there is no one solution for this problem. But the good news is that there are actually many solutions that are available today. Solar energy, for example, is the lowest cost it has ever been and is becoming more and more affordable. And there are now programs out there where people can get solar panels with no upfront cost. This is just one example.
Because climate change is such a big issue, many of the solutions need to happen at a larger scale—through policy change or how businesses operate. Solutions are available but they don’t happen because there is not enough public demand. So, for people reading this, I would say that the most important thing is to show you care about this issue. You can vote for candidates that care about climate change, call your representatives, talk about it with your friends and family, attend a rally or event or get involved in a community project. This will not be a high priority issue until we make it one.
I also think it is important for people to set an example by doing– we need to walk the talk. We can show leadership to the people around us by being more environmentally friendly in our homes and our communities. If you are looking for ideas for what to do, check out our photo promises project, where people make a commitment to take on one new climate change action in their lives.
How can we get involved with DearTomorrow?
The place to start is to go to the website deartomorrow.org and read some of our featured letters or view our photo promises. And if you feel moved by our messages, help us spread the word by sharing them on social media. If you get even more inspired, we would love to have people write their own letter or share a photo. This project is open for everyone. We think it is an important way to open up a conversation about this critical issue. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to talk to your friends and family about why this is an important issue.
Does DearTomorrow accept donations?
Yes, we raised $25,000 in the first year of our project (from 156 donors ranging from $10 to $10,000) to launch the project. There has been a lot of interest in the project so we need to raise $300,000 next year to build and scale the project. We have a new opportunity to raise our first big foundation money for 2017 and are trying to secure $50,000 in crowdfunding and individual donors to help us secure this grant. You can check out our crowdfunding campaign. Donations at all levels are very much appreciated!
Jill, thank you so much again for your insights into climate change and for introducing us to DearTomorrow. I am inspired by your work and I will do my best to positively affect this massive transformation and help secure a better world for my children!
Jill Kubit is currently co-founder of DearTomorrow and is a founding member of Our Kids’ Climate, a new international coalition of parents groups working on climate change. Prior to this work, Jill spent a decade engaging the US labor movement on climate change at Cornell University’s ILR School. She brings deep content knowledge and a broad range of organizational development experience to her climate work including: building alliances and strategic partnerships, fundraising, developing communication strategies, researching and writing reports and articles, teaching, organizing events, and managing grants and budgets. Jill also currently organizes and teaches climate change leadership education programs for union leaders at CUNY’s Murphy Institute. A mom to an energetic 3 year old, Jill was inspired to join the DearTomorrow team from the first moment she heard the idea.
Photo promises: http://www.deartomorrow.org/photo-messages