Dear Solenne and Annika,
I am sorry. Today, 45 decided to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord. Our president made a decision that will affect you more than it will me. It will put our planet at risk. Our weather will be worse; our planet will warm; our sustainability and security is at stake. I write this the evening that he made the announcement to pull out. I want you to know that I am sorry. I also want to tell you how we as a family can make a difference.
Today, I talked with you, Solenne, about what happens when stars die. They grow in size and destroy our planet as a consequence. You asked me what that means for people. I said that people will no longer be on this planet. The fact is that humans will be long gone by the time our sun dies. And Trump will hasten our demise.
I am sorry.
I am sorry that we all thought Clinton would win. That I didn’t phone bank for her. That I didn’t donate enough.
I am sorry that the majority of the country underestimated the power of a populist who capitalized on a divisive campaign.
I am sorry that I drive to work; that I fly a lot; that our composter doesn’t really work; that our recycling is probably just thrown out; that I waste paper; that the lights are on right now when they don’t need to be; that I order a lot from Amazon.
I am sorry that even after writing this most of my behaviors won’t change. Our world is one where convenience is worshiped; where the other is undervalued.
I am also ashamed. You were born in France, Solenne. I admire their approach to respecting the other; whether that is food, drink, or the earth. Where cars are appropriately sized and houses have reasonable footprints. I will to teach you and your sister about what it means to live within our means on a planet where we must share resources. What do other countries think of us? How can we stand up and show the world that we care and are responsible for the planet as well?
I am a pragmatist. And I am furious at Trump and all he stands for. So I will make changes.
I will tell you both why we turn off lights, why we sometimes walk to the store, why we use the air conditioner sparingly. I will tell you that we share this planet and that its lifetime is finite as well. You are both young; 4 and 6 years old, but it will take education and dedication by parents across the world to stand up to Trump’s disgusting decision.
So tomorrow I will walk to work. And we will all make small changes in our lives because those small changes add up.
I love you and promise that we can make a difference together.