Note: I just turned in a grad school assignment to "Write a letter of any form, of any length for Dear Climate," which is a terrific website/project. This is the letter I wrote.
February 14, 2018
I’ve been thinking about a moment in my childhood. I’m a young teenager up to no good with a group of friends after school, wandering around Douglas, Alaska. We had the munchies. There was one paved road and one store in our little town—we headed there, grabbed a couple of candy bars, and walked down towards the beach.
Douglas is an island and its beach was our endless playground. It went on for miles and miles, dotted with abandoned mining buildings. Nearly daily we tromped around—exploring, escaping parents, having first kisses, impromptu parties or quiet moments amongst the drift wood and skunk cabbage.
At the beach one of my friends quickly devoured his snack and threw the wrapper on the sand.
“Don’t do that!” I shout in dismay.
“What are you talking about?”
“Don’t litter!” I pick up the wrapper, shove it in my pocket. “I don’t believe in littering.” Everybody laughs.
“What do you mean ‘believe in’? Believe in, ha!”
“I don’t BELIEVE in it!”
This is the moment I’ve been thinking about.
Environmental issues need to be as fundamental to humans as any essential belief system. As important as our deepest convictions. Being aware, concerned, actively living our lives with the environment in mind needs to be who we are, as humans. It should be our faith. It is mine.