What Would You Tell Future Loved Ones About Climate Change?

Dear Tomorrow aims to shift people’s thinking about how climate change affects us by encouraging people to send digital "messages in a bottle" to their future children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Author Anna Rees, 09.26.16

Dear Tomorrow aims to shift people’s thinking about how climate change affects us by encouraging people to send digital “messages in a bottle” to their future children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

According to a 2013 study, children are likely to have to carry the biggest load when it comes to dealing with the effects of climate change, facing an increase in health problems, higher rates of malnutrition and food insecurity as well as migration.

Dear Tomorrow reacts to this phenomenon, asking people to think about how they would explain climate change to the future generations of their family and post those thoughts in the form of letters, photos and videos on the Dear Tomorrow digital platform.

The idea of course harks back to the sense of responsibility parents feel about the kind of world they will leave for their children and aims to get people thinking about what they can do now to minimise how global warming will impact their kids’ lives. There’s the letter to the three year old son calling for people to remain hopeful and not get bogged down in doom and gloom. There’s the promise from one mother to work with 350.org to help facilitate a move away from coal. There’s the acknowledgement from a mother and environmental policy planner that access to water and clean air is not a given and is something she will continue to fight for. And plenty more. There are currently 200 letters and 75 photos in the Dear Tomorrow collection.

The team plans to keep the platform open and accessible until 2020 when it will be taken down and letters, videos and photos will then be released (in some form) in 2030 and again in 2050. Right now the team is working with an archivist to ensure that this release will be possible despite whatever leaps and bounds are made in technology in the meantime. The non-profit project launched in 2015 and recently took out the Judges’ Choice Award for Shifting Behaviour in MIT’s Climate CoLab competition. To learn more about the project or submit a post yourself, head to the website

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