Even when people understand the dangers of climate change, they can struggle to find the motivation to act.

Shrum: “It’s a global problem that happens across generations and has the tendency to make you feel small and powerless.”

That’s environmental scientist Trisha Shrum. She believes one way to inspire climate action is to encourage people to think about what the future holds for their children and grandchildren.

So she and climate activist Jill Kubit launched a website called “Dear Tomorrow.” On the site, visitors can upload a letter, photo, or video for their loved ones to see in the future. The messages will be shared with their recipients in the year 2030.

Shrum: “Dear Tomorrow is an attempt to connect actions today with consequences of the future in a very real way, and in a way that relates to our most closely held priorities.”

In the messages, some people share their hopes and fears about the impacts of climate change. Others promise to take action – to grow their own food, invest in renewable energy, consume fewer resources, or commit themselves to climate activism.

Shrum hopes that as people consider the consequences of a warmer world on future generations, they will feel more significant — and personally accountable — in the fight against climate change.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.

Bud Ward

Bud Ward is Editor of Yale Climate Connections. He started his environmental journalism career in 1974. He later served as Assistant Director of the U.S. Congress's National Commission on Air Quality,...