New Orleans Is Your Home. Will It Still Stay Viable?

This Father’s Day, Climate Dads is collecting stories from fathers to their families on how they are taking action on climate change. In partnership with the DearTomorrow project, each message will be published on our website, promoted through social media, and featured as part of the Climate Dads launch.

Climate Dad Bart Everson wrote the following message to his sons. Share your own story

Dear Daughter,

It’s 2050. You are 42 years old now, a year older than my own age when you were born. You may have children of your own now, or not. Who knows? So much is unclear from where I sit in 2018.

I don’t know where you’ll be living. New Orleans, the city of your birth, is the only home you’ve ever known. But will it still be viable in 2050? I hope so, but given rising sea levels, coastal erosion, and climate change, there’s reason to wonder.

I’m writing this today to let you know that these issues were very much on my mind in 2018 — and on the minds of so many other people around the world. In fact these issues have been with us well before you were born.

At some point in the future, people will look back at us and wonder, did they know? did they care? what did they do? So I’m writing this today to let you know that some of us did know and did care and struggled to turn our society around.

The struggle today is primarily political, but I believe it also has a spiritual dimension. A reverence for Mother Earth renews our will even when we feel defeated. That is why I’ve remained engaged both in building a local Green Party and developing an Eco-Pagan religious practice. Both of these aim to keep Mother Earth at the center of all we do.

You are only ten as I write this, and naturally you take much for granted. We live in a bubble of like-minded people, and yet I often feel we’re out in the margins, on the fringe, when compared to our nation. In the coming decades, that may change. The Earth-centered perspective may become more widespread. By 2050, perhaps we’ll be in good company. I sincerely hope so.

Despite running off to community meetings every so often, I hope you will remember that I took time to be with you, to read to you at bedtime, and just to enjoy each other’s company. Even when contemplating huge global-historical issues — especially then — it’s important to stay grounded in the present time and place, the specific here and now, and the minute affairs of everyday interpersonal relations. That’s all a part of my responsibility to you, which I wouldn’t shirk for anything.

Much love,

Bart Everson is a founding member of the Green Party of Louisiana.

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