Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Letter Written In 2070

Ten copies of this letter were distributed to each elementary school student who was then tasked to solicit comments based on the content of the letter.  I was one of those given a copy for my comment. When I read the entire letter, I must admit that it made me ruminate for quite a while over the seriousness of its content. The letter may sound alarmist to most people, but the changes that have been happening in our environment are more than enough reason for me to set aside my skepticism. I decided to share and pass this on so you can also ponder on this and form your own opinion.

Here's the letter's content:

We are in the year 2070.

I just turned 50 years old, but look 85.

I experience major kidney problems because I drink very little water. I think that I don't have much more time to live. Today, I am the oldest person living in this society.

I remember when I was 5 years old, everything was very different. There were lots of trees in the parks, houses had beautiful gardens, and I could enjoy long baths and stay in the shower for one whole hour. Now, we have to clean ourselves by using disposable towelletes moisturized with mineral oil. Before, women were proud of their beautiful hair. Now, we have to shave our head to keep it clean without using water. Before, my father used to wash his car with water that came out of a hose. Today, children find it hard to believe that one could ever use water to perform that task. I remember the many warnings: "DON'T WASTE WATER"  But nobody paid attention.

People assumed that water was unlimited. Today, rivers, dams, lagoons, and underground water, are all either irremediably polluted or completely dried up. The landscape that surrounds us has turned into nothing more than an immense dessert. Gastro-intestinal infections, and skin and urinary diseases, have now become the main causes of death. Industry is paralyzed, and the jobless rate has reached dramatic level. Desalination plants are the main employers. They give one drinking water instead of a salary. People are being constantly mugged for water on deserted streets.

80% of food is synthetic. Before, it was recommended that an adult drink 8 glasses of water a day. Today, I am allowed only half a glass. Since we cannot wash our clothes, we throw them after use, which increases the amount of thrash. We had to go back to using septic tanks just like in the past century, because the sewage system stopped working due to lack of water. People look scary; their bodies are weak, parched by extreme dehydration, covered by sores caused by ultraviolet rays that the atmosphere can no longer filter since the ozone layer is already depleted. Due to the dryness of her skin, a 20 year-old woman looks more than 40.

Scientists perform all types of research and investigations, but there's no solution in sight. We cannot produce water. The lack of trees reduces the amount of oxygen available, which in turn lowers the intellectual quotient of up-coming generations.The morphology of many individual's spermatozoa was altered...which results in children being born with all sorts of deficiencies, mutations, and malformations. The government even makes us pay a tax for the air we breathe: 137 cubic meter per adult per day [31,102 gallons].

Those who can't pay the tax are expulsed from the "ventilated areas" that are equipped with gigantic mechanical lungs, powered by solar energy. The air supplied in the "ventilated areas" is not of good quality, but at least, one can breathe there.

The average age is 35.

Some countries succeeded in preserving a few islands of vegetation with their own streams. These areas are closely monitored by the army. Water has become a rare commodity, a highly sought after treasure, infinitely more valuable than gold and diamonds. Here, though, there are no more trees because it hardly ever rains. And whenever it does rain, it is acid rain that comes down. There are no more seasons. Climatic changes, such as the greenhouse effect, and the polluting activities we indulged in during the twentieth century, took care of that. We were warned to take care of our environment, but nobody bothered.

When my daughter asks me to tell her how it was when I was young, I describe the beauty of the forests. I tell her about the rain, about the flowers, about how pleasurable it was to bathe, to fish in the rivers and lakes, and being able to drink as much water as one desired. I tell her about how healthy people used to be.

She asks me: Daddy! Why is there no more water?

I feel a lump in my throat...I can't help but feel guilty, because I belong to the generation that completed the destruction of our environment by simply not taking seriously any of the warnings...and there were so many of them! I belong to the last generation who could have made a difference, but who chose not to act. Today, our children pay the hefty price.

Quite frankly, I think that, within a short time, life on this Earth will no longer be possible, because the destruction of our environment has reached its point of no return.

How I wish I could go back in time and get the Human race to understand this... at a time when it was still possible for us to do something to save our planet Earth.

Share this!!!

This is no game, it is already a reality. Do it for your children. If you don't have any yet, you will someday.

Don't leave them hell as a legacy... Leave them life!

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