The 100 Year Letter Project: Akaash Maharaj
We asked friends of DeSmogBlog to write a letter to their great, great grandchildren about their vision and hopes for their world in 100 years, in the context of global warming. Here's what author and blogger Akaash Maharaj said:
Dear Great Great Grandchild,
In composing this letter to you, I am not sure what I find less
likely: that I will have descendants a century hence, or that they
will be remotely interested in anything I have to write. Still, one
lives in hope!
Personally, I can not imagine my own great great grandfather as
anything other than a grey-beard loon peering out from frayed and
sepia-tinted photographs, but I am sure he must have had his salad
days, as I have mine, even if you find that equally difficult to
believe. Yet, if I may strike the pose of one of the pantheon of
wise and aged relations, I should ask you to try to learn from our
mistakes, rather than simply condemn us for them.
By this time, late 2007, it has become clear to my generation that we
squandered earlier opportunities to avert the calamities of climate
change, and we can now only try to mitigate its worst effects, in the
hopes that you will inherit a world to which you have a fighting
chance of adapting.
I suspect that in the face of our “too little, too late”, you will
want to know how we could have shirked our responsibilities to you
for so long, and so disastrously.
No, we do not have the excuse of ignorance; we knew the consequences
of our actions, even if many of us did everything possible to delude
ourselves with fantasy and politically glamorous lies. But equally,
we were not indifferent to the world we would leave you, and all of
us certainly wanted the best for you. We were, perhaps, simply weak
We knew that something had to be done, but it is a long journey from
“something must be done” to “I must do something”, a journey that
proved too arduous for too many of us.
Our family has a long and occasionally chequered history, but we have
always held that each of us is nothing if not a living memorial to
the men and women who came before us, and that if we are to be
deserving heirs to the sacrifices of our ancestors, we must be worthy
stewards of the world to our descendents. I hope you will be able to
forgive us for not doing better by you.
Perhaps, if only through leaving behind the cautionary tale of our
age, our gift to you is to inspire you to be better than we were, as
we have tried, howsoever unevenly, to be better than our common
Good luck with it all. We wait for you in the next world, and you
can be sure that we could not possibly offer you any rebuke for your
care of this one!
With much affection,
Your Great Great Grandfather,