This Mom’s Small Gesture Is Making Big Waves In The Climate-Change Movement
Jill Kubit is on a mission to make climate change personal.
An environmental activist with a background working in renewable-energy job creation, it wasn't until Kubit gave birth that she found her true calling. Her relationship with her son ultimately helped her pinpoint the missing piece in the fight against climate change: real, raw emotion.
"[Becoming a mom] immediately changed my perspective on the urgency of climate change," she tells mbg. "I began lining up the timeframes for action set up by the climate movement—2020, 2030, and 2050 with major milestones in his life." This newfound sense of urgency inspired her to co-found DearTomorrow alongside fellow new mom Dr. Trisha Shrum. The online platform seeks to get more people invested in the fight against climate change by asking them to approach the issue from a place of love. And what better stage for that passion and emotion than an old-fashioned letter?
"The project’s purpose is to think and talk about climate change in a more personal way—through the eyes of our kids and grandkids who will face a drastically changing climate and more insecure world," Kubit explains. "The letter-writing process really shifted my perspective of time and also helped me articulate these ideas. In the early days, some people encouraged us to move away from letters, telling us that we should focus on something shorter and easier to do. We heard a lot of 'why not do a Twitter campaign' and 'nobody writes letters anymore.' But we both felt the power of the process of writing to our own child and we wanted the letters to open up a dialogue between the present and the future with those letters addressed to real people."
Since launching in 2015, the duo has amassed over 600 submissions, each one expressing its own combination of hope, despair, frustration, and drive. While many of the letters are parents writing to their kids, Kubit notes that she's also seen teachers encourage students to write letters to their future selves and entire communities pen notes during town meetings. Right now she's working with an archivist to compile the thousands upon thousands of words into an archive to be shared in the future they speak to.
In addition to writing a letter that encapsulates your emotions, Kubit urges people to take personal action on climate change by voting, calling their representatives, building support within their community by talking to friends and family, and implementing small green changes in their daily routines.