Dear Grandma and Grandpa,
Graduation is coming soon! I sent you a “save the date” card earlier but wanted to be sure you knew that I really hope you can attend. After all, you and others of your generation are both the inspiration for and the focus of my PhD dissertation. I wouldn’t have much of a future if it hadn’t been for you.
I’m sure you remember that my research is basically a case study of the steps your generation began to implement around 25 years ago in 2015. At that time it became clear that the industrialized world’s use of resources exceeded its renewal capacity by 25%. Not only was that unsustainable economically, but the environmental degradation was devastating Earth’s ecological balance - a recipe for disaster.
Stark as that information was, ignoring it and hoping for the best would have been the easy thing to do. You could have rationalized that the problem was too big to solve or that anyone’s individual efforts wouldn’t make a difference. Instead you took on the challenge and developed the political will to maintain a livable world.
Just think of what you accomplished! New farming techniques significantly reduced pesticide use while improving soils for better water retention and carbon sequestration. Fossil fuel use worldwide was reduced to just a fraction of what it had been so that global warming was held in check. The growth of renewable energy sources created new career opportunities. New water conservation techniques and products sprung up in response to the drought in California. That in turn created a whole array of other industries built around the reduction of waste and the reuse of materials and resources. These and other innovations make up the so-called “25% Solution”. And that literally has made all the difference in my world.
It’s been shown that your vital work has had an even greater impact than the world-saving WWII battles of the “Greatest Generation”. Did you know that people are beginning to use the term the “ER (Emergency Reclamation) Generation” about you?
You’re my heroes. I’d be honored to have you celebrate my graduation with me. Hope to hear back from you soon! Without the forethought and dedication of your generation the future of this, the only home any of us will ever know, would be bleak because we’re all here forever…Earthbound.