Prior to the U.N. Conference on Climate Change in Paris, over 35 AAN publications will publish Letters to the Future, a national letter-writing project featuring letters from authors, artists, scientists and the general public. The letters are written to future generations, predicting the outcome of the climate talks and imagining what the world will be like decades from now.
The project is organized by Sacramento News & Review Founding Editor Melinda Welsh. Members of The Media Consortium will also participate in the project.
“Every reasonable person knows that the future of our childrenâ€™s children is in danger,” writes News & Review President/CEO Jeff von Kaenel. “Our current practices will lead to disastrous environmental outcomes, endangering the lives of future generations as well as nearly all current life on this planet.”
So far, notable letter-writers include two Pulitzer Prize-winning novelists, an astronaut, and a former Senate Majority Leader. Readers can submit letters at www.LettersToTheFuture.org through November 13.
AAN members will then publish the package beginning on November 18, prior to the start of the talks. AAN editors interested in participating should contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
From the press release announcing the project:
A NATIONAL CALL FOR LETTERS TO THE FUTURE REGARDING CLIMATE CHANGE
The Paris Climate Project announced today the launching of
LETTERS TO THE FUTURE, a national effort to encourage authors, scientists, artists, activists
and citizens to write a letter to their childrenâ€™s childrenâ€”six generations hence. A project of the
News & Review, LETTERS TO THE FUTURE encourages letters that address climate change
in 2015, with a special emphasis on what happened following Paris Climate Talks in December
Letters can be submitted to www.LettersToTheFuture.org and should be submitted by November
13, 2015 in order to be considered for publication. Letters should be 400 words in length, and
authors are encouraged to include their picture. All letters will be published online; select letters
will be published across various media by a national consortium of alternative weekly papers in
late mid-Novemberâ€”before the Climate Talks begin.
Letter writers to date include Pulitzer Prize-winning novelists Jane Smiley and Geraldine
Brooks; T.C. Boyle, winner of the Penn/Faulkner Award; Bill McKibben, 350.org; Senator
Harry Reid; Kim Stanley Robinson, winner of the Hugo and Nebula awards; Michael Pollan,
author, journalist, activist; Dennis Kucinich, former Congressman and presidential candidate;
Dr. Stephen Robinson, NASA astronaut; Annie Leonard (The Story of Stuff)â€”and this is just
the beginning. People from all walks of life are encouraged to submit a letter and join the
The project results will be presented to U.S. delegates and citizens attending the Climate Talks in
December; it was envisioned and organized by Melinda Welsh, Founding Editor of the
Sacramento News & Review. The News & Review is a chain of three alternative newspapers
located in Sacramento and Chico, CA and Reno, NV. Other partners in the project include the
Association of Alternative Newsmedia (Washington, DC; represents 113 alternative news media
organizations across North America) and The Media Consortium (San Francisco, CA; a network of leading progressive media outlets, such as Mother Jones, Grist, The Nation, Texas Observer,
Democracy Now and others).
Ms. Welsh notes â€œLETTERS TO THE FUTURE invites everyone, young and old, to write their
future offspring, community, friendsâ€”what was it like to be alive when this most consequential
summit on climate change occurred? What was the result? What do you wish to say, from your
heart or your head, to those who werenâ€™t yet here to speak for themselves, as you are?â€
Many of the newspapers participating in LETTERS TO THE FUTURE also participated in
2007â€™s The Kyoto Project with the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies (AAN). Fifty
alternative weeklies across the country published the shared climate crisis articles around the 10-
year anniversary of the Kyoto Accord. Readership for The Kyoto Project numbered in the
Why the 2015 Paris Climate Conference is so important
Scientists have warned for decades that current greenhouse gas emission trends have put the
Earth on track for calamitous storms, floods, droughts and rising oceans. But the worldâ€™s
governments have yet to sign a legally binding agreement to do what it takes to avert climate
disaster. The UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in December 2015 is humanityâ€™s last best
chance to finally get this done. Environmentalist and former U.S. Vice President and Nobel
Laureate Al Gore has said, literally, that â€œthe future of the worldâ€ depends on the outcome of the
Media contact: Dave Webb