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credit: Carros de Foc CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0

To the human race,

We’ve been watching you for some time, and I have to say, it’s all just such a damn shame isn’t it. The cleverest, most ingenious, most imaginative species ever to evolve (with the exception of us, of course) but you just didn’t quite cross the line, did you?

You were smart enough to go to the moon, smart enough to figure out the building blocks of life and the mysteries that lie at the centre of galaxies. You built machines that can look back in time and imagine the future, and others that invent worlds full of possibilities and adventure. Your cultures are a wonder to behold, full of swirling colours and songs and visions. …

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Credit: NASA CC-BY 2.0

Dear the Earth,

Hi, Earth. How’s it going? I hear you’ve not been too well. Me neither. It must be something going around.

To be honest, it feels strange writing to you like this. I think that’s because, in a funny way, it almost feels like writing a letter to myself. We do have a lot in common, after all. You’re two-thirds water, so am I. Every part of me was once somewhere in your oceans, skies, rocks or living things. When I die, I will drift away again and scatter into a billion invisible places. You’ll keep on turning, light and dark, hot and cold. Will you remember me? …

(I hope they’ll never have to read)

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To my favourite, funny little people

What can I say, now that it’s too late?

I can tell you the obvious: that I’m sorry, that I tried.

I can tell you how sorry I am, that it ate me up. That even as we sat in bed with the nightlight on, reading together about coral reefs and finding Dory, I knew there was not much time left for those bright and beautiful places.

I can tell you that I tried, that even though it felt hopeless, still if there was any chance left then I wasn’t going to quit. I can tell you that this is why we always took the train, why I pestered politicians, why we changed what we ate, why I got myself arrested that time. …

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Extinction Rebellion protest on 30th October

How many more last chances can we have? There’s no need for another list of the appalling consequences we face if we don’t act on climate change: most of us know that if we carry on this way, the outcomes will be a devastated planet and enormous human suffering.

I am a psychologist who researches how people understand and respond to climate change, and I have done so for over ten years. I could tell you what the literature says about the way our experiences and values affect our attitudes to environmental problems, or how in some ways we’re just not wired up to feel the urgency of this. …


Stuart Capstick

Environmental psychologist working on climate change and sustainability

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