Today is my dad’s 75th birthday. For the past 20 years, my dad has shifted his life’s purpose towards helping the environment. So much so that he built a solar farm on a piece of land that he’s owned since the ‘80s. It was a long, hard battle with the local government to get it built, but my dad wouldn’t give up.

Since the lockdown started, he has been emailing me long diatribes about the environment on a regular basis, begging me to edit and post them. Here you go, Dad. Happy birthday.

“The world has been humbled by this pandemic. It has bought us to our knees, due to arrogance, partisanship and our unwillingness to believe in science. We have dismissed all the signs of mother nature’s wrath. Some even mock one young girl because she dares the world leaders to pay attention.

Now that we all sit at home with an uncertain future, we should demand our governments take action. There should be real penalties for violating our common goal of improving the Earth. I spent 6 years of my life building and fighting for a solar farm, which received a last minute rescue from Governor Cuomo. The opposition was unbelievable.

The problem is that the lobby behind fossil fuels is keeping many of our politicians in power. It is fueling the economy of many countries. Even the politicians who admit there is a problem, often give lip service, but are not brave enough to make real change.

The world doesn’t need better cell phone screens or robots that replace workers. We need these innovators to protect our planet. We can build roads out of solar cells, control hurricanes with geo thermal, introduce new methods to control forest fires, harness power from the wind and our oceans, use the internet to help our cities eliminate congestion, and build solar farms that coexist with conventional farming.

Let’s make this pandemic a turning point. Instead of electing politicians who serve their own self interests, let’s look for politicians who put our planet first. The world looks different now that we are limiting the use of fossil fuels. We have clearer views, more brilliant colors, even the pavement sparkles. Take a good look, because if we don’t change our behavior once the world reopens, you may never see it again.”