It’s June 2030 and all I can think about today is—we did it! We really did it!

I’m 83 years old now and—along with a few billion other people—I’m proud to say that I’ve helped save our planet. Just 10 short years ago, it seemed that we might never recover from the ongoing double whammy of a global health pandemic and a worldwide climate emergency.

But now everything is so much better than it was a decade ago. As I look out my office window, I see a crystalline-blue sky, icy clear water in the stream running through my property, and the bejeweled wings of migrating warblers flitting through the surrounding network of inter-connected open space.

Around the neighborhood, I see thoughtfully designed copses of wind turbines silently whirling away on sun-drenched hillsides. Tight clusters of comfortable homes all support tasteful arrays of rooftop solar panels.

Nationwide, the still-burgeoning renewable energy industry gives everyone access to dignified living wages. Social justice and economic equality are now national bywords. No one who wants to work is being left behind. “Medicare for All” now ensures everyone gets the health care they need when they need it.

Low impact highways support a national smart grid of safe, self-driving electric vehicles. Fleets of vertical takeoff and landing, biofueled aircraft now whisk us away to anywhere we want to go.

Looking back, I realize that what we accomplished—as a nation and a world—was a truly remarkable feat. Capitalizing on our 2022 conversion to publicly-funded elections, we were able to finally elect true national leaders with a penchant and a drive for doing the right thing.

In 2025, new President Kamala Harris and Senate Majority Leader Alexandria Occasio-Cortez led our forward-thinking, progressive Congress in passing three landmark pieces of legislation. First up was AOC’s Green New Deal which provided the motivation for a massively swift and efficient transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Next came the EO Wilson Biodiversity Preservation Act which—once and for all—placed value on every plant and animal on Earth while mandating protection for rare species and the critical habitats they need to survive. Finally, the Regenerative Agriculture Restoration Act ensured accessible, sustainable food supplies for every American’s kitchen table.

Yes—all in all—times are certainly good now. Much better, in fact, than I could have ever hoped for back in the spring of 2020. My children, grandchildren, and their future generations to come are now—and will be—living comfortably in a welcoming world. Plus—best of all—instead of asking “how could you”, they’re saying “well done”. What could possibly be better than that!

Budd Titlow is a professional wildlife biologist, wetland scientist (emeritus), nature photographer, and author of four books. His most recent book—written with his daughter, Mariah Tinger— is PROTECTING THE PLANET: Environmental Champions from Conservation to Climate Change.

Author: Budd Titlow

BS, Biology-Chemistry, Florida State University, 1970 MS, Wildlife Ecology-Fisheries Science, Virginia Tech, 1973 / / For the past 50 years, professional ecologist and conservationist Budd Titlow has used his pen and camera to capture the awe and wonders of our natural world. His goal has always been to inspire others to both appreciate and enjoy what he sees. Now he has one main question: Can we save humankind’s place within nature’s beauty, before it’s too late? Budd’s two latest books are dedicated to answering this perplexing dilemma. Protecting the Planet, a non-fiction book, examines whether we still have the environmental champions among us — harking back to such past heroes as Audubon, Hemenway, Muir, Douglas, Leopold, Brower, Carson, and Meadows — needed to accomplish this goal. Next, using fact-filled and entertaining story-telling, his latest book — Coming Full Circle — provides the answers we all seek and need. Having published five books, more than 500 photo-essays, and 5,000 photographs, Budd Titlow lives with his music educator wife, Debby, in San Diego, California.

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