Thank you for meeting me here. Excuse my tardiness, I’m still adjusting.

Now, listen to me carefully.

In the present, where your mother is exactly the same age as she is here, she made me swear to her that I would travel within time to give you this message. You are the only one who can save us. Well, you and every other person on earth. But if you don’t do your part, the consequences will be dire, so, in a way, you are the only one.

Looking at your innocent face, and the blissfully unaware way you live your life, it breaks my heart to have to tell you what happens in the present. But you must know so that your present does not look like mine. Where I come from, the Arctic ice shelf has mostly melted away, and entire seas have dried up. Although there is no way you could foresee it, the species of my time are experiencing an unprecedented mass extinction event, and floods and storms are laying waste to the developing world. In my hometown, which the people of my time call “Chicago,” it is the middle of winter, yet temperatures are in the 70s.

I just hope I traveled far back enough to prevent these things from happening.

Although you and the people of your time do not yet realize it, in the time where I come from the world is a veritable hellscape. No, sit down and hear me out! You at least owe your mother that.

I understand if this is hard for you to believe, but as a small, symbolic token of what life is like in the present, I emailed you some links.

You may ask how it’s possible that I’m here. Let me explain. First, a skilled team of rogue scientists did not bother to build a machine that can travel through time. Time travel is incredibly dangerous and can even result in someone getting “zinched” if done improperly, so it’s fortunate that it was completely unnecessary for the transfer of this information.

Keep in mind, I have not had to leave behind everything I’ve ever known to find you. I haven’t forgotten what my children look like or fallen asleep looking at the only photo of my wife I have, because after this I will just drive home and we’ll have dinner and I will go to bed.

You see, there aren’t these things called “timestreams,” and there certainly aren’t an infinite number of these timestreams where every possible permutation of events happen in parallel. There is just one, and it is heading us directly toward a tragic, global catastrophe. I guess you could call it “The Timestream” if you wanted, but, honestly, that seems like an unnecessary confusion.

I have to say, it is surreal to see the people of your time arguing over things like the proper allocation of movie awards, but I suppose they could not possibly know the fate that befalls them in the present.

I’m afraid that’s not all. The autocratic President of my time tells the people that global warming is not real, and many believe him. In your time, you have books written by a man called “George Orwell,” yes? Even though you call his works “fiction,” we in the present have seen many of his predictions about the government’s ability to distort reality come true.

Oh, and one other thing… the Patriots won the Super Bowl. Yes, the one that already happened. Wish I could be a bigger help.