Conditions were perfect. A clear night in September, a super moon and a total lunar eclipse. It was a rare convergence of perfect weather, the moon's closest position to the earth and sun-earth-moon alignment. The next possible such lunar eclipse in this area is eighteen years hence. We may not live to see that event or the weather may not co-operate if we do. The significance of the spectacle was not lost on us.
Covered in a blanket on the patio, we watched the slow progression of shadow over the moon, from left to right. As the celestial spectacle unfolded, I wondered where our granddaughters would be when the next such event occurred. Tonight they are fast asleep, daughters of this flat Prince Edward Island on Canada's east coast. Would they even be able to live on this island by 2033? They have inherited a world in environmental crisis that could submerge their island home.
My earliest memory of a celestial event happened when I was nine years old. In July of that year, I was staying with my grandparents in Maddox Cove, Newfoundland when there was a partial solar eclipse. I did not look at the spectacle as I was warned. However, I remember walking out the lane from the house, in an eery twilight in the afternoon. The absence of bright daylight brought the birds out in full chorus. The air felt electric.
That was a simpler time, before the phrase 'global warming' was in common usage. My grandfather was an inshore fisherman of Newfoundland, in a sustainable fishery. He grew vegetables, had chickens and a few other animals to feed his family. My grandparents used the land and sea, knowing that if they were not careful, next year it would be harder to provide for the family. They fertilized the soil with seaweed or manure and did not have the modern conveniences for most of their lives. Their generation did not cause this problem.
What kind of a world are we leaving to our grandchildren today? Is there even the will to address the environmental catastrophe that is headed our way? World leaders must heed the scientific warning and be informed by science to begin measures to slow the coming disaster. Where are our leaders with vision to show us the way?
Today is election day in Canada, an opportunity to express your concern for our country, and choose the person who is our voice in this troubled world. It is easy to be skeptical, to sit back and complain. However, looking into the faces of our own two grand-babies and other island children, there is no room for skepticism.
The promise of a better future begins with your vote today!
Right, Priviledge, Responsibility