Colleagues and scholars from coast to coast, across Bass Strait and all the ships at sea.
On September 25, 1961 (53 years ago today) President John F. Kennedy addressed the United Nations General Assembly.
He ended his address with these words:
Ladies and gentlemen of this Assembly, the decision is ours. Never have the nations of the world had so much to lose, or so much to gain. Together we shall save our planet, or together we shall perish in its flames. Save it we can--and save it we must--and then shall we earn the eternal thanks of mankind and, as peacemakers, the eternal blessing of God.
You can view him saying those words on YouTube here:
President Kennedy was referring to avoiding nuclear annihilation. A very real threat at that time, as the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis was to prove.
His words are just as applicable today to addressing the ravages of another human created crisis - climate change.
Will our actions in addressing this crisis earn us the eternal thanks of mankind? Or, as seems most likely given our current behaviour, will they earn us eternal condemnation?
In 53 years from today will this be typical of the response from Gen Then?
"We finally, really did it. You maniacs! You blew it up! Ah damn you! God damn you all to Hell!"
You can view that haunting final scene from the 1968 film Planet of the Apes on YouTube here: