Greetings and salutations! 2009 is upon us and as we embark on a new journey, I would like to extend my heartfelt tidings to you and your loved ones. May this year be filled with love, joy, prosperity, cheer, peace and good health. May all that you have hoped for and wished for, come true in the ensuing year.
In many ways, 2009 is a very symbolic year, dubbed as the International year of Astronomy by the United Nations, it marks the 400th anniversary of the first recorded astronomical observations with a telescope by Galileo Galilee and also the publication of Johannes Kepler’s Astronomia Nova in the 17th century, containing the results of the Kepler’s ten-year long investigation of the motion of Mars. It has been 400 centuries, since we have started exploring the cosmos.
Meanwhile, even as you read this mail, two interplanetary space probes, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2, traversing at some 16 km/s, are crossing the heliosheath (the very edge of solar system) and heading off into interstellar space. Both the probes are the farthest any human object has ever been; it takes light waves some 15 hours to traverse one-way between the crafts and us. Mankind has in, a very tiny wave, left a lasting mark on the vastness of this universe.
And it is not only in the vast interstellar space where we are leaving an imprint; right here on this beautiful planet we are doing the very same, albeit in a way our future generations will rue. Due to indiscriminate human actions (termed as anthropogenic factors by scientists), there are great changes taking place; glaciers and polar caps melting, sea-levels rising, forests disappearing, temperatures on the rise, species getting extinct, the list just keeps going on. Climate change is a reality that looms over our very survival as a species. Sadly, the whole issue has been caught in the net of governments and states that have often have blinkers on their eyes. As is the wont of such institutions, there is little action and lot of debate.
But all is not lost, as a race we are very resilient and resourceful and I very much wish that 2009 will mark that change. Hopefully in this new calendar year, each one of us in a very small way will take the onus to combat climate change. Let’s take an oath to not waste any of natural resources, be it food or water or even the pages that we indiscriminately print. Be conscious of our own individual carbon footprint in every action be it the exotic fruits that we purchase to the mode of transport that we take. Switch of all our appliances, and most importantly give up the use of harmful substances like plastic and the rest.
Long years ago, Mahatma Gandhi had given us a mantra that helped a nation rediscover itself. He had extolled the masses to “be the change, that you want to see in the world“. This mantra is still very much valid even in this age and time and I sincerely hope 2009 to be a year of change (like the one brought in the US) for the globe and for humanity.
On this note, I yet again wish you a very happy year ahead, hoping that it is wonderfully green as well.