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AlberTa's Gift

21 pages16 minutes


Mindful of his scheduled midterm back at University in the city, Albert had ridden his e-bike at the Minister’s request out to this autumn countryside ceremony. He understood so much better now why Minister Teslo wanted to replace the power plant steam with a geothermal source—he had chosen geothermal as his engineering option. But as an asthmatic eleven year old he had only wanted to play street hockey that day. Half listening to the honorable Minister’s speech below the Energy of Tomorrow banner, Albert thought back to that day before Christmas he joined his cool brother Duke and the other boys in a game of hockey on the front street. He snuck out right past Mom to prove his boyhood courage. He should have heard her air index warning that morning, but at that age he hadn’t understood much about the atmosphere. His hockey game trauma mixed in with memories of his father’s talking about Paris back in 2015. How could a boy get what caused such a severe asthma attack? Ground level ozone was invisible just like carbon dioxide and a lot of adults still didn’t get climate change today. But now he could tell. The new normal weather and his global social media friends knew how serious the situation had become around the world. That day he nearly breathed his last had become a solid background to his outlook on the planet and the future of his generation. He was grateful for his father’s insight into news reports, yet he appreciated even more the action being taken by the government. That woman Minister who came to the hospital back then and ten years later Minister Teslo speaking today were really doing something. But, he knew, only if he and his friends and classmates kept up the social license pressure.

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