Saturday, July 7, 2007

The Rivers Ran White

For some reason, I have been thinking a lot about past summers lately. Maybe it's because I was watching Live Earth today. Talk about a walk down memory lane. I remember seeing half of the acts that played today on stage for Live Aid in the summer of 1985 (it was on MTV when they still played music). This time, the cause is different, yet still (if not more) urgent; it's readily apparent to anyone paying attention that the climate is changing.

When I was a child, a river caught fire and an environmental movement began. I grew up during a very idealistic time; we were going to clean up the pollution and stop the polluters (we were also going to live in perfect harmony, with a Coke and a smile, but I digress). It's hard to believe that we are still facing the same issues today that we were forty years ago. Only now, thanks to development in third world countries, it's on a global level.

Nineteen summers ago, I backpacked across China. Life was different then; before the economic boom of the '90's, most of the population still rode bikes or packed into buses like sardines. But the warning signs were already there: I saw rivers that were greenish white, due to all the dumping, and coal dust was everywhere (especially in my hair after train trips--you know it's bad when you have to wash your hair 3 times before the water runs clear & not black).

So what do we do? Any little thing we can. Why? Because wearing our handknits is nicer when it's cooler!

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