Talking to China through the smog!!!


We tried to talk with our family in China last night. First we tried to video conference but sometimes the internet is so slow it is impossible. We finally gave up and had a telephone conversation. Their television connection has disintegrated in the last few months. Why these things are happening no one knows. In this world we are always suspicious but it may only be climate changes, etc. They talked about the smog in Shanghai. “It doesn’t seem right that you stop and decide whether you need to go outside or not” my daughter-in-law said. Maddie has a runny nose and asthma always lurks in the wing.

I guess because we had this conversation I read the piece in the newspaper this morning about China and global warming with a great deal of care. It seems that China ranks second in the world behind the United States in green house gas emissions. Second!!!! The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a U.N. network of 2000 scientists met in Thailand along with delegates from 120 nations. Their message was very clear but optomistic. If we do something now everything will work out. Of course the Bush administration was taking the position that we can’t afford to save the world…this bit of news appeared in another article carried in the same newpaper. I then recalled that CNN aired a special hosted by Glen Beck dismissing the research all together.

These discussions just puzzled me on so many levels I don’t know where to start. I have spent almost 6 weeks in China in the last 13 months. I was in Shanghai, Bejing and then out into the countryside. You can barely breath in Shanghai on a humid day. Seeing building across the inner city is impossible and the car traffic is beyond belief. This is the largest city in the world, this is the country with the most population in the world and they are second in green house emissions? The United States is first? Does this bother anyone but me? And as for not being able to afford to do what is necessary, don’t you just wonder if we can afford not too. Then there is the CNN network airing a hateful, one sided ‘news’ show hosted by Glen Beck. News reporting is not a perfect profession, but it is one we depend upon. When our news agencies need to spend a whole show to discredit a movie and then do it with a weak and flawed argument that uses the ‘shock jock’ mentality I get really concerned. Our trust for the news agencies grows weaker each and every day. I know I will never turn on CNN again. In the past decade we have seen the media slide quickly into an arena filled with half truths and mud slinging.

China is a developing nation, just beginning to enjoy the rewards of an economy that is blooming. They have infrastructure problems we can’t even imagine although they are working to make life better for their citizens. But we are not any of those things. We are a developed nation and we know better. We need to drive less, recycle, be consumers that encourage ethical industrial behavior and put pressure on our government to be a responsible citizen of the world. Most of all, we need to do what is right first and only then begin telling the rest of the world what to to.

Oh by the way, I do have an opinion!!!

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