Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Children Have Become The Canaries

Any semi-regular reader of this blog knows that I'm an avid environmentalist. To a large degree, this passion reached new heights when I became a father. It's well-documented that kids are much more sensitive to environmental toxins than adults. THAT fact is enormously worrisome and an outrage.

Here's an excerpt from a Bill Moyers' interview with the great scientist, David Suzuki:

SUZUKI: I like to say that in Canada not long ago, Cape Breton coalminers took canaries in the coal mine. When the canary keeled over, they didn't say, "Hey, Jack, come on over here. This bird just fell over. What do you think? Do you think it's…"
And now our own children have become the canaries. One out of five children in Canada will now have asthma. When you and I were boys, asthma was a rare disease.
MOYERS: And that's as recent as the 1930's, right?
SUZUKI: Exactly. Exactly. So, our own children are now telling us we're doing something fundamentally wrong.
And all you have to do is every time you have a smog alert, go down to the emergency room in the hospital, and sit there for a day. You will see that room, those emergency rooms jammed with people in deep respiratory distress.
Well, you don't have to be a genius to say, "Maybe it's got something to do with what we're taking into our lungs." And the point of the sacred balance that I did was to say, "Look, people, we can't continue to act as if air is something out there. And we are here. And we manage our interaction with the air."
"We are the air." At our ages, I reckon we've taken about 350 million breathes. We've taken one to four liters of air, breathed it deep into our bodies, and fused to the air, and filtered whatever was in that air into our bodies. The idea that we use air as a toxic dump, and somehow it goes away and doesn't affect us is absurd.

What does this say about Bush as a father, or Cheney?

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