Day 146: Clean Water & Clear Sky

A tributary (canal) of the Boise River runs fast and clear.

A tributary (canal) of the Boise River runs fast and clear.

Living in the USA I take for granted the clean water and fresh air that greet me each day, but after 7 months in Shanghai, China, where I drink only bottled water and play “Guess how dirt the air is today” before even venturing out of bed in the morning, I have a new found appreciation for the water and air quality we enjoy here in the United States, as well as for the laws, rules and standards that make it so. In China, where economic growth comes before all else, including the health and safety of the Chinese people, I witness daily the damage caused by unregulated economic activity and greed above all else. Over 23% of China’s arable land is too contaminated to grow crops; In Shanghai, only 20% of the water supply is safe enough for human consumption and as I travel from Shanghai to Nanjing to Beijing I see the grayish-brown air that envelopes not only the cities, but countryside as well, far exceeding acceptable air quality standards. Complain all you want about “government regulations” in the USA, it is quality of life saving.

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