“We Wanted A Better Future For You, My Dear”

BY ON March 6, 2014

Newlyweds in China wearing gas masks

I’m thinking this haunting photo hit me at a particularly vulnerable time. See, my daughter is getting married soon. With this parental milestone comes much mom reflection — and I find myself combing over photo albums of my sweet child playing in the snow, holding up her first tooth, painting a masterpiece, graduating from high school and college, and meeting the love of her life. What’s next? Of course, only time will tell — but this mama will welcome with open arms, her baby becoming a mom.

Yet, I can’t get this strange wedding photo out of my mind.

Whether you live in Boston, MA, like my daughter, or Beijing, China, like the couple in the photo, the unconditional love a parent feels for a child is one of life’s strongest bonds.

Since China has become a Petri dish of pollution, with shocking images, I can’t help but ask: Do the Chinese people love their children any less? Is the Chinese government protecting their population from pollution? Does the pollution in China affect only the Chinese?

The country’s scientists warned the government about toxic air pollution, and now it is so bad that “…it resembles a nuclear winter, slowing photosynthesis in plants – and potentially wreaking havoc on the country’s food supply.”

Do we want our children to become an environmental experiment, learn how to adapt to bad air, or grow up to be a cancer statistic? I know I’m being dramatic here, but I read these three articles just this morning!

  1. Gigantic inflatable bubbles have been devised to fill Beijing with parks, gardens and fresh air!
  2. As an experiment, a scientist planted two batches of chili and tomato seeds, one in a lab under artificial light and the other in a suburban Beijing greenhouse. The lab seeds sprouted in 20 days, while the others took more than 60, and “they will be lucky to live at all.”
  3. The World Health Organization’s World Cancer Report 2014 found that China, home to roughly 20 percent of the global population, now accounts for one-third of global deaths from lung cancer.

Think regulations are an infringement of your property rights?

Think environmental regulations are job killers?

Think it’s OK for polluters to tie up the EPA in litigation, preventing meaningful enforcement of anti-pollution laws?

Think power corporations have your children’s best interest at heart?

Think we don’t share the same air with China?

Think again.

Photo via Earth Day Network




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TOPICS: Air Pollution, Motherhood