The Air we Breathe - A letter to China
China. I love you, but we need to talk. This is not about attributing blame, finger pointing, or making you feel guilty. This is about taking the time to reflect on our priorities, and reassess what we value. Remember, I am here to help you, and this is a safe space.
First off, I want you to know that you are a great country, fantastic in fact. Your history is so rich and colourful, and the food you produce is amazing. These two qualities, while great, pale in comparison to your greatest gift to me. My life partner, and soul mate.....
You gave to me the gift of love, and for that I will forever be in your debt. But this is not about her, this is about you.
We need to talk about your air.
3:27pm in Tianjin (China)
I know as you grew and grew into an economic powerhouse you had to make some tough decisions. And while I may not agree, I respect that it is your body, and your people. After all, you have successfully pulled hundreds of millions up from extreme poverty, and for that you should be very proud.
But it is time to reassess. You have proven to the world your economic prowess and might. No one doubts your potential, nor your capabilities.
But I urge you to listen.... Rather, I urge you to breathe.... and breathe in deep.
Do you feel that? Hundreds of toxins, far above the safe limit has now entered your body, and your bloodstream. Your body is now actively trying to control the damage you induced in one, deep, breath...
Sure, one breath won't do too much damage, but humans are fragile creatures and we need to take on average between 17000-23000 breathes a day.
China.... I know its hard to hear this... Your air is killing your people....
Your people love you. I should know. My partner proudly boasts all your best qualities on a daily basis. She was so excited for me to meet you, and explore all the wonders you had to offer.
Sun Sun come out to play... 8:33am Tianjin (China)
But today was different. In a brief moment of time, I saw a glimpse of sadness in her heart as she looked at you from our hotel window.
Her cough, her headaches, and her fatigue are the result of your air. She does not complain, she does not hate, but we both know her recent decline in health is because of you... This is what a people's love for their country looks like.
Her love for you is unfaltering despite the pain you have caused her. We try and pretend everything is ok with MASKS, but is that how we really want to live?
China. It's time to put the health of your people, and your environment first. Show the world that chasing economic growth for growth-sake at the sacrifice of our health, and our planet's health is a flawed model. It's time to lead the world. Clear those skies, and become the sustainable powerhouse I know you can be.
Because China... if you can pull this off, you would have singlehandedly saved the world.
Planet Earth is in your hands.
Preparing to head outside for the day
Thanks for reading!
For those that made it this far, thanks so much for reading. My partner and I went to Tianjin for a day to trial their food, and also admire some of the beautiful buildings that have been built here over the decades. Since we have been here, both of us have felt a bit ill as a result of the air, and tonight, we decided to order dinner to the hotel instead of going out.
Don't feel sorry for us though, our take-away dinner just arrived and it's pretty awesome (Just under $20 AUD delivered)