Monday, October 29, 2007

Fire and Water…

Bottled water. Bottles and bottles of bottled water.

See, Vicky and I have recently started weaning ourselves off of plastic bottles, which means bottled water, juice, soda, etc. Yes, it sucks but it will help make the planet a better place for our Green Baby because we’re producing a lot less waste.

… except for when we were in Cabo.

In Cabo George Lucas, you have to drink bottled water because the regular water is so… vile. And so, I watched us empty one bottle after another. Bottle after bottle. And it was really difficult not to see it as pound after pound after pound of pollution. (Yes, even recycling creates pollution. The only way away from it is to stop using it.)

But we had to drink it. We had no choice.

I had to drink it more than Vicky.

I was sick. I contracted Montezuma’s Revenge while we were down there, a fairly nasty case that made Vicky insist I see a doctor. The doctor pushed the fluids, which meant plenty of bottled water and Pedialyte, for electrolytes… and that also comes in a plastic bottle. After days of fever, neausea, cramps, weakness, and diarrhea that had me wondering if I was morphing into some strangely scatological mutant, I’d burned through so many bottles, I’m ashamed to say. I just pictured the mountains of plastic waste I was creating. (Granted, in Cabo, that ain’t saying much.)

By Wednesday, I was happy to be flying back to the last of water that, while not so clean that people did not still drink bottled water even if the bottled water was usually dirtier than that stuff from the tap, was clean enough to drink without worrying about getting some horrible, new disease… normally.

Then, as we flew over San Diego at 34,000 feet, we saw it. Huge, red smears marred the landscape, our introduction to the Southern California fires. They were huge. Including those we didn’t see, they created enough smoke to blot out the sun all around LAX, where we landed. Shorter winters make for longer, more intense fire seasons, all thanks to global warming.

It’s funny how obvious our species’ effect on the planet is, once you become aware of your effect as an individual.

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