I’m a big music fan and I never knew until recently that “All I Need is the Air that I Breathe,” a smash hit for “The Hollies,” was co-written by Albert Hammond Jr., in 1972, while he was staring at the Hollywood Hills and saw smog for the first time in his life. Ironically Hammond’s big hit in 1974 was “It Never Rains in Southern California”. Who knew that 42 years later I would write about that song while California suffers through drought and forest fires.
I still love music, and I like to breathe clean air. That’s getting more difficult every year. One of my favorite websites to check on a weekly basis is AQICN.ORG.
This informative site will give you real-time air quality for cities all over the world. The number are color-coded to assist with finding the worst places in the world to be on any particular day on Earth.
Not surprisingly, China and India are usually at the top of the list, with PM2.5 numbers deep into the very unhealthy and hazardous ranges.
For those unsure what PM2.5 means, please watch Josh Fox’s superb documentary “How to let go of the world and love all the things climate can’t change.”
Yeah, that’s long title, but do yourself a favor. Watch it. Now. Immediately. It’s uplifting and heart-wrenching at the same time. You won’t know whether to march on Washington D.C. or find a dark place in your basement and cry. Perhaps both is a good idea.
After I watched the show I went outside to take a deep breath of air. I’m not a violent person. In fact, I have one long-ass fuse when it comes to losing my temper. When I see how we’re killing ourselves with pollution and climate change even this mild-mannered citizen is ready to scream and demand action.
Ah, but who do I scream at? And when? I have to work. I continue to write eco-fiction and climate fiction novels, short stories, and novellas, and I have a family. There are so many issues facing us throughout the day that it’s difficult to choose which enemy to fight. Is it the rising cost of health care? Is it overcoming my amazement that the Republican party was kidnapped by a coal-burning braggart? Well, that’s what people say. I’ll be using my voice to help clean up the land, water, and air that I breathe.
What motivates you to get off the couch and make this a better world?
Please share your thoughts and comments below.