Blue sky 2

Blue sky 2 By Fabio Marini on flickr

According to recent articles that have been published in such various sources as Counterpunch, NucNews, the Huffington Post and Fox News, there’s been a noticeable spike in infant mortality in the Pacific northwest since the nuclear meltdowns at Fukushima began last March. Not only that but there are approximately 600 coal-fired power plants now operating in America that are pumping out pollution that is slowly but surely destroying a whole lot of people’s lungs. Plus we still have to deal with old-fashioned vehicle-produced smog. Clean air is getting harder and harder to find!

But I found some.

I happened to stumble across a very small pocket of clean air while visiting the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden in Minneapolis recently, over in Wirth Park. I had gone to Minneapolis in order to attend the 2011 Netroots Nation convention for progressive bloggers, and one of the convention’s features was a “Day of Service” which involved getting conference participants away from their keyboards and actually luring us out into the local wildflower garden to pull weeds. I want to pull weeds! I’ll try anything once.

Well, the garden turned out to be more than just a garden. It was also a forest, a wetland, a bog and a bird sanctuary. “Look!” cried one bird-watching blogger. “There’s an Indigo Bunting!” A what?

And as we walked deeper into the woodland, that’s where I found it — actual, real, honest-to-goodness clean air. Not even manufactured or bottled. This was the real stuff. Trust me. You will know it when you see it. It smelled wonderful. I was in awe.

Suddenly, I wanted this stuff! I want MORE of this magical stuff. I lusted after more of this wonderful stuff. I wanted to own it, to love it, to take it home with me in my suitcase. Clean air is amazing, better than fine wine or drugs.

When I got back home, I bought an air purifier/ionizer online — but it wasn’t the same.

People in Minneapolis go out and buy all kinds of things at the Mall of America — but what I want to buy more than anything is this wonderful rejuvenating taste of clean air. More than a new Mercedes or a wardrobe to die for, I want this! I’ve finally become a Material Girl — lusting after clean air.

PS: Also at Netroots Nation 2011, they showed us a preview of a new movie featuring Robert Kennedy Jr, called “The Last Mountain”. Check it out if you get a chance. Here’s the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8WpxjwxGns.

People who live in the forests of West Virginia are currently having all their clean air destroyed by greedy and heartless coal corporations — one mountaintop at a time. 500 mountains have been destroyed in West Virginia so far. That’s a hecka lot of clean air that we’ll never see again.

Jane Stillwater

Jane Stillwater

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