Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

I grew up in a military family and joined the Air Force in 1971 during the Vietnam War. It was there that I became a peace activist.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Made it to China


MB and I made it to Beijing at about 9:00 pm last night after a 14-hour flight from Boston.  Usually I'd watch 4-5 movies during that long of a trip but I was so engrossed in the book called The China Mirage: The Hidden History of American Disaster in Asia that I read the book during the flight.

After arriving we took a six-minute ride on a hotel shuttle from the airport and this is what Beijing looked like to us - maybe the air pollution was even worse than pictured above.  We went to bed and woke up around 3:00 am and never got back to sleep.  At 6:00 am we left the hotel heading back to the airport for our flight to Taiwan and the smog was so thick that the shuttle driver could barely see in front of him as he crawled along the road.

On the plane we read a newspaper article that said the pollution was largely coming from factories that were illegally releasing toxic smoke when they should not be doing so.  Many people are wearing masks with some kind of air regulator on them.  It reminded me of India where I recently experienced the reality of night skies without being able to see stars or the moon.  We humans are killing ourselves.

Today we arrived in Taipei and my son Julian picked us up at the airport and took us to our hotel near his apartment.  His wedding to Emily is on January 7 and before then we'll be seeing some sites.  The air here is clean and clear and the weather feels much like Florida without the intense humidity.  Beijing was very cold and three hours later we wished we were wearing shorts and sandals.  Our poor bodies are confused by all the changes they are going through right now.

More later...right now a nap is in order.

I highly recommend reading the book.  It's a mind blower in many ways.  I'll write more about it when I can. In the meantime you can read the review linked above.

Bruce

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