August 5, 2012

Emily and Jef in Ghana

They are now officially my couple crush. They went to Ghana together for Jef's company People Water. They sell bottled water in the States and also put water wells in less industrialized countries. This combination of the location and environmental public service really speaks to me. My husband studies ethnomusicology and specializes in West Africa. He has also traveled to Ghana and works with people there to preserve their music. I study environmental studies and know enough about the state of fresh water to understand that what People Water is doing right now could be considered very controversial. I don't know if Jef or Emily are aware of the current politics of water, but they could be the couple to really start raising awareness. 

First and foremost what Jef and Emily are doing is amazing on so many levels. They also now have the unique opportunity to use their celebrity status in order to raise awareness and help shift the current state of water politics in a favorable direction. Corporations have been purchasing and privatizing what little fresh water we have left (0.3% of the water on Earth is fresh water.), due to pollution, bottling it and then shipping it. This throws off the hydrologic cycle and our ecosystem, causes desertification of farmable land, and makes water unaffordable for hundreds of millions of people. Bottled water is not healthier than tap water, it just costs money. It also raises the demand for taking it out of the ground rather than creating incentives to find efficient ways to clean it up. At this rate we will run out of fresh water. Taking water out of the ground at the rate we have been has also caused huge sinkholes in some very populated cities in the United States and all around the world. Water is a necessary for all life not a good to be purchased and sold. It's just another way that corporations are looking to profit while not caring about the needs of the people. I'm sure if they could find a way to buy and sell the sun and air they would do it without concern for who and what it would harm.

I was always a little afraid to travel to Ghana with Ryan. I have heard some crazy stories about the tro tros, the heat and mosquitoes. I guess I just thought I might be miserable and hold Ryan back a little. I think seeing that Emily can do it makes me think that I should at least give it a try, too.


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