Monday, March 28, 2011

Our vulnerable communities

image from here, of the Gulf oil spill as seen from space

Just found this article, talking about how disappointing things are in the Gulf Coast right now.  It got me thinking along similar lines as I did when I wrote about world events and memory.

I sometimes wonder exactly how quickly after a disaster some form of amnesia sets in.  "Never forget," my ass.  We seem to forget about major disasters just as soon as we can, which I find deeply upsetting.  Katrina hit in 2004, and the Gulf is still not fully functional again.  Then, a mere year after a major oil spill, we are happily approving more drilling permits?  It makes me very anxious that we may also forget about Japan, and with so many people displaced, missing, and wondering where their water will come from, that is a risk that I am deeply uncomfortable with.

What I've loved about becoming more active in the blogging world is the way that traveling, something that has always felt very personal and occasionally lonely to me, has become a community of people I enjoy talking and listening to.  I think travelers have a particular insight into situations like this -- where some people collect figurines or stamps, I feel that we collect places.  And just as a stamp collector would go apoplectic at the thought of destroying some rare treasure, travelers tend to care deeply about sensitive, culturally aware and environmentally kind journeys.  The world is a fascinating, limitless thing to collect, and the idea of losing some of our unique locations breaks my heart.

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