Readers may notice that buffalo74 has added a charity “widget” to the side bar today. More on that after the jump.
In 2010, Sabres legend Pat LaFontaine was generous to take time away from his public life, and from coaching his sons, to answer a few questions for me about a local charity– the Dreams From the Heart Camp. Click on the link for the story behind the camp.
“This is a great way for children from throughout WNY with congenital heart problems to come to a place where they can comfortably laugh, play and maybe learn a little bit more about their health concerns. When kids are going through some tough medical times, they often find themselves in a very lonely place. A camp like “Dreams From the Heart” can have a profound effect on their recovery and their continued well-being.”
Of the charities offered by buffalo74’s host site, “Water” leapt off the page. Besides being the literal foundation of ice hockey, water is a very serious issue in our world today – the fight over clean water access has been a spark plug in some very serious matters, like the war in Somalia. The problem is not just in Africa.
Here, in the US, Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger refused to sign any bills until that state’s top lawmakers did not overhaul the flawed state water system in 2009.
In 2008, a major “Water War” was settled between Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. Desperate officials in Atlanta declared the city would be out of fresh drinking water within weeks. Stringent water restrictions were applied, and the “War” began:
“This is the most consequential legal ruling in the 18-year history of the water war, and one of the most important in the history of the state of Alabama,” said Alabama Governor Bob Riley. “The ruling invalidates the massive water grab that Georgia tried to pull off.”
The Ogallala Aquifer under America’s Midwest is under threat of depletion. It is a glacial aquifer, and was formed in the last ice age. Rain water doesn’t replenish it, so when it goes dry, it stays dry, and residents of South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Texas will all be affected.
Other fresh water resources, America’s great rivers, are also under the duress of being grossly polluted.
A society can rebound from an economic crisis, or from an oil shortage – but no civilization in the history of the planet has ever survived after losing its water supply. There is simply no replacement for water.
John Cronin, (Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries, and Senior Fellow for Environmental Affairs at Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies), recently had this description on the importance of fresh water:
Water is the substance on which America depends… if the White House ran out of water, everybody would have to leave the White House. If the offices of congress ran out of water, everyone would have to leave congress. If the lights go out in your city you can sit at your desk; if the water runs out, you pretty much have to leave town. You can’t use toilets; you have nothing to drink.
Still not convinced? Keeping on the topic of toilets, Singapore – one of the most developed regions in Asia – has had to go to extreme lengths to provide fresh water to its citizens. Today, roughly 33% of that nation’s supply comes from water recycled from sinks and toilets. It is also bottled, under the moniker “NEWater.”
It’s a practical problem, with practical solutions, but right now there are people around the globe who really do need a tall glass of water.
Here, we skate on it on our local hockey rinks, and kinda take it for granted. But water has really been affecting a great deal of daily living here and abroad. The NHL and NHLPA does a lot of work to gear its product towards kids. It’s time to stick up for our young ones, and preserve the quality of water for future generations.
Thank you for your patience, folks. Buffalo74 is not a socio-political blog, by any means, and you won’t ever see a post of this nature again.
But like my hero Pat LaFontiane, it was time to take a step back and wear my heart on my sleeve, for something far more important than myself.